Technically, we started yesterday.  We were supposed to meet at the Mumbai International Airport at 10:30 am and then go straight to Karjat (starting point for hiking) by 3pm.  But in true IST (a new term, I learned – Indian ‘Stretchable’ Time) – we didn’t make it to Karjat until 6pm and so we had to pass on the Day 0 warm up hike.  

ItBegins So today got off on our first leg of the hike.  It was funny to see the change in attitudes (myself included) as the walk progressed. The morning half was pretty easy – people were joking, taking pictures everywhere – we only moved about 2.5 miles by lunch time but it took us about 3 hours because we were soaking up the views.  By the 2nd half, people were a lot more subdued, and by the last gradient, people were openly voicing their concerns about the trek… but it was worth it – we hiked only about 8 km total we increased our elevation from about 430 ft to about 1600 ft.

Day1_BhiminshankarWe were so knackered by the end that most even forgot that the main reason for choosing the route was to see Bhiminshankar and the temple there.  A few of us did go check it out though while waiting for the rest of the team – I even gave an offering – have no idea what I was doing, but basically bought a coconut, some flowers and some sweets from a vendor along the path to the temple and then inside the resident ‘guru’ directed me to place them in front of the stone image of … – not quite sure what was being said – it was pretty interesting to see though…