When V Hikerz was formed, one of the common bonds we had was love for nature. We completed one year as V Hikerz on 27th. It was an occasion to celebrate. And We celebrated for sure ..... in a different way.
One of the pain points for me in person and as a group has been the amount of litter that was all over the place whenever we trekked. In fact we used to always identify the correct route based on how many wrappers were littered on it. So if we didnt find a wrapper littered we used to doubt whether we are on the right route.
We wanted to make a difference to nature, something we always keep talking about. It was time to stop talking and do something. albeit in a very small way.
Kondana Caves is a very short trekking route near Karjat. There are waterfalls and Budhist
caves at the top that make it a very popular trek. So the amount of litter on this route was bound to be high. At the same time it was a short route, so the clean up would take less amount of time.
We left on saturday and bought items to have a mocktail and dessert at Karjat Station. Rajesh and myself left early and Shyam and the kids came later just in time for dinner.
It was a great atmosphere. The kids were in great spirit and the whole group enjoyed the introductory sessions for the new comers. Then there was a session on "how to pitch a tent." The kids were so eager to experience this that they chose to sleep in the tent at night. So the tent went into the dormitory acco that we had arranged for and slept in that.
In the morning we left at around 830 am and completed the trek in an hour and a half. We played a game on "Identifying Landmarks" and they were told to identify the same landmarks on their way back. This is the first lesson of trekking.
The kids were encouraged t0 enjoy nature as well. They had a wash in flowing water (rivulets) drank mountain water (free of cost) and also had a shower under a waterfall. The waterfall was a bonus really as we didnt expect it to be live at this time of the year. This was the best part as the kids (we became kids too) enjoyed the water falling on our shoulders massaging them.
On the way back we collected some sacks from the workers of the Archeological survey at the site and starting picking the garbage. We kept a boundary of around a foot and a half from the path( path included) and came clearing the garbage. Rajesh had organised some plastic gloves so that we didnt need to clear the garbage with bare hands. We had to bend our backs and it was getting very tiring. Shyam was carrying the sacks in both hands.
It was very tiring, yet very satisfying.
We collected around 4 sacks full of rubbish including wrappers, plastic bottles etc. and carried them in our hands till Van Vihar.
It was a great experience. Satisfying yet humbling.
There is so much that mother nature has offered us. There is so much that we can give back to mother nature.
So much more...........