Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Hiking in the hills

Sundays are normally associated with lazying around,  catching up on sleep or lounging around like a couch potato for many. However being a marathon runner and a fitness freak, being up at the break of dawn had become a part of my lifestyle. This weekend was no different except that instead of running, we were planning to hike amidst nature. We set off with a few friends to catch the Mumbai local train to Nerul from where it was a 4 hour trek up to the forest of Matheran.

It was a 2 hour train journey spent in animated chatter and munching on our breakfast. We soon reached Nerul which was a bit under the weather with dark clouds looming above. It was a perfect weather for a hike. A few droplets of rain greeted us as we walked through the village. We soon reached the vast carpet of green land which was to be our pathway up the hills. 

Nature appeared to be even more beautiful in the rains. Everything seemed to be sparkling in the radiance of the monsoons. It was a pleasant change from the crowded streets and traffic packed roads in Mumbai, where a speck of green was a rare sight. It was getaways like these which made us connect to the flora world. As we climbed up, we ran into a bunch of the village folk who were working on their fields. After exchanging a cheerful wave and grin, we clambered up a rather steep slope of rocky stones. Bushes and shrubs adorned these gigantic structures giving it a wild look. We could hear the gentle chirping of birds. We did a brief halt at a plateau like area for some photographs. The mist in the air and varied shades of green made it a mesmerizing sight. 

We continued our quest. 4 hours seemed to fly as we were taking in the enchanting beauty of the woods around us. We felt like being caste under the spell of these magical trees and bushes. The waterfalls gushed down generously, with the heavy rains adding fuel to the fire. We soon entered the forest of Matheran. Beyond a point, vehicles were not allowed for tourists. They had the option of going on foot or on horseback. 

We walked into the bazaar to grab a quick bite of lunch. Our fatigue and hunger made us look forward to a welcoming hot meal. Seating ourselves in a Dhabba, we were presented with piping hot rotis and steamed vegetables. It was an enjoyable lunch with a light discussion on food and listening to the sound of rain outside. 

We walked around for a bit exploring this scenic hill station which was popular among millions. Families had come to relieve themselves from the constant stress of the city life. Children were basking in the glory of the fat rain drops. It was soon time to leave to get back home to catch the Wimbledon finals. We walked back to the taxi stand where we took a cab back to the station. We managed to catch the 4:30 pm train back home.

The journey back home was interesting as we managed to strike conversations with strangers. I couldn't remember the last time I traveled via the Mumbai local. Overall it proved to be a wonderful Sunday. We were famished, tired and dirty by the time we reached home, but nevertheless in high spirits.

Hiking in the hills was therapeutic, rejuvenating and exhilarating.  Good company, weather and food mafe it even more enjoyable. It is only a matter of time before the woods beckon again.


Blogger R.Ramakrishnan said...

Yes indeed these trips are: "therapeutic, rejuvenating and exhilarating." A great and enjoyable trek supported by a wonderful narration and a splendid picture. Unless you pull up your socks and get out once in a way you never know what you are missing - you sort of drown under the daily mechanical routine humdrum of life.

5:55 AM  
Blogger KParthasarathi said...

A fabulous tryst with nature in its virgin and verdant beauty.Was it not tiresome to walk 4 hours and do the hiking.I think such exploiuts are only foor fitness freaks and healthy people like you.
The narrationas usual was its best
Thank you

8:35 AM  
Blogger Whirlwind said...

@Rama: Yes indeed, one doesn't know what he/she is missing until they venture out in the open to explore nature.

@KP: Yes its a good way to stay fit and also escape from the hassles of city life.

10:52 PM  

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