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Saturday, 11 April 2009


Manikgad was a very special place for me. It was one of the last treks that I had completed before I fell ill. This was quite an unplanned trek. We had started for some other place and then changed our plans to go to Manikgad. This time however, we set out for Manikgad itself.

One of us stayed in Panvel and hence it was more convenient for him to meet us at Vadgaon from where the trek started. The rest of us travelled to Karjat and then to Vadgaon. But since we had to take connecting buses we got delayed and started the trek at around 845 am.

Our school of trekking believes in trekking early so that we beat the sun to the top. The last time we had made it to Manikgad as well we had reached the base point quite early and it was a different route we had taken to the top. That route was definitely tougher so we decided on this one.

We started climbing and the incline was very steep at times and quite a straight village path otherwise. After around an hour we reached a small village where an old man offered to guide us to the top. The way was quite confusing as he explained. WE agreed to take him with us. We kept going and going. It was getting hotter and hotter and we started exhausting the water that we had carried with us.

The villager was very cool. He said that there is potable water available on the way. We were also very content and kept consuming the water that we had carried. When we reached a small pond full of dirt. The villager actually bent down and consumed that water and told us to refill our bottles from that pond. We looked at each other and found a despondent look on each others faces. It was already around 1 pm. The villager said that there was another pond of potable water at the top which was around an hour and a half away.

We didnt want to buy the potable story any longer as the yardsticks were different.

We took a conscious decision. To turn back. It was nice that we had enjoyed the scenery till this point and it was just disappointing that we could not make it to the top.

Its never about reaching the top really. Its about enjoying the route............

Dukes Nose

Dukes Nose was supposed to be a very easy trek. It is the highest point in Khandala-Lonavala region and thus has an amazing view. It was one place that I always wanted to visit.

We got a tremendous response this time. There were some 14 confirmations which enabled us to book a 14 seater mini bus. Most of the people joining in were first time trekkers.

We were actually scheduled to leave from Dadar at around 6 so that we could return home earlier. However, some of us reached Dadar at around 730 giving the rest an opportunity to have a heavy unplanned breakfast at one of the restaurants outside Dadar station.

Luckily we didnt encounter a lot of traffic and we were able to reach the base point at around 9. We started immediately. The route is easy and is a simple climb. But there was a lot of loose mud which made it very slippery and for the new comers I am sure it was quite a scary experience. There was one patch which I found slightly tricky especially considering the fact that I trek with a AV Fistula.

Nonetheless, we reached the top at around 1030. The view was very nice as we had been told and the temple at the top had some very positive vibrations for everyone to absorb and get energised. The summit is small so to get a 360 degree view is not so tough. You can actually get most of the view by just rotating a full circle.

The view is really captivating. I am sure it is much more so during the monsoons with all the greenery. Suddenly someone asked for the food packets and all of us realised that we were not just hungry but almost famished.

After generous helpings of cheese spread, schezwan sauce, jam, farsan along with the all accommodating loaf of bread, we started on our way down.

Most of the stretch was covered smoothly. However, at one point (where the mud was loose) I felt scared. Scared of falling. It rarely happens to me but I suddenly got conscious of my AV Fistula and started worrying about the consequences of a fall. And believe it or not, I got a bit fussy. I got irritable which is not my normal nature. And guess what I actually fell..........

The moment I fell, my first reaction was to keep my hand on the part of the hand that had the Fistula just to check whether it was still intact.

I guess its all in the mind anyways.

We completed the trek by around 12 and then we decided to take the bus to bhushi dam which is nearby and is a major tourist attraction in Lonavala. However its not the same as it is during the monsoons and hence it was not such an enjoyable experience. It was quite hot and we refreshed ourselves with some ice golas ( crushed ice press together with flavoured syrup for taste) and then made our way back home.

We stopped by at Vashi for lunch and were home before 5 pm.

It could have even been earlier if everyone had reported on time though..........Its all about the team as they say.

Busy as hell

I have been having a hectic time lately. Recession is here and I am in the business development function in my company. The efforts required to close deals have increased. In fact it is the signup that is taking much more time than earlier. As a result, I have not got enough time to write my blog posts. I have a few trek narrations pending as well as a few incidents that were worth sharing. I plan to do it this weekend. My typical day is as below

Wake up at around 730 am. Leave for work at around 9 am which goes on till around 730 or 8. By the time I am home I am very tired and looking to crash out. If I have my dialysis sessions I go to hospital. They start at around 1030 and go on almost till the break of dawn. I return home at around 330 am or 4 and then rest for a while just to wake up for the next day at work.

I know I need to write, at least to de-stress if not anything else.

But with whatever time I get I would rather catch up on my sleep.