So you’re watching a movie and you come to know there’s a jaw-dropping suspense towards the end. Would you leave that movie half-way? No way. Here’s the same thing: I had been to a Paintball game that was held at Samrad Village – the base village to start the Sandhan Valley trek. The kickass game of Paintball amidst the forest aside, I sneaked in a quick glance at the terrific looking valley. A gigantic crack between a mountain with streams of river passing under it – how could I resist not going all the way? As much as I was tempted to jump in there and explore, the schedule did not allow. Since then, I had been itching to go to Sandhan Valley again and ranked it up on my list.
Fast forward few weeks, I saw the Sandhan Valley event on Facebook organised by Mumbai Travelers and I immediately booked my seat. It was a 3 day event starting 29th Oct to 31st Oct 2014.
Packing – my favourite part!
I took out my Wildcraft 30 L Backpack + Quechua mini bag. I somehow managed to attach the Quechua on my Wildcraft using carabiners. Other than that, I was carrying a pair of clothes, sleeping mattress, sleeping bag, hydration pack, some ready to eat packets and the all-time favourite trekking food – sandwiches. Apart from this, I had sneaked it a couple of cans of Monster so I could charge myself up with caffeine and stay up all night to look at the starry skies.
Took a local train from Dadar to Kasara. A private jeep was arranged from Kasara railway station to the base village – Samrad. It’s about 3 hours of drive from the station. Managed to reach the village at 06:30 – just in time for sunrise.
Finally – back to Sandhan Valley to finish what I had left:
Mouth of the valley
After an hour of descending, we took a quick lunch break and moved forward to the highlight of the trek – rappelling. I had never done rappelling before so naturally I was super excited and decided to go first. It’s pretty smooth if you can get your technique right. I was down within few minutes and then I figured out the reward I had earned for going first: I get an entire hour of rest while the group waits for others to come down.
After conquering the three spots of rappelling, we moved further down to our camping location. It was getting dark so we were trying to get there before we run out of light.
Everyone had slept while I kept awake to witness the magical sky filled with stars. I still regret not taking my camera – that was a perfect opportunity for some astrophotography. The next day started at 08:00 and we started the trek to the exit village.
The last one hour was a real kill. Hot sun over the head and to make things worse, we were running out of water. At the end of it when we realized the village is just 15 minutes away, we ran all the way.
Finally changed those muddy clothes, got fresh and sat down for a delicious rustic village meal and finished it off with those one rupee “pepsi” candy – cherry on the cake 😀
Thanks to Mumbai Travellers for such a memorable trek. Recommended to all trekkers / mountaineers / adventure enthusiasts – this is a must do. One of the most beautiful valley in the Sahyadri Ranges.
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