“You are not feeling well, you can’t go tomorrow”- my parents were insisting on me canceling the trek plan. I had canceled the Prev trek to “Peth” due to some unavoidable reason. Not this time.
We had decided to meet at Dadar Stn @ 6:30 in the morning. I left home @ 5:20, but still could reach only by 7:00! . But Mandy was still late, so I was not in the line of fire! . We got a local to Kalyan. Sanchi n Mukesh joined us @ Thane. Stations went by one after the other, as we were busy chating, discussing. The topic of discussion was as usual, NDS! The days spent there, current state etc. Everybody is bound to get Nostalgic. After all NDS is the place where we came together as a group. We can spend days, without getting bored; discussing the time we spent @ NDS. But no discussion amongst this group can ever be termed as complete unless we abuse this one guy, we hate so much! The one and only, Kaka! @#$%&! (Cant get more specific on a public forum). Finally we reached Neral @ 10:00.
We took taxi to the dasturi point. This was the actual start to what turned out to be one of the most adventures and successful trek by Team NDS so far! Unlike our previous outings, there was not much of climbing in this trek. we were at higher altitude and were supposed to descend down the fort to Neral. The route through the dense forest was awesome, there were trees which had fallen on the rails, but then there was light at the end of the tunnel.
There is a small gate on the left side after walking for around half hour along the rails. This is where we leave the rail route and start walking on mountain edge. The mountain slope was lush green and the breeze was spreading the typical fragrance of wet soil! Mukesh as usual was leading our way. We had to cross a couple of ladders. The meeting point of the Matheran hill was amazing. When viewed from some distance it appeared like a “V” like structure. A ridge of around 100 meters connects these two mountains. Crossing this ridge was a thrilling experience, with wind blowing, and having deep valley on either sides.
There were a couple of ladders more which we had to climb before we reached the fort. The fort as such is not much maintained. There are few walls here n there. There is this Bastion facing Matheran which is in reasonably good shape. Despite the heavy fog, view from the bastion was breathtaking! There is one ashram on the fort, the volunteers over here do the basic maintainence. As we went further up to the pinnacle, it was getting difficult to even stand still without holding onto anything. The Pinnacle i.e. the highest point of peb, gives you a 360 degree view of the fort and its surrounding area.
The journey back from the fort was even more exciting. We were not sure how the route will be. I had pain in my knees, which was getting severe. Some trekkers whom we met on our way back told us about a ladder and a rope using which we had to descend. This kinda made us rethink on our return journey! But then we decided to carry on. While climbing down the ladder was an experience which could give any amusement park a run for its money. Heavy rain, blowing wind, shaking ladder and water splashing on your face from below. It was too good. A few minutes later we came to the point where we had to descend taking support of a rope. It was definitely not as tough as it was made out to be. But that should not take away credit from Mukya, Mandy and Deva! These guys were the first one to descend and made sure everybody amongst us could get through safely. The descend through the forest can be best resembled with a Hollywood movie scene shot in dense Amazon forest. With severe pain in knees, Making your own path, through waterfalls, bushes. Avoiding the shrubs. Taking support of the weeds. Balancing ur weight on mud, loose rocks and tree branches. It was simply Aamazzinggg…..
Participants: Steve, Vishal, Sidd, Sanchi, Mandy, Dev, Sneha, Mukya, Iqbal, Wilson & Yogi!