Saturday, 28 September 2013

How it all began

I had spent a few days searching for an adventure trip around Pune, but could not find anything that was easy to book or just go with. Also there was no way to differentiate between the good and bad adventure companies.

On Friday evening over coffee while I was discussing the same problem with my friend Avinash he got a call from his friend Ratnakar saying 2 persons from the trek tomorrow has cancelled, do you wish to join?

He asked me and I immediately said yes! That's it! I had finally succeeded in finding an adventure for myself :)

We messaged him our email & phone numbers and were just talking about what all to carry tomorrow morning and stuff, and how important it was to get a good sleep to get up early, which means go home now. No TGIF :(

I went home to find shocking news in the email about the trek: 

  • This is a 27km trek with no EXIT points. 
  • Also, speed is of essence to cover the distance before the day light is over. 
  • There are no eateries or tea/coffee taparis/thelas on the way. There is no source of water in our trek path.  
  • Kindly note that you should join this trek only if you are be able to take on this challenge.

I immediately called Avinash: 

Me: Bhai, did you check the mail? It’s a 27km trek with no exits… 
Avinash: ‘WHAT’??? 27km??? Do you wanna back out???  
Me: No way, they called you because they were short of participants. How can we back out after having solved their problem.
Avinash: Ok… then let’s just go for it! you sleep well, we have to leave at 3am, which means get up by 2. 
Me: Yeah, now that I know it's just 27km, I am going to sleep really well :P

I could not sleep the whole night, and only took a quick nap in the bus while we reached the starting point at Kaas Plateau. It was sooo beautiful, that anyone with no sleep for a year can feel fresh in a minute. The fresh air, little rain and fog did the magic! Then again I remembered its 27km to go :)

The Kaas Plateau is one of the most beautiful places I have ever visited so far. The lush carpets of Purple and Yellow flowers make you wonder if its the same planet... Walking there is effortless... I guess for the first 15km I did not feel any stress at all. Maybe its the amount of pure oxygen that powers your engine like a turbo-charger...

Flowers, flowers and more flowers... I must have seen more types of flowers than the total number of girls I know :p

Then suddenly we heard something... It was a sound that was coming repeatedly... Initially we thought it was someone playing music but as we went closer it became louder and soon we noticed something coming out of the clouds... Damn... It was a blade from a windmill...! I had never seen this huge thing in my life... From a distance it looks tiny, but man it was really HUGE!

We started clicking pictures of the windmill, trying to match the timing when sun rays come and clouds pass... It's funny how excited we were to see it, as if one could collect some free electricity and power their homes :P

We walked about 26km with no trouble; until I finally managed to get a sprain in my calf. With help of everyone it was no big deal to finish the last 1KM. So, we were back in the bus heading towards Pune. 

When we stopped for a chai (TEA) I realized I can't even move, my body was stiff and had taken the shape of the seat. I somehow got down and was walking like a century old man and everyone enjoyed the entertaining cat walk :p

Basically the group we accidentally joined, was of Himalayan trekkers who had come for a warm up session, and we were the stupid ones who joined it unknowingly, without any prior training or knowledge. But it was totally worth it, made some great friends for life and had an experience of a lifetime...

All this time away from city life and so much at peace at this beautiful place I got a chance to think deep... At times we know things, but don't get the time to stop, think, and connect the dots. 

I knew what travelers want being a CouchSurfer, I knew travelers would die for a great experience and I knew how platforms work. It was just this time I got to connect the dots and conceptualize exploita :) 

Taking the risk of venturing in the unknown and not backing out even after seeing the danger involved proved to be super fruitful! 

Thanks to Avinash & Ratnakar who were a part of this accidental beginning :)