My Realm

Meet me - know me - read my posts and try to figure me! Well I am someone who is always thirsty for adventure, someone who simply hates playing sheep(u know the types - follow the herd!). An enthusiastic trekker, who loves to travel and ever ready for one of those wierd new found sports- luv to make new friends and njoy being my family's pet :)!

Monday, August 21, 2006

No Madhu but MakrandGad

Its been quiet a while since I really trekked as in TREK! Shash had already started the new monsoon season for VxTreks. Madhu-MakrandGad was next on the hitlist! This is one trek I wanted to do, since I had heard so much about this from many friends. The mails floated around, and finalised 6 of us for the trek!
Saturday (19th Aug) morning at roughly 6:30 am all of us (Shash/Anpy/Amty/Nike/Vipin and myself) departed from MayFair, enroute Mandy called in so we picked him up at Padmavati and off went the seven of us into the dark clouds via Katraj Ghat, leaving the city dry behind.

The breakfast had its routiene halt at Natraj, idlis wadas uttapas upit tea and coffee is how the menu looked. Soon we departed from here and we hit the highway. Taking a turn at the Wai phata we left the hightway behind and entered the wet country roard as it twisted through green medows lined with trees on either side.

Soon we entered the first ghat section, enroute Mahableshwar. Boy was the driver on steroids every twist and turn put some sleep others had heavy heads and me ented up with a lousy stomach :(. Well whatever we went on through Panchgani then Mahableshwar and finally through another wierd twisty twiny ghat. Fianlly we took a left at the end of this ghat as we started twist-ascending :) another hill. Finally post some enquiries, and dirty track driving we arrived at out destination -Hatlot village.

There was no sign of MakrandGad from here, but the pros knew the track and the villagers helped us get on the right one. So on we hiked up a set of steps then went over an iron bridge and finally hiked through beautiful green fields. From here we the terrain kep climbing up as we got up one step field next to a bufallow and into the jungle.

From here, the path was all covered with mud and and red soild mix types, thus making it pretty slippery. If this was not enough , the inclination of the climb too was pretty steep. Well I decided to keep a brisk pace initially, but realized it was too steep for the speed I took, and that got me tired. Eventually the path went through a thing jungle with a graduall path. Finally again after a few steep inclinations, we came up to an opening.

Here we had to walk along a green medow atop the plateau, and finally we came upto this house like structure. Basically we had arrived on the backside of Ghonaspur village (according to Amty and Mandy). The house structure basically was the village temple on its outskits. Inside, there was this hge quadrangle with some strtuctures here and there.

We met a local, who said that it made no sense attepting Madhu peak, as it would not offer any views(accroding to him one ca see the coast of Ratnagiri from here! .. wOWOW!). Also he said that going to the water cistern -which basically was a steep descent from the top- was pretty risky and left it upto us. So what he seemed to say is "why the hell are u guyz here at this time" :)). But he was a sweet inqusitive old-man. Finally we bid our farewell, as we made our was from temple to the top of the fort.

The climb again was pretty steep, and went along a thing trail. It twisted and twined to teh top of a little hunch. From here we could see we had gained some height. Then goin on to the right up we could see the first fort wall, everyone though thats where we are supposed to go! So snapped some patel shots before embarking on the climb.

The climb was gradual, as we skirted along the right side of the fort wall and then tok a steep left upwards, just to realize we had to climb some more (over another hunch with simillar morphology). So on we walked, in a simillar totpography and once up we had a graduall ascent and a finally steep step to teh top.

Anpy was up there next to a carved stone, greeting us tail-enders.Top the hunch was not that huge , straigh ahead was this temple. We ran stright to it. Got rid of our shoes and sat on the wet floor. Out came the tiffins and we relished on chappatis, bhajjis, rice and eggs! Wow was it a mouthfull, amazing food after a loong break!

Well after some rest, we planned on attmpting the water cistern and Madhu peak. The path went from behing the temple and to the right. Shash and Anpy were amongst the first ones to go down the steep descent, but just return with bad news that it was too steep and too far.

So we decided on attempting Madhu peak. The walk to the peak was throgh some thick growth on the backside of the temple, then when hump ended and thare was these little ups and downs over the top extremely narrow (just say over 40 cms wide at places) ridge opping off 100s of feet on either side. Anpy led the way, but we decided to stop just before the Madhu hump(we presume it was that), since the path was geting extremely slippery and way too dangerous. So we took a few deep breaths before heading back to the temple.

At the temple we picked our sacks, and did some TP exploration atop before geting down the narrow steep slippery path to Ghonaspur. Enroute we met a villager who directed us the path, very slow and cautious steps (and a couple of really close calls for me) got us to the village down below.

By now the clouds gave some clearence, so we could visualize the Makarand part of the fort.:). The walk continued along the plain, alomg side the gren field and little streams. We met a villager enroute, who as the other few we met earlier (some I did not mention) was surprised at the fact that we were climbing without raincoats in such weather :).

Soon as the walk continued the jungle came in, by now Nike raced off much ahead. For some reason the descent seemed pretty ok for me. Eventually Shash too sped off and I was left trailing alone. Soon enough Anup was fast behind me, but decided to wait for the others to catch up as I head for the clearing down after the jungle.

The descent was triky at times, especialy at the steep points. But everyone went through with no hiches. The sumo could be spotted in a distace parked at the village. As I was crosing the iron bridge I noticed Nike and Shash changing to fresh clotes by the river. That when I wanted to have a bath in the chill waters. Soon tooka bath and changed to clean and dry clothes. Everyone teamed in and got fresh, some changd to better clothes.

Back in the Sumo the drive retraced its path via the various Ghats to the Ghat full of wateralls (This time I took the front seat -thanks Nike). At this Ghat we took a little haly near a waterfall to have some roasted corn and hot tea. The views of the aterfalls were amazing, and in the distance we could spot PratapGad. People were dancing all over the waterfall and making a fool of themselves as were munched on corn and enjoyed their shown over a hot cup of tea.

From here the drive continued on, and we took a halt at Mahableshwar at Mapro Garden. Here we had some of the best grilled sandwiches, and amazing ice-cream and coffee. Everyone purchces their bulk of Mapro products (jams, surups, juices sweets etc. etc.).

Furthur on the drive continued throuugh the Ghats, we took a halt enroute to capture some picterisque moments, and play a round of musical chairs as people on the were geting a churning stomach. The driver only knew the road and the wheel, he did not carefor the potholes or the passengers in the car, what was more a prank caller managed to get him off his nerve and drive at neck-breaking speeds.

For most o the drive I dozed of, so did the others I presume. All of this was broken as we neared Pune, via Katraj Ghat to Mayfair as the potholes managed to lay the welcome carpet for the city of Pune. :)

It was about 8:30pm when we were back at MayFair, and bid our goodbyes!

Enjoy the snaps



Blogger BuD said...

Dude, great pictures !! Btw hey you need a haircut man :-)

8:11 PM  
Blogger vindy said...

hahaha I sure do!

9:26 PM  
Anonymous Sandhya said...

hey Vinod..great pictures :-) Sandhya papa

4:02 PM  

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