It's that time of the year again, when Mother Nature pours all her love on us. Greenery all around!! Captivating aroma of freshly wet soil!! Oh!! How I love that smell!!! Nature is a complete bliss. I peek out of the window of my bus while travelling to office and try to catch a bit of rain in my hand and sometimes if I am daring enough I let my face get drenched. There are times when I am too lazy to open an umbrella and enjoy the drizzle. I miss my childhood days when it was so easy to enjoy this beautiful season. I could just get out of my house and get drenched till the time I catch some cold. Today, when I am so called 'ADULT', I miss this simple pleasure of life.
But rain also brings something exciting with it - TREKKING. So this time I bring to you my trekking experience in the Sahyadris. This is the time when mountain is covered with blanket of lush green carpet of grass & season of love!!
Being a bookworm that I am, initially I was uncertain about my capabilities as a trekker. Though I love to walk, I am not a sports enthusiast or a fitness freak and trekking IS A BIG DEAL!!! It needs lots of stamina, will power, confidence & good technique. So I took my ever enthusiastic & ever encouraging siblings along and this is how it went.
Trek to Kohoj: Kohoj is a fort located a little outside Mumbai towards Ahemdabad at 3200 ft above sea level. The trek details categorized it under easy level with medium stamina. So I thought "What the heck!! It is so near, let's go for it!!' Registration was done with Trek Mates India & we started on journey which I would remember all my life. The trek was not as easy as I thought and I stumbled & slipped twice on my way up. To add to the trouble it hardly rained leading to added exhaustion. Trek leaders constantly instructed us to trust our shoes & be confident that we would not fall.
Somehow, we reached the top and finally looking at that heart shaped lake from the peak, I realized why people go for treks. I knew then and there that I have found my love for trekking.
Year later, I went trekking again. This time the goal was highest peak of Maharashtra. However, to test my stamina, I decided to start with an easy trek again.
Trek to Lohagad: Lohagad is a fort located towards Pune and is 3400ft above sea level. The fort is named as Lohagad which literally means Iron Fort. This time my sister came along. The trek was quite easy and we reached the peak earlier than planned. Being an easy trek, we spent the entire journey laughing & cracking stupid jokes. Reaching the peak gave an indescribable amount of joy and satisfaction.
Trek to Kalsubai: This is the highest peak of Maharashtra at 5400ft above sea level. Just by looking at that gigantic mountain, I felt ecstatic. The peak was covered with clouds and looked like heaven. As we made our way up, we realized the beauty of this place. The view became beautiful with every step we climbed. The peak was windy & cold. I had to hold on to the railing for the fear of being blown away by strong winds (I am sure nothing like that would have happened). Trust me; it was an incredible feeling to reach the peak. The view was unbelievable.
Trek to Dudhsagar: So finally, it was the chance to fulfill my long pending dream of visiting THE DUDHSAGAR FALL. Located in Goa, the trek was scheduled for total of two days & two nights. I should say this was one of the most memorable treks of my life. Firstly, because this was the first time I was traveling both my siblings & secondly, because it had been on my list for a long time. Long journey meant more memories & fun. We boarded the train in morning and reached Goa during wee hours. The trek began at 3 in morning and walking the railway track was an experience in itself. The fall looked magnificent. A person has to be present to experience its enormity. Standing at that rail track near the fall, I soaked in as much of the view as I could & then we began descend towards the stream, where would be spending some time enjoying the icy cold water of the fall.
The return train journey was filled with memories of the fall. I was happy to tick off one moe thing from my list and it left me feeling insomniac.
Now since I have done a few treks, here are few tips for a novice trekker like me:
- Always travel with a group: Since you are trekking for the first time, always opt for a good group with a few years of experience. Also, check the difficulty & strength level required for the trek you are planning. Though, you would feel like going for the best of places, keep your stamina & health level in mind.
- Wear good shoes: By good, I do not mean good branded shoes. Invest in good, strong & light weight shoes. There are few good trekking shoes available in market. If in doubt, make sure you ask one of the leaders you are travelling with.
- Carry enough water & energy bars: This ensures that you are not dehydrated & do not feel drained or weak during the trek.
- Reaching first is not important: I know it is in our nature to compete & it gives a different kind of satisfaction & happiness to be the first one to reach the peak. But it is more important to complete the trek. Store your energy. As the age old adage goes "Slow and steady wins the race." Follow it!!
- Do not shy away from asking for help: Make sure that you ask for help when needed. That is the first reason you have opted to travel in a group, isn't it? Team work is important.
- Make memories & not FB updates: It is important that you enjoy the moment & nature. Do not get lost in clicking photos for your FB, insta update. Also be careful while clicking pics. Do not get so involved in clicking selfies that you forget about your safety. Yes, reaching the peak is the ultimate experience but enjoy your journey.
Edmund Hilary said "It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves"
With every peak I have climbed, I have learned something new & made many new friends. Each trek feels like an achievement and gives me renewed energy to conquer new heights in personal & professional life. I hope trekking gives you same amount joy and satisfaction that I feel!! Happy Trekking!!