With the heat waves blowing around, I had lost my courage to travel since last few days. But as it is said that, " there is no antidote for travel bite"😉. So the plan for the night trek to " DUKE'S NOSE" was made by the omkar and other "SG TREKKERS" members. Another thing that added curiosity to our trek was that we had planned camping at the summit.
And the hardest part of the travel ends when you decide to go 🤗..... So we, the group of 8, met at the shivaji nagar railway station at around 5:30pm on 1st of April. I knew Omkar and Rahul beforehand. So I was meeting five new people and so five new friends: Prakash, Giriraj, Savita madam, Rohini and Kavita. It was pleasure meeting them all already. We took local for Lonavala at 6:10 pm.
Heavy rush and chitchat contracted time for us and we reached lonavala station at around 7:20 pm. We ate some snacks and headed to khandala village by local Jeep and reached Khandala by 9:30 pm. Dogs around welcomed us barking loudly. Dark night made us brace ourselves and so we began carefully in a row with the help of artificial lights.
As time passed, we were becoming familiar with each other and conversation begun meanwhile. Singing old melody songs and gazing at the crescent of the moon were really the best moments during tracing the path. Tracing of path in the forest is a real challenge during night treks and we did experience it as we were tricked by the route in the middle. " But getting lost is the part of adventure"😉 and we managed to find ourselves on the right track without any panic.
Bedewed and exhausted, we reached the summit around 12:30 AM. Everyone was looking quiet and tired, but only until we reached to another corner of summit, from where we got to see the mesh of lighting of the villages and town spread and seemed to be endless to the eyes. The " Pune - Mumbai" highway carrying endless row of vehicles moving on it which looked like the army of ants stepping forward.
We were dazzled.. still quiet.. but curious... For that moment, I realized how tiny I am.. how tiny we are... May be that's one of the reasons why I climb mountains..😊
We ate some snacks again and thanks to Rahul and Giriraj for bringing a lot of ready to eat snacks..😀 We decided our camping site and pitched four tents, most exciting part of camping.. "People stay at 5 star hotel, but this 5 billion star room is my favourite place to stay"😍 well, I captured it on the following morning, but it's 100% 5 billion star room at the night... 😋
After pitching tents, we did bonfire and shared our views about the journey. I recited few my poems and it seemed that everyone loved it.😬 Savita madam appreciated me the most and I too appreciate her.... I haven't seen anyone as enthusiast as she is at the age of 50.. She is a regular trekker and she does it well... It helped me generate hope within me that I could continue trekking for a long and age isn't a real issue... She is also a polite and friendly natured...
Our gossips continued late in the midnight. At around 3 AM we accommodated ourselves in the tents waiting for the dawn to see the new sunrise.
Cold breeze ran down to my toes as it was turning into dawn... Like winter has came already.. 😅 It was 5:30 AM and I awoken and came out of the tent following Rahul. It was quiet and peaceful.. All I needed was there in that moment... It was still dark and perfect time for the nature call..😉.. As time passed everyone came out with a urge to witness the beautiful sunrise.... I bet that there is no place in the world other than the mountains, where the beauty of the sunrise is so much adorable... Well, atleast from my point of view.😋
We all sat facing to the red side of the sky, looking at how we are being transformed from moment to moment... With the glimpse of sunrise, we captured it in our eyes first and then in our cameras... Of course... Memories needs to be collected....
By the time, we all had become good friends and I was happy at the moment.... Thinking about nothing... But still immersed in unknown thoughts... Giriraj and Prakash were quiet for most of the times but it was their way of expressing... And I believe we all expressed ourselves very well.... One thing that clicked my mind after looking and knowing Rohini and Kavita that,
" not all girls are made of sugar and spice and everything nice.. some girls are made of adventure and wine and all things fine.." - said someone... I know it now... Though wine has nothing to do with... But everything else was relevant..🙂 It was nice to meet them.
As sun became brighter, the view was getting spectacular.....
Another intresting thing, that the name of the mountain, "DUKE'S NOSE" is because it looks like the shape of nose and we got to see it's shape under it's own shadow.. That was quite interesting to look at...
Everything was just fine and we were in the peace, thankful to the mountains to make us feel alive but then time to pack up popped up.. For one moment, I thought about the idea of freezing the time and never returning back to the messed world... But then something reminded me of my home... My home lays in the same mess... And we all have to move through the mess... We all have to move on...
A quote of Josh Gates pulled me out of my haziness saying: " Travel does not exist without home.... If we never return to the place we started, we would just be wandering, lost.. A home is a reflecting surface, a place to measure our growth and enrich us after being infused with the outside world." 🙂. We start our descend at around 9:45 AM and reached to the base in kurvande village from where we continued our walk till the lonavala station..After having a pleasant lunch at one of the hotels, we boarded the pune local and the good time came to the halt but the memories will last forever for sure...... ☺