My ebook: Journeys with the caterpillar

My ebook
Journeys with the caterpillar: Travelling through the islands of Flores
and Sumba, Indonesia
" is available at
this link

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Trekking over the weekend

I went trekking last weekend in Khandala along with three other colleagues. Since all of us had already done the touristy things of going to Bushi Dam and the Lohagarh fort in our previous trips to Khandala, this time we decided to climb a hill where there was no trek route - and there was one right behind our hotel. Most of the hill was covered by dense grass while somewhere midway lay a section of 10-20 meters of dense shrubs and trees. The total climb was probably of 100 meters. It was early morning and there was light rain. The climb through the grassy section was easy. We came across a few snake pits on the way. And then we encountered the forest part. It was very similar to what one can see in Hollywood movies like Anaconda and Jurassic Park. We had to push our way through thorny trees in near total darkness, knowing little of what lay around us. One of us slit his trousers all the way after getting stuck in a thorny bush. Once out of this section it was grassy all the way to the top till the last 10 meters, where it became steep and rocky- no way to go ahead.

The descent as always was the most difficult. The grass suddenly felt so slippery and with nothing to hold on to, we slipped many times - though without much harm. I saw a black rat like animal run by- may be it was the head of a snake. While it felt OK to enter the forest section while climbing, we all suddenly felt hesitant to enter it now. We scanned the whole hill if there was any other way out but there was none. So eventually we decided to enter through the section where it might have been the narrowest. The soil was loose and we slid while holding on to plants on several occasions. After about ten minutes of toil, we saw light and the grassy section began again. The descent from thereon became very smooth. Once back at our base, it felt great. I wondered if it would have been nice to have seen a snake for sure.

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