Monday, May 11, 2015

Sinhagad - May 2015

There was a time twenty years ago when a climb up Sinhagad was a banter-filled trek that ended   with some delicious nimbu pani, butter milk, kandha bajji, pitla bhakhar and other such stuff that taste like they were made in heaven. Now of course, there is trepidation when the name crops up because the climb asks much of you - joins ache and creak, swellings and pains, pulls and spasms are part of the bargain. Which is why the challenge is that much more interesting.
Did it - Again!

Two years ago, when I was in the worst ever condition physically I pushed myself to climb the hill. It was symbolic of things to come and the next year did open well for me after a really low six months. I know how difficult it was then, so I wondered if I was in any better shape this time. But my niece Pooja was insistent - let's go mama, she said. She is one stubborn, resilient one. A few years ago she did the KtoS or rather the Katraj to Sinhagad trek in the monsoon over a full 12 hours through the night. The trek ends by climbing Sinhagad! I tell Pooja - you do things like that Pooju, you can do anything.
At the beginning - Pooja with the goods

Anyway she comes with Prarthana, my older niece who is certainly not going to climb the Sinhagad - these pursuits and challenges are not for her - especially since they come in the way of comfort - but she did come, her new camera and all (she is a good photographer). We set off at 520, reached Sinhagad at 615, started climbing. At 624 Prarthana stopped and said we should go back, again at 629 and by 633 she was done with the climb, having done about 100 metres or so (or perhaps I am exaggerating, she might have done 102!)
Sun rising

Pooja was ahead and shaking her head - I knew she would not come. Prarthana kept calling to make us call off the climb but we chugged on.
That's where we want to go
The crowd was a typical Sunday crowd, its heavy traffic at Sinhagad.
Its 7 in the morning!
The regulars walking by briskly, the athletes running, toddlers of 7 years, families with little babies strapped on, old seventy year olds, a sari clad lady with no slippers who was seventy surely, regulars shouting at the top of their voices "aur burger kha, pizza kha, butter khaa...' taunting the slow walkers, the ones like me who climbed with great effort sweating copiously, all sorts, all ages.
Checking out a route

The climb seemed steeper but I was glad to find that I needed fewer stops and felt much better this time. The shacks had increased in number - nimbu sherbet is 20 bucks!
Way down - reminded me of Dhanaulti
We climbed on and on and at 40% my legs started showing signs of feeling the pressure, at 60% my breath started going and I had to breathe in through my mouth, at 75% I had to take it one step at a time and not look up. But eventually 1 hour 35 minutes later I was up there.
A Step below

Just about, but I did it.
That's Sinhagad in the distance

We drank in lots of butter milk, ate some pot curds, some totaparri mangoes and caught a jeep on the way down. Normally the routine is to climb into the fort, eat stuff and then climb back which takes about an hour 45 minutes (downs are more difficult than the ups).
Lovely drive back
But we decided to play smart, take a jeep, avoid the summer sun and head home. The jeep ride was scenic. Down there we took off in the car, a job well done. Good bonding time with one of my favorite nieces.

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