One such plan was the Trek to Rajgad last Saturday. Originally, the plan was to go to Purander Fort, but generally I suggested a plan 'B'.... To pull out some bikes and go hiking to RAJGAD.... Sounded awesome while chatting over the Microsoft Communicator, but where to get the bikes from??? (Most of the ppl in my office are from out of Maharashtra, so don't have vehicles..) Albeit, as the cliche goes, "Will hai to Way hai".. 4 bikes and 7 adventurous trekkers were all set to hit the road...
I can't say it was the most perfect day for a trek, nonetheless it was a pleasent day... The ride from Swargate to Rajgad was way too awesome... Clear road, fast bikes and singin (read shouting) songs.. Had not so good breakfast at "Joshi wadewalas", somehow I always thought Joshi's are not to be trusted :P After almost an hour of racing our bikes on the highway first and then the country roads we reached the pyatha of the huge fort, RAJGAD, the center of all activities for Shivaji Maharaj till he conquered Raigad. There is a small village there and a school. Kids were playing cricket after classes and I jumped in to hit a few sixes (could barely hit a ball though) :( Started the trek towards the top when we couldn't even see the top. The way was beautiful (the least that could be said) with various shades of green and varied insects. Clicking photos, pulling each others legs and admiring the beauty of the nature we were trying to conquer what stood like a un-conquerable mountain. As it wasn't raining, the heat was trying to put our morals down, but we were to settle for nothing less than the apex. Took a lot of breaks in between under the pretext of clicking photos and drinking water but the actual reason was to REST. The mountain was HUGE man !! After hihing for 3 long hours we reached the TOP :D
Water is the most refreshing entity, the whole fatigue was gone in a matter of seconds and we were at a loss of words to admire the abndunt beauty of nature. But alas, happiness is ephemeral... We were hungry, no ravenous and there was hardly any food left :( Not much of water either :( and to top it all Shrikant was insisting on going higher and having a look at BALE KILLA, which was few 100 feets higher and seemed like a much more difficult rather a deadly terrain... No food, no water (we drank the green water from the ponds... Don worry I'm still fine) don't know what gave us the energy to go higher (Guess, it was the shear magic of that place). But while climbing I started to curse my decision, we had to climb almost vertical rocks with the help of what looked to me very loose iron supports.
Like always, I spoke too soon... The view when we finally reached the top was mesmerizing... It was stupendous, mind-blowing and heavnly…
We all sat at the entrance of the Balle Killa, looking dumbstruck at the view. The cool breeze made me forget all about the heat, in fact started feeling chilly after a while… Sat in peace there, marveling. It made me put behind all the worries and filled a lot of positivity inside. I could not help but feel like I conquered the mighty Mountain. After every trek it somewhere makes me a more confident person ready to take-on whatever comes by, cos finally I know, I will be mesmerized by what I get in return of those tribulations.
Then began a session of singing (No, I didn’t) and life couldn’t get better. Naren and Shrikant decided to explore more, I was happy with what I had already discovered. Duddu and Nithin sang melodiously. After trying to absorb as much as we could, began the back journey.
The never ending journey also ended and we were at the bottom yet again. Had refreshing tea and kokam sherbet from a local ‘mama’ who had amazing marketing skills, could give Michele Porter a run for his money :P. We also came to know had we ordered, we could get the lunch delivered upstairs (next time). The ride back home was in full speed… Duddu n I (yes ME) sang all John Denver songs and other favorites and reached home.
This was one hell of an eventful day… Had fun to the fullest and all at just 150 Bucks, including petrol breakfast (no lunch) :D So, more reasons to rejoice. Body ached a lil, but nothing in front of the amazing time the experience and memories…. Few feelings better left unsaid !!!!