6 September, Pune, 2016
Waiting for my train here at the Pune Railway Station, I’m wondering about what lies ahead on the trip. I just carried my rucksack and backpack into the platform from the dropping area outside.
It’s been ages since I’ve carried heavy rucksacks and backpacks on hikes/treks. I had done a few hikes early in life and had been fit enough to carry heavy rucksacks on the trips. But now, it’s different – In a few weeks I’ll embark on my first multiple-day long-walking trek. And I’m thinking about what might happen once we start the trek.
The endeavour will require physical AND mental strength in equal measures. I’ll be fortunate enough to be doing the trek with Abhishek and Abhinav, both of whom are experienced trekkers. But at the same time, I wouldn’t want to be a hindrance during the trek, hampering everyone’s movements. But Abhishek had been clear enough in his instructions to me during the preparatory session in Pune – “Your first target is to be able to walk long distances every day. Doing that with a rucksack will be the next target.” And I think my First Phase preparations at Khatnol will give me a reality check on what I’m prepared for.
One of the reasons why Pin Parvati was chosen for our trip is that one has to be committed and clear right from the start – you either do it or you don’t. For once we start from Barshaini and keep climbing up the Parvati Valley, the options of giving up and returning become bleaker with every step taken. The best relief, I believe, would be a rest day at Mantalai. But other than that, Mudh village is the earliest civilization, across the Pin Parvati Pass, into the Pin Valley.
However, it’s all speculation right now. But thoughts that crowd the mind need to be heard, rationalised and then acted upon. And so, for me, I’ll update my thoughts once I’m through with the Khatnol preparatory phase. And till then, it’s just another journey, one station at a time, one mode of transportation at a time, one meal at a time, one nap at a time, one step at a time…