Feb 2010 : Since some time we were thinking of going for some trek, but it was not happening. Ram suggested to come visit his village and we can also have Hurda party as well on his farm. Also per him we can trek one of the hills near his house which has great views of many backwaters and surroundings from the top. So this seemed to be a good option and we finalized on a date and left the planning to Ram to do our kahtirdari 🙂
We decided to book a vehicle (Ram wanted to go on the bike) and spend some time at his village and come back in half day. We started early on that day though we had breakfast at home only to keep the trip short. Rajewadi is his native village, which is off Pune – Satara super highway on the other side of Neera river. Its around 50 km from Pune city and takes around 1 hour to reach. We reached there by 9:00 am. This area is an upcoming industrial area and we saw many factories along the internal road leading to his village. The village is small, but beautiful, flanked by hills on one side and river on other.
We then went to his home and got introduced to his family. They served us tea and after small conversation we decided to head to the fields. The day was quite hot. His farm was nearby to his house and along with other crops had the jowary planted. We picked few of the kanis from his fields but they were small and bit raw. Instead we observed that the next field had big kanis and looked fresh. So we plucked many from that field 🙂 . Grass is greener on the other side, hence proved! 😉 We took all of it to Ram’s field for roasting. We found a small canopy and under it started working on lighting the fire. As simple as it may sound, getting a fire going can be tricky task. It took us some time to make it work with lots of trial and error and we were finally roasting the hurdas.
We had brought salt and chilli powder from Ram’s place with us in puddis. Ram was roasting it one after other and the first couple of them didn’t come out that well 😦 Once the makeshift stove was hot enough the next batch started coming out well. The Hurda was quite good and we enjoyed the party. After having stomach full of them, we even going back to the neighboring field to pluck few more to roast, we were ready for siesta 🙂 So we put on some hay on the ground and took a quick nap under the shade. We would have liked to stay there whole afternoon as winter sun was up and it was pleasant weather to just lay down. But then we had next item on our itinerary, i.e. to trek the hill which was just across the fields. The hill was looking quite tall and the slopes quite imposing.
Ashk was not much in favor of trek , but as others persisted and also Ram was the one who was our host and organizer of this event, we decided to go. Though the hill was looking quite close by from the field where we stood, it took us some 20-25 mins walk to reach the base. From there we started the real trek. Surprising it was difficult! One reason was there were not many marked trails and the gravel on the surface was quite loose and slippery. We were slipping once a while and it was making our progress slow. Also there was hardly any vegetation at the base and on the slopes for shade, though at the top there was some tree cover.
We reached the top in around 30 minutes. The top was a narrow ridge connecting the one end of hill to the other. We started walking on the ridge, which was quite an adventure 🙂 After 10 -12 mins walk where we were walking in single file, so narrow was the ridge and valley being on each side, we reached closer to the final ascent. We were slipping a lot and it was bit risky as there was steep fall on both sides. After covering this section, we started the accent and it was getting difficult now. The gravel here was more slippery and we had hard time getting to top. But the view from top was worth the effort and we could see far off in the distance and the cool breeze was comforting us. From here there was again small hike to the topmost point from where per Ram you can see few backwaters, but by then everyone in the group had given up. Also the section was bit dangerous and we decided to head back. Ram was unhappy that we didn’t go to the point where he wanted to take us.
The descent was even more difficult with slippery gravel. Most of the section we descended sitting down, just sliding over the surface. This is where I strained my left knee’s ligament, which still hurts :(. We reached the bottom in 20 mins and headed to Ram place. They had prepared lunch for us. We all sat down and had a nice home made lunch. We took some rest and then headed back to Pune. We were back home around 6:30 pm.
It was indeed very memorable experience and would definitely want to have another Hurda party some day!