My first ever trip to hill station in 2019 July.

               Saputara camp 1295... 
                - Muskan 

“I guess sometimes the greatest memories are made in the most unlikely of places, and with the people you least expected it to be with.”

This line is just the shortest line which may describe the 3 day trip in Saputara. The trip was planned to begin on 05th of July at around 5:00am and we booked our tickets around 18 hrs before the trip was about to begin, making this trip the most “last minute planned” trip of my life. Our trip was organised by ‘Invincible NGO’ in Ahmedabad. Hence making it a planned unplanned trip, as the decision was last minute, yet perfectly planned by them.

DAY 1

The companions for my trip were Sagar and dhruvi , whom I may have never planned to travel with but yet here we are waiting for our bus at our pick up point in kamrej cross road. Alas, our journey began at 5:18 am on the 5th of June. Snuggled in the Sahyadris, Saputara lies in the Dang District of Gujarat which is approximately 172 kms from surat and we started from kamrej. Our travel time was a little longer than expected, as the season of monsoon had begun so we had a drizzle throughout, hence we reached the campsite at around 9:30 am. After all we shifted the mattresses and tents from the bus to the camp area, the actual trip began.

Our instructor /volunteers called us for a ‘fall in’ which is an army drill which is supposed to gather all the soldiers in a formation. So in this camp, whenever we heard fall in we had to gather with our platoon. The first fall in was to introduce us to the instructors, give us a brief description of the itinerary of the trip and divide us into platoons of approximately 10–12 people. We three were the part of India platoon, where we met our other 8 teammates and our companions for the rest of the trip, no wait we had 3 more new friends from the delta platoon, thus making the group of 3 to a group of 13. That is the magic of trips, in no time people you never knew become a part of something that is going to stay with you for the rest of your life. So, after the ‘fallout’ we were handed out the tents and mattresses which we set up, making our places to sleep for the 2 nights, because who would spend the day in the tent when you have so much to explore outside and such a beautiful surrounding.

Once the tents were set up and we freshened up, had lunch, then it was time to explore the places near the campsite. The campsite was in a secluded area, hence there weren’t many places to explore, yet there was a mountain behind the campsite which could be climbed, and so we did.

THE MOUNTAIN WE CLIMBED. (Behind the campsite)

At around 4 pm we were ready to go to our first location for sight-seeing in the Saputara city which is the sunset point. One drawback or let us say the advantage in my case of this place is that you cannot take your vehicle to that point, we had to park the bus midway and then had to walk for about 1.5 km to reach the top. The climb took around 30 mins as it was a steep one, also throughout the way, there was fog surrounding us making the visibility around and ahead of us to a bare minimum, which made the walk beautiful and serene at the same time. The fog and the clouds made it quite impossible to view the sunset, however, these were the very elements, the fog, the clouds the breeze which made the atmosphere quite peaceful and magical.

THE SUNSET POINT.

After a few minutes of halt, we further walked to our next destination, ‘THE SUICIDE POINT’. Hearing about this location, I was really intrigued to be there. After around 10–15 minutes of walking from the sunset point we reached the place and it was completely clear why was it was called the ‘suicide point’. I don’t know about suicide, but one wrong step and you could slip into the unknown and there is no coming back. It was actually scarier because of the fog, which made the visibility below to zero, meaning you would not even know what are you falling into! But the questions that lingered in my mind were, ‘how could a person just climb to the top, look at this amazing view and decide to die?’, ‘has anyone actually jumped off from this place?’ or just came to the top and decided to say to Death ‘Not Today’. These questions had no answers, so we decided to click some pictures and then sit for a while, staring in the oblivion, observe the quiet around and forgetting about everything else.

FROM THE SUICIDE POINT.

Then was the time for a campfire, sadly which couldn’t be possible as all the material for lighting fire was damp, but that didn’t stop us from some team bonding. All of us gathered around in a circle, where our senior-most instructor introduced himself once again and told us the importance of a campfire. The most important one is keeping all the wild animals away and the second one is it provides a platform to all to come ahead talk about or just showcase his/her talent. A lot of people came forward, sang songs, told jokes and it was a night full of fun and laughter. After that, almost all of my teammates went to sleep but not me and my friend. Even though I had not used my mobile phone throughout the day, just like me it also needed charging for the next day. So we went to the charging point in our campsite, where we sat for about half an hour, we talked and also started writing about the day’s experience in my notebook. At 11 pm, it was our time to sleep as well, as the next day had an early start.

DAY 2

I would never imagine myself waking up at 5 am on a Saturday morning, but here I was awake at 5 am, getting ready for the day lying ahead of us. At 6 am we climbed back to the mountain we had been to the day before. Our agenda for going back to the mountain was for a warm-up for the trek we were going to do afterwards. Honestly, I was a bit scared for the trek as the instructors had suggested that it was quite a difficult one, given the weather condition i.e continuous drizzling. After the warm-up was done, we had our breakfast, packed the necessary things for the trek which basically was just a bottle of water. The trek was on a hill known as the Governor’s Hill (3284 ft). We reached the base from where we’re supposed to start our climb. The weather had worsened than yesterday, it was raining continuously drenching us even before our trek had begun.

ON WARDS AND UPWARDS ! (Leaving for the trek)

We started the trek at around 9 am, initially, it seemed a bit difficult because of the rain, but we got used to it and seemed very easy as we went further up, making us question why did the instructors make it sound very difficult? We thought maybe we crossed the difficult part and now it was just a piece of cake. We also joked about it that we could have completed the trek in 15 minutes, why is it taking such a long time? Anyways, after walking for a few more minutes we realized we were so wrong! There we come to some huge rocks which were all slippery because of the moss due to the rain. As we crossed them, we reached a pathway which was very narrow all you could see on both sides was nothing but fog, walking on that narrow road was the time when the adrenaline rush was at its peak and you know you were scared, because it was raining, the wind was blowing at its full speed and one wrong step you knew you are not coming back. After a few minutes of walking down that road, we reached the highest point of the cliff at around 12 am. Everyone was so happy, proud and shivering to their core because of the rain and the wind that was blowing at its fullest speed. I really wanted to take one picture from the highest point, but unfortunately, it was raining and nobody wanted to damage their phones so all we could do was stand, shiver and just capture the picture in our minds.

After that, we were ready for the descent, which by the looks of it looked pretty difficult. The slope was very steep and muddy, and as it was slippery there was a lot of slipping down in the mud. For a minute I felt we were lost because we could not see any of the instructors in front of us, but as we crossed the muddy slope we saw an instructor and I felt relieved. Getting down the muddy slope, we had crossed the most difficult part and then there was going down further but to our good luck there was not mud ahead, only rocks with the rainwater flowing through it. And just like that, we completed our trek supporting each other, being there for each other. The fun thing about the trek was we started the ascent in Gujarat but completed the descent in Maharashtra, which is a valley(the name of the place I cannot recall) where there is maximum circulation of wind. People usually stop by that place to experience it. Completing the trek successfully, we returned to the campsite, had lunch and freshened up and sat for a while and listened to songs for a while.

THE VALLEY AT THE END OF THE TREK

Our next thing for the day was to explore the city, which we began at around 4 pm. Some of the places which serve as tourist attraction spots are the aquarium, the city heritage museum and a small lake. We were free to explore the city on our own, hence we decided to go to the museum first, know about the history of the city. After that, we decided, why to explore the places which were already famous, everybody would go there, hence we took the roads less travelled and landed up at three amazingly beautiful places.

The first one was a honeybee farming centre, where we learnt something we did not know about honeybees. The second spot was a small nursery, home to a lot of different plants and flowers and such a beautiful garden with the view of the City Lake. The last stop was the ‘Step Garden’ which again was a pretty place with flowers grown on the steps. After that, we went out for a quick snack, the one comfort snack Maggi and a glass of chilled lemon juice, corn . Then we were back to the campsite after an amazing evening.

THE NIGHT SKY !

Back at the campsite, after dinner, we all sat down shared some stories(all genres) and after that, we all sang our hearts out (those 80’s songs) gives you the feels alright. At 11 pm were off to sleep, as we were about to go on a surprise trek (something not in our itinerary) the next morning.

DAY 3

Remember the time when I mentioned, where I couldn’t imagine myself waking up at 5 on a Sunday morning, guess what who would have imagined me waking up at 4:15 on a Sunday morning to go for a Sunrise trek. Yet some of the things you just do just because it feels right, also because you know when are you going to get a chance to do this? But suddenly we didn’t went there as similar to the sunset, there was no sunrise for us, just the clouds and fogs adding to the mystery. It was mysterious to me because somewhere in my head, fulfilling my fantasy, I felt there could be something behind those mountains. (your imagination takes you places)

It was time to wrap up those tents. While wrapping those tents, reality struck me hard and I realized how fast the past two days went by, and it was time for us to leave. After the tents were wrapped up, it was completely clear that there was so much garbage dumped on the campsite. However, we did our duty and cleaned the site completely before we left. The last and the final stop for our trip was a place called the Gira Waterfalls. It took us about an hour to reach the place. The waterfalls had a great flow because of the onset of monsoons.

THE GIRA WATERFALLS.

Returning from the waterfalls, we had our lunch in the middle of a highway which was again something you would not expect. After lunch, we finally had to leave for Surat, actually marking the beginning of the end. I just didn’t want the trip to end, just hoped deep in the heart for the bus not to reach Surat, because, from the next day, we would be getting back to our old routines but as they say, all good things must come to an end, only so that you can value them. Hence in the journey towards home, there were a lot of dj dancing and singing sessions . And in no time we reached Surat tear rolls down, reached our homes and hence putting a full stop to an epic, amazing and memorable experience.

However, no experience ends without having some lessons for you in store. The lessons I take from this trip are, you just need the right companions for your trip and you are going to have one hell of a trip. Secondly, something we don’t realize nowadays is that we can survive 3 days without internet, and once you do that you don’t feel the need to use it once again unless and until necessary. Thirdly, I made an important realization, we all complain about not having time, and not being able to do things we have always wanted to. Yet we all have the same amount of time, we just need to know how to utilize it because on a regular Saturday I would be lying on my bed till 9 or 10 am, but yet on this trip, I was on the top of a mountain by this time. Lastly, travel, go for that trip you have always wanted, meet new people, explore new places and don’t regret any of this, because on your deathbed you would never regret not having time for yourself.

My Instagram post lines .

Hey saputara❤️ love you ❤️🙅‍♀️

ये हसीन वादियां⛰️
और ये हरीभरी पहाड़िया🏞️
ये विरान सनसनी भरी हवाए 🌬️
और ये झिलमिलाती टहनिया🌿
बारिश का बंद ही नही होना🌧️🌧️
बादलों से उपर बसती है यहां जिंदगीया☁️

सापुतारा# ever took a break from work ??? Left all the tensions behind … Try once I bet you will never regret # travel # wander # explore # adventure # beauty of nature 🌂# monsoon magic # wet set go💦 # rain # somewhere between clouds # Aj mai upar asman niche 🌧️# breathe fresh # adventure trekking⛰️ # met new best people’s # bestest volunteers # 🇮🇳invincible ngo # Jai Hind # nature beauty # natural pool of peace # yo yo # yo what’s up # situps # discipline # mountain # tent ⛺ # fall in 💂# team India # orange # jaadu # 💃bus # 🎤🎶bus # crab 🦀 # lizard 🦎 # guys # watermelon 🍉 banana 🍌# pineapple 🍍# fresh lemon🍋 # chotu # spare clothes # first aid # Nick Priyanka # Sanskrit # 5-7 July these three days were the memorable experience that we had ….