Kalsubai Trek- My First Solo Trip

26th Dec 2015
Photo of Kalsubai Trek- My First Solo Trip by Jaiveer Yadav
Day 1

Hello everyone, how are you all?

Today, I will be sharing the experience of my first solo trip with you all. It was only a few days since I landed in Mumbai and I had read through various travelling blogs that western ghats has some of the most picturesque sites in India. I had spent all my life in north India and the traveler in me was pushing me to explore the places around Mumbai. I had no company in Mumbai, so found it the golden chance to go for a solo trip. I had it in back of my mind but I never got a chance as I always had my bunch of friends who were always ready for a trip at any hour of the day. So, after searching for some best places to go for solo traveling around Mumbai and carefully designing my itinerary I was all packed up to leave on the early morning of 26th of December. Here I would like to shed some light on my mindset before the trip as I face a lot of questions regarding solo trips from people around me.

First thing first, never go solo trip if you have no travelling experience. I had my share of travelling experience. I have been travelling since 2011 and have been to some of the most dangerous places where I have seen death from a close view. So, I had an idea of what all things could go wrong on a trip. So, as a traveler you should have something in your experience bank before you are ready for a solo. At least do a trip with some trip organizer. Next comes my golden rule of life, start with small steps. Ideally plan for a solo trip of a day or two. You can learn from its experiences and plan longer trips as you become experienced. After selecting my destination my next step was preparation for the worst possible outcome. In case, the trip does not go as planned, I made myself sure that what was the shortest route to come back home and it should be working 24*7. I also wrote down some necessary details on paper as one should have a redundant source in case phone battery goes off or worst phone goes off. Now, ready with safety, I searched for some places to stay and then drew out itinerary from several websites on which it is easily available. Other detailed preparations I have mentioned here.Now, the most important advice which you would not find anywhere is even after so careful planning a fear still remains in one's mind, it remains when you lock the door and leave the house, it remains when you board the bus or train and you secretly desire that something should happen so that you could convince yourself in cancelling the trip. Please overcome that fear. It happens with everyone, happened with me also. I wanted to come back from the railway station but pushed myself and I am happy that I did so. You will all be a new person if you manage to win that fear. In fact, it is that fear only, which is stopping us from going on a solo trip.

This is me at Koparkhairne station early in the morning waiting for the first train

Photo of Thane, Maharashtra, India by Jaiveer Yadav

I left my room and caught the first local train and reached to the Thane station. From there, I boarded on an express train to Igatpuri . To my surprise there were many fellow trekkers on Thane station, and in the train also. I interacted with a few and they all were surprised that I was travelling solo. Some even gave that poor look " Poor fellow, got no family or friends." I smiled and kept on. There were many beautiful and picturesque sites in the way. I thoroughly enjoyed them.

I reached Igatpuri at around 8. I had some breakfast, and after asking to some local people, was able to find the local Tata sumo which went upto Bhandardara. I had already researched about this and specifically written the names of the places lest I should forget them. I got into backseat and fell asleep. I woke up at around 12 hearing to sound of some fellow passengers discussing about some treks. I asked them about Kalsubai and Bhandardara. Listening of Kalsubai, the eyes of one lightened up and after some discussion I found that he was also a solo traveler. The gentleman's name was Mr. Sameep Karve, oops Mr CA Sameep Karve, pardon me for that. We got down at Bhandardara, and after searching for some time were able to find the cheapest room in Bhandardara after a lot of bargaining. Sameep skills helped a lot here, mind that he was from Gujarat. We freshened up, had our lunch and were out within an hour, bargaining again, this time with the cab driver. Now, this is the place where I really wished I had a group. The cab driver was asking for 2000 rupees as those were the standard rate of cabs. He told very bluntly that he didn't care whether there were two people or twelve the charge remained the same. We headhunted for any soul who would be interested in sightseeing but we got nothing. Finally we agreed on 1600. Had there been a group, the cost would split and the trip could have been cheaper. But, just like everything solo trip has its own advantages and disadvantages.After that it was an interesting round trip for some 3-4 hours. We visited Wilson dam, did boating in Bhandardara lake and visited a very old temple of ancient times.

The Boating in Bhandardara lake with CA Karve

Photo of Igatpuri, Maharashtra, India by Jaiveer Yadav

After coming from the round trip, we had our dinner. We were tired and decided to go to bed as we had to wake up early in the morning on the next day to start the trek. We planned to watch the sunrise from the highest peak of Maharashtra.

It was mild cold in the night. We got up early in the morning at 4, took bath and left the lodge by 6. We got a vehicle and got off from it at the village from where the trekking to Kalsubai starts. It was a small hamlet. We confirmed our way to some villagers and after a while we were on a well cut out path in the mountains. We met with many travelers in the way. There was a group of primary school kids which were also going to the peak. It was a smooth 2 hour trek. When we reached the top, we missed the sunrise but still it was a pretty good view.

Some acrobatics are hallmark of my trips

Photo of Bhandardara, Maharashtra, India by Jaiveer Yadav

A pose with the primary school kids

Photo of Bhandardara, Maharashtra, India by Jaiveer Yadav

View from top of Maharahstra

Photo of Bhandardara, Maharashtra, India by Jaiveer Yadav
Day 2

After spending around half an hour on the top, we descended. The journey back was smooth and quick. We took a cab back but wait the adventure is not over. We completed our way journey on the top of cab. It was a hell lot of experience.

Traveling on the top of a cab on a hilly track is cool

Photo of Kalsubai Peak, Maharashtra, India by Jaiveer Yadav
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