Trek to Gorakhgad
Gorakhgad is a small hill fort in the Malsejh area, and has a very distinct pinaccle. There was a private bus organised for this particular trek, and we started from Mumbai at twelve in the night. We reached the base village of Dehri at three thirty in the morning, and started climbing at four itself. Against better judgement, I had not taken along my torch. My reasons for doing this were many. On previous treks that I had gone to, either the sun had risen by the time the climb started, or the moon and star light was enough to walk. This was the first true night trekking expirience for me, mostly because of a lack of any kind of light, and because the climbing started almost immideately from the base village.
The first half of the trek was a more or less mad stumble over the rocks, trying to avoid the plants, and got bumped around a bit. Eventually, my eyes got used to what little light there was. One dangerous thing was climbing onto rocks thinking that they were steps to the levels above, when they were actually rocks on the side of the trail. So the next step, might actually take you back to the ground, and you might end up injuring your chin or something.
Anyway, the lack of lights allowed a few of us to spot glow worms - strange creatures that give out a neon green glow on their own. Tried taking photos, but I hadn't taken my cam along as it was raining heavily when we had set out. Still, I had my mobile camera, which was good once the sun rose. By around five in the morning, it was light enough to see the path clearly, and we kept walking. It is a short trek, but pretty steep. There were caves at the top, where a bunch of us promptly went to sleep. By the time we woke up, had a few biscuits and a smoke, the rest of the group had gone up the pinnacle and come back down. This is the pinnacle opposite to where we were sleeping.
This is the pinnacle from the base. The climb is a little tough, but there are crude steps in the stone.
A temple a little out of the way. Looks like two horsewomen fighting. Donno what that is.
Midway to the top of the pinnacle.
Near the caves.
The clouds kept hiding and revealing the pinnacle.
This was the descent. Which started pretty early, at around ten. We had a quick breakfast just at the base of the pinnacle. Potluck, as usual.
And two hours later, we were back at the base, Dehri. Noon is around the time that we reach our destination on most other treks. This was a particularly disciplined group of relatively expirienced individuals, so it was a fun trek. Chai and biscuits at the base. Then we just roamed around Malsej ghat for a bit.
One of the fallen milestones. Something must have rammed into it. We tried setting it right, but it was heavy, and the mud had acted like a glue, sticking the stone to the ground. Not all of them were drunk, and not all of them needed protection. There was this cool lady in a wheelchair. Also, smart monekys on the road who gobbled up anything they were fed.
Bunch of bikers. Trekkers usually spot them on many locations. If there is a small group, we sometimes get lifts over a stretch where transportation is not available.
A random feature that we spotted on the road. Some of us got down and headed over to this place. There was a waterfall nearby, with loads of drunk people getting wet. No pics to protect the privacy of anonymous people.
Then we headed out to this resort called the Falmingo resort. Maharashtra Tourism place. Great place to stay in Malsej, and has a bunch of booklets on things to visit in nearby areas. Also, very educative boards on the wildlife, snakes, insects, plants, endagered species etc, in the Sahiyadiris.
Some random pipe I spotted on the road while hiding away for a piss.
Centipedes, not earthworms. Came home by nine. Well organised and managed trek. In the evening, we went to the road that lead to Harishchandragad, and played stepping stones at the dam. Some of us had been to the same place over consecutive weekends (been to Harishchandragad). It was tempting to climb up and come down. One of the few treks where we actually went home refreshed instead of being all worn out and tired.