This has been a long pending expedition planned by the original Chris Columbus, Koni himself. A hillock near the town of Jadcherla, a distance of about 80 kms from Hyderabad, has been the object of his affections for many a year and he has been enticing the rest of us to climb this magnificent hill. We made many half-hearted attempts earlier, and once even went halfway (to the hillock), but we finally did it. And wished we had planned the climb a few years ago.
The ride to Jadcherla is smooth on the magnificent Hyderabad - Bangalore highway. We passed one toll booth, paid the to-and-fro fare of Rs. 74 and followed the signs until we happened upon the turn to Jadcherla. The big hillock with the flat top is the one, a tree and some small temple like structures can possibly be seen. We wound our way through some small colonies with narrow roads and reached the base.
The climb is steep. It took us less than half and hour, but it does take a bit out of you if you are not doing some exercise. Kiran, topping the fitness levels these days, easily running the 30 kms in good times, easily reached the top, followed closely by Vardha,, who is easily doing the 21 kms run these days. Non-sportsmen both twenty years ago.
Then went Koni, who is into walking five to ten kms a day on given days and one blessed abundantly with good health. I followed him wheezing and panting and sweating and I was followed by Ranjan, likewise.
The time was pretty good, the view worth the climb.
There is a small temple in a cave, a dirty well full of water. We saw the views, sat on the boulders and took in the large flat landscape that stretched across the horizon. The usual mad banter that only childhood friends can share and then we threaded our way back after an hour or so.
It was four p.m. when we stopped at a dhaba for some snacks and beer, at Hillridge for some late lunch and finally at Koni's office for a final drink to celebrate the achievement.
Notes to be made, need much more fitness, lose weight, exercise more, do more outdoors, laugh more.