Monday, 6 July 2009

Rajmachi Trip

Went on a trip to Rajmachi on Sat and Sun. Our plan was to travel to Lonavla on Saturday morning; trek to Rajmachi; spend the evening, night and next morning there; then trek to Karjat and be back home by Sunday evening.

Met up with the guys (MD, RV and his friend S) at the Borivli ST bus depo on Sat morning. We caught a Pune bus at 8.30 A.M, getting off at the Lonavla bus stop a little over 3 hours later. Perfect weather along the way. Cool but no rain so we could leave the bus windows open.

It began raining when we reached Lonavla. Lovely rain. Continuous, not too heavy, but not light enough for photography. It would rain this way throughout our four hour walk to Rajmachi village, where we'd be staying and from where we could visit two forts and a lake. We stocked up on stuff (alcohol in their case, fudge in mine), hit the ATM's, bought vada pavs, and commenced our trek.

We began at 1.00 P.M, soon coming to Tungarli dam, and thereafter mostly walking along a flat path, passing three waterfalls on the way (with drunk behaving, loud song singing, all male groups dominating the landscape).

The path did get muddy towards the end. Really mucky. And we had company. Apart from seeing other trekking groups, we had a convoy of two dirt bikes and ten mod trucks race us by with an hour to go before we reached the village. S, who had been pretty quiet uptil this point, exploded in excitement when the bikes and trucks appeared. I was puzzled at the change in expression. I didn't get it. Sure the trucks were powerful, had giant wheels and you could hear them from a kilometer away; but was was so special about that? It's not like they could fly or anything. Maybe you've got to be a motor enthusiast to get it.

The convoy almost came up to the village but got stuck on a muddy slope a few minutes away. It was our turn to race them then, walking tentatively up the muddy slope ourselves.

It was 5.00 P.M when we arrived. Rajmachi village is pretty small. Just a few scattered houses, and most owners provide cheap lodging and food. We met up with two of RV's friends who had already arrived there earlier and found a house to stay at, and we were happy to join them, noticing that we weren't the only occupants. There were at least ten other guys planning to spend the night there. We changed into dry clothes. I washed my socks and shoes, trying to get all the mud out. It was still raining at that point and I wasn't too confident about my wet socks, shoes and T-shirt drying overnight.

We sat around relaxing, watching it get dark. One of RV's friends HG, is a professional photographer, who just visited Gangotri, and he showed us all kinds of tricks that could be done on a Powershot. We snacked, drank a little, talked some more, played with a dog, waited for it to get dark. A couple of other guys showed up later to spend the night there. One is a budding pro photographer who's been to the North, and we all swapped travel stories.

Dinner was a spicy affair. Two really spicy subjis, dal, rice and rotis. Really delicious nose running stuff. We chilled a bit and went to bed soon after. Joked around a lot and got a few bites during the night.

I was the last one to wake the next morning. Immediately had one of MD's ham sandwiches for breakfast. Walked to the lake. It's about ten minutes from the village. Relaxed there till noon and headed back. The others had brunch. I had cake. We packed and began our trek to Karjat at 1.30.

This started off well, a walk through greenery. It hadn't rained throughout the day and yet it was cool, even in the middle of the afternoon. Then we came to the edge of a cliff, and had to descend. The path was narrow and muddy, which meant slippery, which meant crouching and descending at some parts, and sliding down on our butts at others.

This was tiring and sweaty, though we were still happy that it wasn't raining. The rain would have made things trickier. The slope leveled off around five or six times and we took those opportunities to rest. It was three and a half hours before we finally made it all the way down to the lovely village of Kondivide and its sprawling farms, from where we took a rick to Karjat station.

It was 5.40 and we had a half hour till the next train to Dadar. We (actually 'they' since I couldn't care less either way) decided to hit a bar in the meantime. They had beers. I had some leftover rum. 6.15 came and went and we decided to stay on till the next train at 7.30. They had more beers. I had a vodka and mango juice. Had to visit a dozen shops to get juice. Flashed it in RV's face (he couldn't find juice for me earlier).

We met a blind guy at the bar who seemed interested in joining us on our next trek. We told him we'd try to arrange something.

The trip from Karjat to Dadar was long. We were all sleepy. It was raining when we reached Dadar. Took a train to Borivali at 9.30. The others got off at their respective stops. Reached home at 10.30.

In absolute pain today. Muscles and joints ache. Standing up and sitting down takes real effort. Any movement causes pain. I can't walk down stairs. My body has ached after treks before but not like this, it's never been this severe. I feel like an old man, yet strangely alive. Also noticed a lot of bites on my legs. They itch like hell.



Tukaram said...

I am glad that you visited Fort Rajmachi. I hope you enjoyed the trek. However, please try to enjoy beauty of the nature without alcohole. Fort Rajmachi is an important historical fort. It is a symbol of the great deeds of our encestors. Please do not drink at such places.
For more information about Fort Rajmachi please read the blog at
Thanks and all the best.

Daniel said...

Thanks Tukaram, much appreciated.

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