Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington should consider himself lucky. This gorgeous mountain in the Sahyadris is named after him as the cliff resembles his nose. And hence the fancy name – Duke’s Nose!
Though Duke’s Nose is relatively an easy trek, it is one of the favorite destinations of seasoned trekkers. In fact, most trekking groups have their annual meets at Duke’s Nose. Some of the trekkers who hiked with us this time have conquered Duke’s Nose at least 10-12 times. And yet, they very passionately show up and trek the same mountain which makes you feel you are going to hike a really difficult hill before it shows that back door which makes it a cake walk.
Wanderers are specific about it being a fit and healthy trek. And hence, before every trek, we are made to do some warm up exercises, which is great. How often can we exercise amidst greenery and mountains. As we started the climb, we noticed that this trek is full of tree tunnels. This term was coined as we crossed over 5-6 stretches filled with trees, big and small forming dark tunnels which are 1 foot wide and maybe 4 feet high. This was the best part of this trek for me as I kept yearning for more and more tree tunnels.
After a few minutes, we stopped at a plateau which was at its green best giving us a view of neighbouring mountains. We snacked here for bit, chatting and wanting to start again before our body gets into hibernation. The next patch was fun. Ropes were used to climb certain patches and help provided by leaders to climb big boulders.
As we trekked back, we tried to find patches which would make the hike a wee bit tougher. You see, it has to be the road less traveled. 2 hikers from Sagar Mata Trekking Group had successfully completed the Himalayan Base Camp Expedition. While there, they lost their leader due to shortage of Oxygen in the first week. Yet, to complete his dream and theirs, they trekked and completed the Himalayan Base Camp Trek. We heard their stories and applauded them for their spirit and physical and mental endurance.
A little girl performed an extremely witty skit in Marathi(I judged it was so by the intensity of people’s laughter). Before we knew, we were at the base village and started our 5 km walk back to Lonavla Station. A simple trek but a beautiful mountain!