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Thursday, 21 August 2008

Lonavala to Rajmachi

This was the first time I was trekking immediately after dialysis. I had dialysis till 1 am at night and then had taken an early morning bus to Lonavala. The bus was late and made me feel I missed out on an hours sleep. But the journey was comfortable. We reached Lonavala at around 11 instead of the scheduled time of 930. We started the trek at around 1145.

The way was long. Around 20 kms in distance. I had just had my dialysis the previous night. I had slept only for 4 hours after that. I knew it would be tough.

It was also raining heavily. There was no sigh of respite in the rain. The fog was also very dense and visibility was low. We started off. The villager who had arranged for our accomodation had told us that he takes around 2 hours to complete the distance and we would take a maximum of 3 hours. But I knew from my experience that it would be much more.

The Tungarli dam in the front was a cursor of events to follow. The huge rock wall right in front. We started off in earnest. Taking nice pictures along the way.

The scenes on the way were really beautiful. There were several waterfalls. One more beautiful than the next. But we had to complete the distance and then the forts. We were already more than 2 hours behind schedule. Hence we took only brief halts at a couple of waterfalls. We didnt go under them lest we get enchanted with them and choose to stay in them for long. We had miles to go before we slept.

The views were simply great. Simply enchanting.

We met a group of trekkers returning and asked them how long it would take. They said 3 hours more. SO maybe we had covered around one fourth the distance we thought. After around an hour and a half, we asked another group of trekkers who were going in the reverse direction. Three hours they answered!!

Vow...three hours seemed to be a standard answer. Were we moving ahead at all or moving in circles. It was difficult to imagine that the walk was so long. But it was. it was a test of our endurance.

The path had lots of rivulets which we had to cross on foot. These rivulets were having very strong currents and there was always a fear that our ankles might sprain and we had a really long way ahead of us. The rain was also not showing any signs of abating. The visibility was poor. The rain and the flowing water was helping the mud accumulate in low lying areas and there was the wind as well. At one place I knew there was mud, but it was looking quite ok. So the risk was only that my shoes would get covered in mud. i stepped into it.

Whooooooooooooooosh .. the muck was almost like quick sand. My leg went in knee deep. It was going further in. Luckily my other leg was on firm ground and with the help of my friends I could haul myself up. The force that I had to exert with the stuck leg was so much that even after 5 days that knee is still aching badly.

From now on I was a bit shaken and a bit scared as well. This was a close shave. We met another group of trekkers .How long would it take we asked. We heaved a sigh of relief when they said two and a half hours. Finally...time was moving.Finally!

The walk continued in beautiful weather and amidst waterfalls. On the way we saw a couple of SUVs stuck in the muck. Thanking our luck that we didnt meet the same fate we carried on. We took a brief halt at a stream to rejuvenate ourselves with some biscuits and then moved ahead.

We reached the base village at around 4 pm where our host was waiting for us. But they had not cooked the food as they were not sure whether we would make the distance. They didnt want the food to get wasted.

But yes, we had reached our shelter. Our home for the evening as we called it.

This adventure is quite long and deserves more space than just one post. I would like to take this from here in my next post. The fort and the stay and then the way down to Kondivade were all an adventure in itself.

My limbs were aching by then. Now my arms are till my next post adieu.

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