As we do for
most treks, we took the last train leaving from CST and got off at Kalyan. After spending the night on the platform, we took the 530 am bus to Khubi phata. After a snack of wada pav we realised that there was no transportation available to get to Khireshwar village from where the trek actually starts.
For us it had started !
We covered the distance to Khireshwar (approx. 6 km) and this itself took us more than an hour. The group never realised that there was a long way ahead and was busy clicking pictures of the beautiful landscape. Also it was nearing Shivratri and there was a festive atmosphere in the village. there is a temple in the village of the same deity that adorns Harishchandragad.
In the village we stopped for poha. So by the time we started the trek it was already 11.
Tolar khind is a well defined trek but is a continuous gradient. It gets tiring and the sun wasnt helping us one bit. We had numerous stops for refreshments and finally reached the top of Tolar Khind.
At this point we really rested a bit. We had to now attend to the most tricky part of the trek viz the rock patch just above Tolar Khind.
It is here that my memory failed me. I remembered this patch to be short roughly 100 metres. So when we finished the first part of it we thought we were done with it and stopped for lunch. After an unusually long lunch break we started to realise that we had just about begun the rock patch. There were numerous places where the railings put up by the government had collapsed. There were very dangerous stretches at some places where there was no support and a very narrow pathway (half a foot) with a deep valley on one side. It was scary for some people who were doing it for the first time.
There was a place where we stopped for lack of a visible route. We finally found it but there were some of us who had taken a wrong route and were almost stuck and had to be pulled to safety.
Finally we completed the rock patch. From here on the walk across seven hills is boring and the landscape is also very monotonous.
We could see the sun in the back ground almost setting
We were tired. some of us had moved ahead, while others like me were behind.
We were tempted to have some limbu sarbat on the way and the vendor offered us a mat to lie down. We never realised how time passed and woke up to the fact that we had to rush in order not to miss the sunset at Kokan Kada.
However it was indeed very late. When we reached people were returning from the sunset point. The others who had already reached had identified a cave for us to stay the night.
When we entered though we were greeted by rodents running all over the place. While we were sitting I noticed something slithering below the stones outside our cave.
Also the whole place was full of people (for Mahashivratri) and therefore all the regular caves were full.
There were tents on offer too.
At a reasonable rate. We booked two of them.
Then we had the food prepared by locals which was so spicy we could name a dish spicier than the Veg Kolhapuri :P
In the morning we left early to walk down to Pachnai which was also a very scenic route and completed the trek by 930.
We got to spend around 2 hours at the village till a bus got us to Rajur and then a taxi to Kasara and a train back to Mumbai.
It was a wonderful experience. I was so unsure at the onset whether I would be able to complete the trek.
I did it !!
Was a BIG THING for me !!
The only shortcoming being that I missed the sunset at Kokan Kada.
Maybe thats enough motivation to go there again !!!
Was a good end to a great day.