Manikgad was a very special place for me. It was one of the last treks that I had completed before I fell ill. This was quite an unplanned trek. We had started for some other place and then changed our plans to go to Manikgad. This time however, we set out for Manikgad itself.
One of us stayed in Panvel and hence it was more convenient for him to meet us at Vadgaon from where the trek started. The rest of us travelled to Karjat and then to Vadgaon. But since we had to take connecting buses we got delayed and started the trek at around 845 am.
Our school of trekking believes in trekking early so that we beat the sun to the top. The last time we had made it to Manikgad as well we had reached the base point quite early and it was a different route we had taken to the top. That route was definitely tougher so we decided on this one.
We started climbing and the incline was very steep at times and quite a straight village path otherwise. After around an hour we reached a small village where an old man offered to guide us to the top. The way was quite confusing as he explained. WE agreed to take him with us. We kept going and going. It was getting hotter and hotter and we started exhausting the water that we had carried with us.
The villager was very cool. He said that there is potable water available on the way. We were also very content and kept consuming the water that we had carried. When we reached a small pond full of dirt. The villager actually bent down and consumed that water and told us to refill our bottles from that pond. We looked at each other and found a despondent look on each others faces. It was already around 1 pm. The villager said that there was another pond of potable water at the top which was around an hour and a half away.
We didnt want to buy the potable story any longer as the yardsticks were different.
We took a conscious decision. To turn back. It was nice that we had enjoyed the scenery till this point and it was just disappointing that we could not make it to the top.
Its never about reaching the top really. Its about enjoying the route............