Oxfam Trailwalker: Hitting the trail

Oct 16, 2013, 11:21 IST | A Correspondent

The trail is picturesque, enjoyable yet demanding; so get ready for a highly satisfying challenge that will make you push your physical and mental limits

MDC, Garudmaachi to Cloud 9, Lonavala
Almost 70 percent of the trail is through trek paths and village mud roads and falls in a reserved forest zone. Enjoy the trail and the challenge; but always be aware of your surroundings, respect the local communities and be kind to the local flora and fauna.
Here is a short guide to what you can expect from the tough and the beautiful trail.

Start Point to Check Point 1 – 9.25km
MDC, Garudmaachi to Tamhini Village
Cumulative Total: 9.25km
Average Time: 4 hours
Grading: 3/5
The tone of the challenge will be set from the very start. So gear up from the word Go! A short walk with a beautiful view of the valley leads to a 20 minutes uphill hike which can make you breathless and slow you down if not prepared. The trail descends gradually through a forest, over small rivulets and beautiful open pastures to reach the village of Tamhini.

Check Point 1 to Check Point 2 –12.5km
Tamhini Village to Mohri Village
Cumulative Total: 21.75km
Average Time: 6 hours
Grading: 2/5
This is one of the most beautiful sections of the trail as it loops around the Mulshi Lake, crosses a little hill and then again touches the bank of the lake to your right. In the month of November, you will get to see a lot of avian life around. Keep your cameras handy!

Check Point 2 to Check Point 3 – 6km
Mohri Village to Vadgaon Village
Cumulative Total: 27.75km
Average Time: 2 hours
Grading: 1/5
The short trail leads through a trek path down to the Mulshi Lake and up again to the tar road leading to Vadgaon village. Fairly easy!

Check Point 3 to Check Point 4 –15km
Vadgaon Village to Vandre Village
Cumulative Total: 42.75km
Average Time: 8 hours
Grading: 2/5
Gear up and load up for one of the longest stretches of the trail. The trail starts from Vadgaon village’s main tarred road; goes through village mud paths, across fields and narrower trek paths on undulating landscape. It again hits the main road to reach CP 4 which overlooks the beautiful lake and hills.

Check Point 4 to Check Point 5 – 7km
Vandre Village to Ahirwadi Village
Cumulative Total: 49.75km
Average Time: 3 hours
Grading: 2/5
This section of the trail is quiet enjoyable as it traverses a variety of landscapes. It leads through the village, across open farm land, over a large check dam, through the Ghats and a beautiful forested area. A perfect trail for an early morning walk.

Check Point 5 to Check Point 6 – 10.5km
Ahirwadi Village to Barpe Village
Cumulative Total: 60.25km
Average Time: 5 hours
Grading: 1/5
This part of the trail is rather straight forward. It’s a walk from one village to the other on the main tarred road. The walk is pleasant and comfortable with some fantastic scenery around. You will be able to see the famous Naura-Nauri peaks which resemble a local groom and a bride. Some say, a part of the peak resembles the image of a sitting Buddha as well.

Check Point 6 to Check Point 7 – 12km
Barpe Village to Telbaila Village
Cumulative Total: 72.25km
Average Time: 6 hours
Grading: 2/5
Most trekkers would be familiar with the famous peaks of Telbaila or the characteristic two walled peaks which are also a climber’s delight. Throughout this section of the trail, you will see this peak in front of you as you go around this mountain from right to left through forest and scrub land.

Check Point 7 to Check Point 8 – 8.5km
Telbaila Village to Ambetap Village
Cumulative Total: 80.75km
Average Time: 4 hours
Grading: 2/5
This is a very rigorous yet satisfying section of the trail especially for people who love to walk or trek. The trail follows the old bullock cart path that village communities used earlier, up a gradual slope and down across a vast open pasture and scrub land. You will pass a few tribal hamlets. Some parts of the trail open up to spectacular valley views. On a full moon night, this trail will be a delight to walk on.

Check Point 8 to Check Point 9 – 9.25km
Ambetap Village to Nangaon Village
Cumulative Total: 90km
Average Time: 5 hours
Grading: 4/5
You will have to cross four sections where the trail becomes very narrow in parts and comes close to the edge of the hills. The path is rocky and there are a few uphill and downhill hikes. Though not too difficult, we have given it a grading of four as it is towards the end of the challenge and most of you will be tired by this time. So be very careful while walking this part especially if you are covering this section in the night.

Check Point 9 to Finish Point – 10km
Nangaon Village to Hotel Cloud 9, Lonavala
Cumulative Total: 100km
Average Time: 5 hours
Grading: 2/5
A fairly gradual uphill hike through the Ghats and forests will lead to your final destination.
Email us at joel@oxfamindia.org to get the complete trail map on Google Earth

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