When the passion is in your blood, nobody ever can resist it. It had been the case with me, after a very long(only few months seem to be so long) break due to backinjury, I couldn’t resist myself going out in the nature.
Forming a trek group was never a problem with me, I have a lot of people who are ready to trek with me, this time it was one of my first year hotel wingmates, Harpeet (sardy) and Rahul (balli). Peb, as found in the literature(?) is one of the easiest for a beginner and good to start with after an injury. Peb had been used as a watchpoint in times of Shivaji.
It’s the only time we IITians have the chance of getting up early 😉 Started from IIT at about 4 in the morning, got train to Karjat and alighted at Nerul at about 0730. Refilled our batteries, some vadapav and tea did the charging. With map of the route available on our own treKshitiz (trekshitiz.com) site, we proceeded towards Peb. Initial walk was through lush green paddy fields. Within no time we reached the base of a hill. Climbing this hill we reached a plateau. From here the surrounding looked altogether different, everything was green. There were shades of green everywhere. About few minutes of walk on the plateau through bushes, we reached a small stream. We started climbing up this stream. This was the most fascinating. It was raining ever since we started our trek. But now it was raining hard. We were totally drenched. Fog covered us, not even few feet away could be seen. After the steep climb through the stream, we reached the col joining Peb and Nakhind. Turning left, we walked along the ridge. It was the first time we were feeling the horizontal rain, wind blowing very hard along with rain. There is a small rock patch in between. Climbing it was easy. Further away was cave at the base of the fort. Reaching at the cave we were greeted by the pujari, who had been doing upasana there since a year. He gave us hot tea which was very refreshing. Inside the cave we felt warm, we were totally wet, and with chilling wind blowing we were almost shivering. Decided to spend some time here, meanwhile had our lunch of vadapav which we had packed from Neral.,
Within few time, intensity of rain decreased, fog was disappearing, than the nature removed her cover. It was really awesome sight, whole valley could be seen, jungle below looked quite dense. At distance we could see the lake. No words could match that. Regretted the first time that we hadn’t brought cameras.
A small nap in the cave, we set out for Matheran. From peb one can traverse to Matheran, about 2-3 hours walk from here. In the way we saw a small cave which the pujari told is used for meditation. With torch we crawled inside the small opening of the cave. Was a nice adventure, a small passage in the heart of mountain!!!
Expecting something unexpected is must for all trekkers. We would have never guessed how fascinating, thrilling the route to Matheran will be. With rain started again, we were back in action. This time the route was quite straight through long grass, but quite narrow. And all the time we had to walk with valley on our right side and rock mass on the left. Taking cautious steps on slippery rock, finding our way hidden between grass we proceeded. We stayed together to avoid being lost in the fog. Sometimes we had to walk through the waterfall. I can just find words describing it. After about one and half hours we reached a place where we found ourselves at dead end. The route through grasses seemed to be vanished and we found ourselves at base of some 6meter high rock face. Was that the same rockwall we had read in literature? We had no option but to climb it. We helped ourselves climbing the rock, avoiding being slipped on the slippery rock and so we were too cautious. Finally we made it!!
From here we proceeded further. It had been a long time since we had started. We were feeling nervous. Had we missed Matheran. Where were we proceeding? Nobody had the answer. Again at a point we reached a point where the path seemed to have end. Spread out in directions to find a way. I started climbing up the hill cautiously, the grass were not deeply routed and soil was slippery. OOLALA it was the Matheran mini railway line track. At last we found that we were not lost. After that we walked about 2 kms on the mini track and found ourselves in Matheran.
We were caught by Municipal officials who were forcing to pay the municipal toll. We told we had no money, and tried to get away by telling we will talk in the office. And without wasting time we headed towards the taxistand and got out the reach of the person. But this left us no time to roam at Matheran. We headed towards Neral via road, and took all shortcuts we found. We couldn’t stop ourselves from having new adventures. In this I got bitten by a Leech. And it was far late when I realized this. Blood flowing, as if was not in mood to stop. We were feeling hungry, so stopped at tea shop. Had some tea and biscuits. Applied some chunna to the leech wound, bleeding stopped after some time. Suddenly when we knew time, we realized that we were going to miss train from Neral, then we had to wait for about hour for the next train. So we got rickshaw and came to Neral. Thus was an early end to the trek story. We were back to the busy material world. Within two hours we reached our lovely little bed in hostel!!!
Refreshing, thrilling, simply great trek!! Enjoyed the nature which was at its best in this season, drenched ourselves with rains of adventure. Was a really nice experience!!
So in the end only this matters, WHAT ELSE MATTERS!!!!