Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Trek Matheran

NOTE: I tried uploading the snaps of the trek. But due to some technical issues with Blogger, I could not. If you want to view the album, you can click here.

Commencement of the monsoon, Mumbai heat and a small gang of friends - the perfect recipe for a trek in the hills. And what can be better than starting off with the first trek of the season with Matheran.

It might sound strange but whenever we plan out something it doesn’t always work. I have enough examples to support this claim. But don’t have enough space to mention it all.

Last week… Friday night… I took a conference call courtesy my office. Everyone was included except Rehan and Kandu. They were in the midst of their final semester engineering exams. To help them concentrate, this trip was to be kept a top secret. But Anna spilled the beans too soon.

As usual, the conference call didn’t serve much purpose. Everyone was speaking and no one was listening. In the midst of this hullabaloo, Atul suggested that we go to Matheran. For the first time, we all agreed to Atul’s decision. We have all learnt our lesson well. Every time Atul says something, it never happens. But he is like Mahesh Bhatt. He has an opinion on anything and everything.

Finally the only question on the conference was, “We are going to Matheran. Who is joining us? If anyone is coming, meet us at the Thane station at 7:00 a.m.” With this the conference ended and 4 guys were supposed to assemble early in the morning. I was in the worst possible position. My shift was supposed to end at 11:00 in the night and I would be reaching home only by 1:30. That meant that I would be getting only 4 hours of dear sleep. And a hard trek was scheduled later in the day. Quite a tough day ahead.

My alarm went off at 5:30 and within 30 minutes; I was all ready and standing at the bus stop. Tarun joined me soon. I also called up Naveen so confirm whether he is out of bed and there he was answering my call in a miffed voice. He had just woken up. But since his house is much closer to Thane, there was no reason to worry.

Just as we were waiting for the bus, it started to shower. Wow!!! We thought. This is the best weather for trekking. We were delighted. The journey to the Thane station took us around 45 minutes. And comedy of errors – Naveen came in the same train which we were supposed to catch (has performed this stunt earlier too), I and Tarun were on the over bridge when the train left and Atul the great was still standing in the queue booking tickets for us all.

I was the least amazed as all this happened. All such events occur very frequently in our group. Upon enquiring we found that the nest train to Neral was scheduled at 8:17 a.m. A huge gap of 45 minutes. I could have slept 45 minutes more. But, according to Mr. Atul, a train is supposed to leave in the direction of Neral every 20 minutes.

But, now we have learnt our lessons well. Ignore his suggestions and confirm with others. A journey of around 80 minutes and we were standing on the Neral station. Matheran stands at an altitude of around 800 meters above sea level. It was time to climb. Our journey started off on the tar road. And soon, we got adventurous and deviated from the main road to take on the tracks and the rocks. On the way, a aunty also offered a ride in her Scorpio. Caught in two minds, we politely refused.

The weather was it its best. Cloudy skies and cool breeze blowing made the nature a treat to watch. Huffing and panting, we somehow made it to the top. It took us around 3 hours to make it to the top. The best part about the climb to the top was the fun involved in climbing the rocks like the way they show in action movies. Though not that dangerous, it still is risky. A lose footing and you can find yourself on the ground with some fractured bones.

Apart from Naveen, everyone had it easy. Naveen was literally struggling in spite of his well muscled body. It seemed to us that Naveen had undertaken this trek for the sole purpose of having his portfolio done. At each and every bend, climb and curve, Naveen wanted to have his solo photo clicked. Even in a group photo, Naveen was only interested in how he looked in the snap. It seems he is slowing becoming a narcissist.

Totally exhausted after climbing the summit, we quickly refuelled our body by having a Malwani lunch at a local restaurant. This restaurant was also located 2 kilometres inside Matheran. There are lots of facts about Matheran which one does not know.

  • Matheran is the smallest hill station in the world.
  • Matheran is the cleanest hill station of India.
  • Vehicles are barred from entering inside the town.

The only medium of transport is the horse, hand pulled carts or your legs. And the name Matheran means "Forest on Top" or "Mother Forest" in Marathi.

Even though worn out, a trek to Matheran would be incomplete without visiting some of the famous points in Matheran. So, we went for the Charlotte Lake and the Lord Point. Charlotte Lake is the main source of drinking water for Matheran. And you can view the beautiful Sinhagad Fort from the Lord Point. Tarun and Atul also tried out Rappling near the Charlotte lake.

With the sun setting on the far horizon, it was getting dark in the forest. We also planned to walk all the way down without the use of any vehicle. But hardly, had we passed 2 curves, when we were offered a lift in the open MUV – Mahindra MaXX Pik-Up. It was very difficult to resist the temptation. So, we all hopped in. It was a joy ride. Open on all the sides, the view downhill was breathtaking. It took us hardly 10 minutes to get back where we started.

On the way back home, we were greeted by the first showers of the season with its comrades thunder and lightning. A local dog also got in the train much to the surprise of all the passengers. We managed to capture the event with the digital camera as well as the video recorder. But, the dog seemed least interested. He coolly sat under the seat and got down at the next station. Maybe he was a regular.

The train journey and the bus journey back home had taken a toll on my body. I can still remember those few steps from the bus stop to my home. I was walking with snails pace that even the old were staring at me. My white shirt turned brown and black shoes turned red must have been a sight to watch.

But, that’s the fun of trekking. So, all you guys and gals out there… bring out your haversacks, a good pair of shoes and some determination. Go for a trek. All the pain in our body is worth it.

15 comments:

Kusum Rohra said...

Sheesh u went for a trek?? I am so so jealous, will read this laterzz and then give you some gaalis for having so much fun :P

mysticarni said...

hmm ... i hope i get d chance 2 trek sm day ... hehe ...but i don't know when

Kusum Rohra said...

This is some freaky coincidence, first you went to Goa then I too went to Goa, now you went to Matheran, even I am going to Matheran this weekend. :)

Kusum Rohra said...

And dude tu kya soch kar white shirt pehenke gaya tha matheran, Last time we were there we all went in our worst trek suits available.

DENZIL said...

Hey...kya Freaky accident???? You seem to be follwing in my footsteps... Bahaut tarakki karogi bacchi.... :-D

And just for your information... I had been to Lonavla to capture the Lohagad fort.... 100 times better than Matheran... If possible make your trek there.... It is worth it...

And regarding my white shirt... I wanted to test my Mom's new washing powder... Jaise Bhi daag... Daag Ache hain...

CEDRIC said...

Hey Denzil, to be frank, it was good that i did not accompany u'll. After seeing the snaps, especially the one's where ull r at those steep edges of the hills, i dont think i could have made it. Anyways good to know u'll enjoyed this trip. I don't think i 'm the kind of adventurous guy. Cheers.

~!# said...

denzi is your mom sonali kulkarni

DENZIL said...

@ Cedric: No dude... Trekking is not as difficult as you think.... Its quite easy when you are in a group... Beleive me... If a guy like Naveen can try.. then you can surely do better than him... Even Atul and Tarun will agree with me...

@`!# : Do I look like Hrithik Roshan from Mission Kashmir???

Ali said...

Hey Denzi i saw ur pics...especially Longad onces ver really beautiful.......I really missed the action but hope to b there nxt time.......

DENZIL said...

Tu Sirf Raag de....
End moment tujhe koi kaam aayega... And salli bhai..its not Longad... its Lohagad

The new post on Lohagad will be up by Friday...

Anonymous said...

anil: cool trip enjoy guys......

Insidemamind said...

Lucky guy! You get to go everywhere...Sheesh!

Next time you plan on going to a new place, do not forget to send me a bus / train ticket by DHL... I will pay you when I start working! That will be approximately 7-8 years later... :p

DENZIL said...

@ anonymous anil - Thanks dude

@ insidemamind - Plan a trip??? If we plan a trip nothing happens... So from now on we have decided that decide on the spot... And regarding tickets... dont worry yaar... I know once you become a doctor... sab paise sood samet waapas loonga... hahahahha... :-D

White Forest said...

cool photos!

Ali said...

Nahi yaar Denz no Raag this time i will surely b comng with u...........
Aur itna spelling mistake to chalta hai yaaaarrrrrrrrrrr...........

Njoy