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Thursday, 11 February 2010


After V Hikerz was formed, we badly wanted to go trekking. We were all excited that we now had a group to identify ourselves with.

All the time we had been trekking in the areas around places that the central railway line in Mumbai took us to. I had heard of a fort near Virar called Tandulwadi. This was quite near from Mumbai and hence we decided to visit this place.

We took a slow train early in the morning for Virar. From Virar we left for Saphale. We had planned in such a way that we would get a connecting shuttle train to Saphale. From here we took a ricksha to the base point. The name of the village was also Tandulwadi. There was a huge police contingent in the village that day as there were some local elections being conducted.

We started the trek and kept going. At a certain point we were unsure as to which direction we should start moving in. We looked around and my instinct took me to a path on the left extreme of a huge plateau.

We were on our way. It was a continuous climb and it was getting very hot. We met a local on the way who was coming down with firewood. He gave us a huge sense of hope saying that we were more than half way up. We rested for a while and then started going again.

Suddenly the wrong things started happening. The sole of one of our friend's shoes gave way. There was no way with which she could trek. But the poor thing being so enthusiastic was somehow managing. But yes we slowed down. My friend who was leading the way suddenly stopped. He had reached a point from where he didnt know how to negotiate the rock. Yes it was quite steep there. Some of us caught up with him and guided him on the rock face.

The question marks had started arising in our minds. To facilitate dialysis, I had a AV fistula in my left hand which I need to protect at all costs. It also means that I cannot do proper rock climbs as I have to put pressure on the fistula and it is dangerous.

The heat was sapping. I was also losing a lot of sweat. I had also forgotten my cap at home so I was having practically no protection against the sun. I started feeling weak. Also started seeing black spots in my eyes. I realised my BP was going low.

The rocks were not so tough. I have climbed tougher rock patches before. However I was feeling weak this time. The others were also losing their morale and the fact that one of us was walking with torn shoes also contributed in taking a decision that we should return. So after having completed around 90% of the trek we took the tough decision to return from there itself. We stopped for a break of snacks.

The view from here was breathtaking. The confluence of the Surya and Vaitarna rivers was awesome. I could only imagine how beautiful this would be in the monsoons.

The rock faces of the mountain had this bare beauty. It was a really strong and robust rock face. Breathtaking.

The rocks really give me a feeling of strength. The strength that stands tall in the onslaught of the rivers, the rain, the sun and all the other natural elements.

The rock that can face the wind that emanates from the sea. The rock that stands tall as trekkers like us climb its surface and proclaim victory. The rock who is a witness to all our empty talks. Yet it stands tall, unmoved, unaffected and undeterred.

On our way back the hands were burning as this same rock had gone hot due to the sun.

We somehow reached the base by around 4 pm. We took a vehicle to reach Saphale station again and come home.

Just when we were about to board the vehicle at the base point, I looked back at the huge rock that was standing.

Unmoved, un affected and unfazed.

Maybe thats the reason they built a fort on its top.

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