Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Trek to Kondana caves, Karjat

Feels good to be back, after a REALLY long time.

To start off :- A short description of an even shorter trek.

Over the past weekend, a couple of friends and me had planned to trek (from Karjat side) upto Rajmachi (nice images from DeepAbhi).
We couldn't make it all the way due to  health issues with a friend. And honestly I dont think even the remaining 2 of us would have managed. (Out of shape, stupid "slowing down of metabolism" nonsense). Nevertheless, the trek to Kondhana caves itself was quite pleasant and gave us satisfaction of atleast stepped out of the city. Trek itself is not arduous, though heat could be a problem later in the day. A family, including a youngish (45-ish?) ajji (granny) in chappal and saree, had also climbed up later, which was a bit dissing considering the sense of achievement we felt till that point.

A few basic points of advice (of which we screwed up first 2, but fortunately followed 3rd): 
1. Confirm how much water each of you are carrying.  
2. Have breakfast and a good night sleep before attempting treks in summer. 
3. Ask for a guide a local lad to guide you up the mountain. Our dude was called Yashwant, whose dog also decided to come along to laugh at overwieght city slickers dragging themselves up a mountain. 

The cave is quite impressive at first sight,  though after spending some time you can make out it hasn't been maintained properly.  The peace and tranquility is definitely a big plus (the big honey-comb on top isnt :) ). 

The brief itenary was:
4:15 am - Pune - Karjat. Took Latur - CST Express to Karjat. From Vashi a friend drove down to Karjat.
6:00 am - Reach Karjat, drive to Kondivade Village (approx 10 Km) Road is bit rough towards last 2 Km.
7:15 am - Park car. (Request one of the village folks for this). Get guide.Start climb to caves, Finally!
8:30 am - Reach Kondhana caves after 2 halts of 10 mins each, including 1 for breakfast.

After this the time started dragging a bit, major highlight were yours truly cooking pulao type rice, after getting a very rustic chulha going. not great, shouldve cooked a bit more, but when you're hungry, anything goes. Plus by a friend got headchae which was progressively getting worse. I refuse to believe this was due to half-cooked rice and would rather blame his out-of-shapeness.
By this time we had run out of water too. (Yashwant was going to replinish our stock, but that was only at 3:00, when we planned to climb to Rajmachi). Didnt have a choice but to head back, guided by Yashwants doggie. Yes, it was that cool.
We reached Kondivade by 1:30, drank loads of water, cooled down then headed to Vashi.

Had lunch at Pot Pourri, Vashi. Nice. Great food, ( after trekking and the half cooked rice on the mountain, tasted even better) good service.

By evening, headed back to Pune by Asiad, (following IPL lead, this journey was brought to you by ST). For the fare, very good service.

All in all a good 1 day break. With the added challenge of the sequel pending. Rajmachi. - Planned for either June or July.

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