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Monday, 1 June 2009

Treks in Summer - Camping trip to Lohagad

Well this is my fourth post in a couple of days. It has been pending for long and hence I have to write before I forget the details.

Despite having been a regular trekker for more than 18 years, I had never gone camping. That was something that I always wanted to do. It was towards the end of April and extremely hot. I wanted to have a small camping trip to Savna lake.

Shyam and myself were planning this ever since he had got a tent as a gift. I had purchased a new trekking bag and both of us were quite desperate to make good use of our implements.

We touched based on a saturday morning, decided to go. But we decided to go to a known place rather than an unknown place like savna so we froze on lohagad. We took the 12 noon bus to Pune got off at Lonavala and started the trek at around 430 pm. We reached the base village at around 6 where we ordered some food for the night. We wanted to pitch our tent before it got dark. However, they took so long to cook the food that we reached the top only at around 730. It was already dark. We had not prior experience of pitching that tent. We had only 2 torches. It was extremely windy.

But we needed a place to sleep and a tent it would be. We had a choice of sleeping in the cave but no we wanted to put the tent to good use !

After much effort we finally managed to do just that by 830 pm and realised we were extremely hungry. It was pitch dark as it was a new moon night. We were told by some friends that there were a lot of reptiles that we needed to be careful about. But then what the hell, we had a tent. It was a modern one so quite secure. We just needed to be inside and not venture outside. :)

It was so windy at night that at one point we actually felt we would get blown away. We had the company of another ggroup form Pune and then late at night a noisy group owing allegience to Shivaji the great warrior king of the marathas. I am sure Shivaji himself would never have approved the acts of his followers cos when we woke up in the morning the whole place was littered with thermocol and left over food. Are the people really proud of our heritage. That was the million dollar question.

We woke up to a beautiful morning. Some shots of sunrise that we were able to get were awe inspiring. The sights of the Pawna lake in the backdrop of Tung and Tikona were something to behold.

We left from the top at around 730. Had kanda poha at the base village and then took the ricksha by the new road which took us directly to Lonavala. We realised that Lohagad was not a trek any longer , it was a drive and thus it was now open to general holidayers and picnicers that made it even more vulnerable to litter and other nuisance.

A live example of how not to preserve our pride, our heritage, our only connection to our illustruous figures who made history. A live example of how not to pay homage to them......

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