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Journey Neral to Dasturi Naka

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Getting out of a crowded train at Neral was a pain.

I was lucky enough to get a seat in the fast train to Karjat. The plan was to alight at Neral as my destination was Matheran. The next train was after a gap of 50 minutes, so I was sure that this train would be very crowded.

As I suspected, it was. I could not imagine having to travel so far to work every day of your life. And yet so many people have to do it, just so that they can earn a living.

Neha got in at Ghatkopar in the Ladies compartment of the train. We met at Neral at 8:29 am and decided to trek all the way to Dasturi Naka.

We kick-started our trek at 8:45 am at Neral on the road leading to Matheran.

A number of cabs going to Matheran overtook us along the way. The people in the cab appeared surprised to see us walking on a hot, sunny day. More than one of them must have thought we had lost our marbles to even consider walking all the way to Matheran in that heat.

We were supposed to reach Dasturi Naka at 12:15 pm as per our calculation. But the heat and the strain of walking along the Ghats took its toll on us and we had to take many breaks along the way. Our 2-litre bottle of water saved us.

As we walked, the climb began to get steeper and the heat more and more unbearable. We were lucky enough to get a lift from a troupe of people all packed up in a trax. There were 14 people already in it and the two of us added to the already-strained ‘comfort’ levels.

Finally at 2 pm we were at the parking lot at Dasturi Naka. It had taken us 20 minutes by Trax to get there. Had we tried to walk the whole distance, it would have taken us a little less than two hours. The roads right on top were extremely steep; all the vehicles have to shift to the first gear to manage this tricky stretch.

A big thank you to the family who helped us out.

It was a mistake on our part to even consider trekking up the road in the summer. The winter or the monsoon would have been less hard on us. The summer skimmed the cream out of us.


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