Sometimes when life feels upside down.. shake yourself up with a rigorous trek, seek some wilderness and kills that slumber. Our second expedition on the wild wind cave trek was something like this. Even for us, the organizers it shook us up and demanded some true mental grit to accomplish the two day trek.
On the first day we attempted the Jivdhan Trek very confident that we will make it to the top and also being over positive that the fog wont affect our visibility. To our excitement and gung-ho attitude the thick undergrowth made us loose our track many times and the fog nearly got us lost. But, there came a discovery of something totally unknown and unexpected. Karvy blooming all around the Jivdhan fort and several bee hives full of Apis Dorsata (Giant Honey bee) around it. Karvy blooms once in 8 years or 16 years depending upon the variety and its honey collected by wild honey bees is thicker, darker and also medicinally effective.
Next came the giant centipede almost 7 inch long, I don't know if this existed in the Western Ghats. Last time we had spotted one in the rainforest of Borneo and that was nearly a foot long.
We take small groups on wilderness excursions on weekends where we least expect to see a snake or some birds of prey, but this one was a total treat -- two hungry jackals came around while we were hiking.. soon they figured that we don't look like hares so they left after a long stare at us.
On the second day we decided that by no means we are gonna leave this place without making it to the top of Jivdhan - The name derived from the Jiva devil temple on the top and the dan (booty) won after an invasion brought to the fort via nannie ghat (coin pass). Halfway up the fort we found several hoof marks of Sambur deer and Wild Muntjac or barking deer. Crossing a ridge that was thickly covered by the forest undergrowth we spotted a pair of Sambur deer and they flashed past us within 1/8th of a second. Clatter of Langur monkeys followed us for the most of the path that was covered by the forest. Last came the giant squirrels who showed some hospitality to the guests, that us :) and allowed us to take some pictures.
Mighty stone stairs lead our way to the huge fort entrance and at some turns the steps are as narrow as your cellphone, and yes it was raining making the steps very slippery and extremely difficult to climb. We still did it and lived a story to tell.
Our last leg of the tour was heading down Naneghat and reaching Konkan side on the exit. The 5 hour long Jivdhan trek was hardly over while Naneghat trek awaited. Once again slippery rocks and steep terrains made the path look difficult but thats what promotes the desire to accomplish. One last friend who has one of the most acute sense of smell and the one who attacks like a battering ram showed up over a side thicket and vanished into the shrubs.. thats the wild boar, nasty, shrewd and always hungry. In the two day long trek covered almost covered approximately 20 km on foot.. now that almost shook every bone in our system.