Mountain Walking

The First Phase Plan

I’m ditching the regular flight mode of travel this time round and traveling by train right from Pune all the way to Shimla.

I’ve been used to traveling by train since childhood and I like to ease-in into the trip that I undertake. With flights, I remember being amazed like a child, when on a particular trip I was in Mumbai in the morning and in Manali by night. It was all too fast for my liking. By train, I get time to bid adieu to base, gradually move from one state to another, eat, read, listen to music, sleep, and slowly amble into my destination. It’s paced suitably to my preference.

This time I’m taking the Duronto Express from Pune to Delhi. I’ll spend half a day in Delhi and then catch the Kalka Mail from Delhi to Kalka. And Kalka onwards, it’ll be the Kalka Shimla Railway (part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Mountain Railways of India) taking me to Shimla.

I’m planning to head out to Khatnol near Shimla and spend 5-6 days there living the village life. A few walks around Khatnol and yet another hike upto Shaali Tibba should help me in prepping for the subsequent treks and hikes.

And so, the First Phase is going to be an extended preparatory stint, carrying forward whatever little I’ve been able to manage out here in Pune.

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