So the seven of us met at nanded city (a colleague lives there) and we then proceeded from there to the base. All pumped up by how beautiful the moon looked and how pretty the starlit sky would look from the top, we started our ascent at 12:30 am. We imagined it would be dark but the moonlight was with us at every step. We imagined it would be really cold but only after a few minutes we were getting rid of our sweaters. In childhood, I believe, I must have had loads of stamina because, this time, in less than 30 minutes or so we had made our first stop trying to cool off and get our heart beat back to normal.
Here's us at our first stop trying to capture a people snap in moonlight.
We finally reached the top at 2:30 and we all sat down getting hold of our breath and the visuals that awaited us. Our trek captain who has trained for even harder treks was really patient with us, gently coaxing us to go on by answering questions like "are we there yet?" With an "we are almost there". In fact he used "almost" so often that it has now stuck to his name forever. Once the climb was done, we sat there staring at the world below and realizing what we miss in our daily monotony of bread earning. Rather, we wouldn't have missed it if technology hadn't advanced and Edison hadn't invented the bulb (or so we think).
As we climbed higher, the view of the city and the hills around filled us with awe. The moonlight, the cool breeze and the serenity coupled with the adrenaline that comes with achieving something just keeps you going.
We then made our way by stairs to find a place to lie down. We reached the top and it was so windy that it could displace our bags! Then captain saw a small hut type structure which they probably use in day time to serve the famous bhajjis and jhunka bhakri. We all went in happily and sat down with some knick knacks to eat. We started off with ghost stories as that was the only logical thing to do, given that the wind was howling like it does in those horror movies.
A couple of stories and a couple of spooky moments later we also had some "please not horror stories" moments after which we all settled down to take a nap. It was so cold and windy that the hut would have blown away, but we stayed put, since we wanted to witness the sunrise before we started the descent. It was almost 4:30 when our captain woke up asking how no one was feeling cold and we said, we are shivering!
Even though we wanted to wait for the sunrise the wind was so unreal that we thought lets find some sturdy shelter or move down. Just as we were moving out we saw some small shops opening up and a savior came in sight who agreed to make us hot tea! And to top it, he also showed us a small enclosure which had "real" walls where we could wait till he prepared the tea. And how we blessed the mud walls and the hot steaming tea. Wonder how people live up there, everyday!
After the hot tea, we were energized enough to spend some more time capturing the sunrise moments.
We started moving down by around 6:30 am and the number of people was exponentially large as compared to those that we saw at night. It almost felt like walking through a market with literally one person on each rock! So we paved our way to the base passing by many regulars who were running up and down the slope.
Once we were back at the base at around 7:30 am, we had some little breakfast and then started moving back to pavilion with so many happy memories. And yes, not to forget a realization that our leg consists of so many muscles (Yes, I could feel each muscle move in pain, after a day of rest)
Cheers, to many more night treks!
P.S. Captain, this is a note for you. Please organize some easy (easier than Sinhagad) night treks :)