Caution: Reading travel blogs and articles can give you wanderlust (not kidding). If you are not able to control it, you better stop reading. That would mean right now. You’ve been warned!
Travel bloggers & writers should mention this warning somewhere. I mean I just can’t resist reading such blogs and articles. I just like them so bloody much. I am addicted to reading such stuff and lately I’ve been getting serious wanderlust. Now in order to quench your wanderlust you gotta have something on your mind. Well, I had a ton of things on my mind. But, where to start? It can be frustrating when you have either no choice or plenty of choices. Lucky for me, I knew where to begin.
I was thinking of a trip to Leh – Ladakh and I was chatting with my friend about it. He told me to check out Mumbai Travellers. So, I did and what I came across was just amazing. I visited their website and I found out that these guys organize various kinds of treks, trips and adventure activities. Ah, just what I needed! Et voila! I checked out their trips and I was surprised by the kind of activities these people carry out. I wanted to get a taste of it and I decided I’d go on the first trek that seemed interesting. To my joy I found a trek which was about to take place on the very next weekend. Fireflies special night trek to Peth fort. The name itself was enough to tickle my craving for a weekend break. I asked a few of my friends to join me on this trek but they had plans for the weekend and it was on such short notice so I didn’t have high hopes. I decided I’d rather go alone. After all, it was just 1 day trek and solo travelling was something I wanted to try. I made the payment and waited for the weekend to arrive.
Came Saturday (14th June) and I was excited for the trip already. I started my journey from Pune station. All the participants were supposed to reach at Karjat station at around 6.30 pm. Guys from Mumbai arrived and I was amazed to know how big the group was. There were more than 40 people! Awesome! We left Karjat station and all of us were seated in 10 seater autos (tumtum) and we headed to Kothaligad from there we’d start our night trek. Our journey to Kothaligad was blessed by rain gods 🙂 After an hour or less when we were about to reach our destination, we were welcomed by the beautiful sight of fireflies. Amazing!!! What a start!
Here’s the thing about fireflies. They can be spotted before the arrival of monsoon. Could there be a better way to welcome the rainy season? Did you know why fireflies glow? To attract their female counterparts. Isn’t it cool? What’s cooler is that male fireflies don’t just glow randomly. A group of male fireflies glow in a specific pattern. If you haven’t witnessed it with your own eyes, then let me tell you it is a sight to behold. Nature is a true magician. It is exhilarating to watch them glow on a tree. Male fireflies glow brighter than female fireflies. Well, obviously they have to. Even those tiny creatures have to work hard to woo the ladies!
We were just getting started. We reached the trek base (Kothaligad) and had our introduction session. The introduction session was interrupted by rain. May be it was an indication to stop wasting time and start trekking. Well, that’s what we did then. We started trekking to reach the village where our stay was arranged. The night trek was actually altogether a different & unique experience. Fireflies accompanied us along the trek and they lit up our path. Well, not literally but metaphorically 😉 Because of the rain the track was muddy and it requires more effort to trek in the rain than it does in normal conditions. But, I ain’t complaining. In fact, had it not rained, we might not have enjoyed the scenic view while ascending! After almost two hours of trekking we finally reached the village. I consider myself a lazy ass when it comes to walking and working out. I couldn’t believe how much I walked on that rocky mountain. I think I might have shed some weight 😉
It had stopped raining long before we reached the village and the view was fantastic. The moonlit sky, the mountains, the village and Peth fort all these combined together were enough to inspire someone for poetry. Thanks to our photographer monsieur Random Clicker we got plenty of pics to remember our night trek experience 🙂
An attempt to capture fireflies.
“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” – Lao Tzu
That’s me in the black t-shirt, Dhananjay aka Random clicker drinking water and a guy with headphones.
”Not all those who wander are lost.” – J.R.R.Tolkien
“The moon was up, painting the world silver, making things look just a little more alive.” – N.D. Wilson
“If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion, and avoid the people, you might better stay home.” – James A. Michener
We all were accommodated under a single roof of a villager’s place. The pleasure of a humble meal after fatigue, physical exercise was sublime. We helped ourselves for dinner and relaxed for a while afterwards. But, it was no time to relax. Fireflies were calling us. We went on a night trail in search of more fireflies. Mother nature endowed us plenty of them. After roaming around for some time we returned with sparkling memories. It was about 2 am and people prepared themselves for shuteye. I would’ve done the same. I started chatting with a fellow traveler and soon enough, both of us got into a ‘jokeathon‘. Another traveler joined us and we laughed like crazy people. All the exhaustion of travel was gone before we realized it. We decided we’d stay awake cracking jokes and have fun. We thought we’d go somewhere else. One of us said that there was a temple nearby so we’d go there. Excellent! Little did we know there were already few of us (well, mainly trek leaders) who went there to catch some sleep. We thought we’d better catch some rest for the morning trek. So, we slept in the temple. Another unique experience. Lying on the bed sheet directly on the temple floor I wasn’t sure if I’d get any sleep. When it comes to sleep, I am a bit finicky and I need a proper amount of sleep because, well, I just need it. Once I traveled in 1st AC coach and I spent the night sleepless and there in the temple I was trying to put myself in a hibernate mode! Nonetheless, I slept like a baby. Thank God!