Warning: Long post
I. CANT. WALK.
Ok, I can walk. More like I dont want to.
I've just been rechristened "The Penguin" since my walking traits curiously resemble creatures of the said species. Since I'm not much of a physical person, I tend to crib a lot about any activity that I undertake, before I actually admit that I had a great time and that it probably did some good to me :P
Since I find Ratna Pathak the epitome of the modern Indian woman (refer to Sarabhai v/s Sarabhai), I will use her way of describing my trek to Kothaligad yesterday.
HS (High Society): Double breakfast! We were offered pattice during the bus ride. We also stopped over at Kamat in Lonavla for tea and more breakfast. Technically, brunch, since the fast was already broken.
LS(Low society): The ride till the base village (Ambivali) took 3 hours! By the time we reached, I had forgotten that we had come there for a trek and was thoroughly enjoying myself sleeping in the bus and assuming that its a picnic.
HS: Of course I covered up on my sleep in the long ride since I hadn't slept at all the previous night.
LS: I had gone along with a group of doctors, so there were hardly any young kids in the crowd. This is kind of an MS actually.
HS: The weather was perfect for trekking. This was of special significance since I hadnt taken along ANY sort of protection against the sun or the rain. Our loooong and slow bus ride ensured that we just missed the heavy rains and it was cloudy enough to shade us from the sun.
LS: We started climing at 11:30 am! That must be the latest that any group has ever started trekking. Not that it mattered much in terms of the sun but still the rest of the trek and the journey back was that much more late.
HS: Lots of beautiful greenery with pretty pretty butterflies flitting all about. I saw one butterfly which was so white that it was literally shining. This, with no sunlight, so I can only imagine if it was a sunny day (which it thankfully wasnt, again thanking the Almight for it)
LS: There was no wind while we were climbing and the weather was a bit oppressive. The upside was that, even a slight draft of wind was noticeable and welcomed.
HS: A Saurav Ganguly kinda-looking guy (not a doctor) from the group was being, lets say, friendly and giving me company while climbing the really tough last part of the trek.
LS: He was wearing white clothes. I am not kidding. White shirt, white jeans (mercifully not white shoes). Pray, tell me, who wears white clothes to a trek?? That too in the rainy season!
HS: I had carried along Perk chocolate and dates. The brown stains on my t shirt would fool some people into believing that I did some military-style trekking but that was actually chocolate, eaten clumsily while trying to catch up with the heavy-duty-trekkers-who-need-no-stops-n-no-refreshments!
LS: I forgot my dabba and had to share food with my poor-already-under-nutritioned Maushi.
HS: The sight of the last leg of the trek from the Peth village (refer to photo)
LS: It took us 2 hours of walking up slightly upward slopes!
Note: The small tip you can see on the top actually is a bit hollow from inside and it has a circular "staircase" leading to the extreme tip.
HS: One of the Doctor uncles giving me his glucose bottle when I REFUSED to climb up the last 5 mins.
LS: The steps were too high and after walking for 1.5 hours and climbing over big rocks, it was a big pain to climb steps that were barely a foot wide and 2 feet high.
HS: The view from the top was fabulous. It felt awesome to just eat and lie down. Of course I had to lie down, I refused to move an inch till I was granted my beauty sleep.
LS: The "trick" to reach the topmost peak and also come down without getting lost was to follow the small waterfall gushing down. Wet shoes + uncut nails led to an extremely uncomfortable nightmare which I am still getting shivers thinking about.
HS: Maushi walking along with me while coming down the meandering, less steep parts and we had a good talk about interesting topics. Separate post about that coming up.
LS: Again, wet shoes + uncut nails. Awful. I was walking with my knees locked. Picture Bambi learning to walk for the first time.
HS: Finally seeing the pucca tar road which meant that the bus that would take us home was near!
LS: When I enthusiastically told my friend that I completed the Kothaligad trek successfully with no crying (I cry while coming down coz its just too painful) and surprsing agility (thanks, G) while climbing down, he informed me that he did Kothaligad AND Bhimashankar within 24 hours and practically no rest in between. :P to you!
So, to conclude, I learnt the importance of cutting my toenails, carrying glucose and hopefully a cap and some light protection against the rain. Kothaligad, conquered!