Thursday, December 25, 2008

My first jungle trail

June 30, 2008 Sunday

Sony R1 batteries all charged up. No filters, 3 GB card packed all gear up. Got up early morning at 5.30am as I had to reach Andheri station around 6:30am. Got ready got taxi took out ticket for Nalasopara that’s where I was heading for. Got down at Andheri sharp 6.30am I am sharp about timing if any ones tells me to reach on certain time I make sure I am there. But my friend Ketan he reached around 7:00am. At last we boarded the train for nalasopara that’s where I was going for, this was my first time I was going for jungle trail and I never had clicked photos of insects. At last we reached nalasopara from there we had to take shared auto to go towards Mumbai gujrat highway, that’s where we started our journey. 

After reaching the highway had small cup of tea, and there in front I saw mountains covered by clouds greenery. We started our journey to reach the spot you really need to walk for more than hour, the boring part is there are too many dairy farm around that area you have to cross them and after that there is awesome small village, small huts, wells and then you walk little more and there you are which you can just imagine in dreams………. mountains covered by clouds and there is dam full of water. There we were standing and I was clicking photos and then all of sudden it started to become dark mountains started to vanish and I had to just put camera back in the bag as it started to pour heavily………. It was raining like cats and dogs. But we were safe as there was small hut beside the dam where the security people use to stay. As we entered inside the hut the people gave us to sit on the bakhada and it was still pouring out there. As we were talking with the people I saw one man he had caught lots of fish from the dam and he had marinated them and was frying it, my mouth started watering and I showed ketan too, some time later rain was slow and all of sudden in front of us big four pieces of fried fish with some onions ah ha yummy just guess raining out you in hut surrounded by jungle and eating hot fried fish, it was hell like a experience. 

After we munched everything I think I must have eaten the bones too as it was so yummy rain suddenly stopped again mountains were back, so we hurried washed the plate and just offered the people 50rs for there nice service, but none of them took the money but said we are welcome anytime and can join with them for lunch when ever we visit again. So again we are back for our jungle trail we started through the dam itself as water was below the mark so we crossed through it as u can see in the photos water was really less and you can see greenery all over, clicked around 15 photos and there once again heavy rain immediately put camera in bag with plastic on it, enjoyed the rain.As we were walking through the dam you can imagine it full after 3 months of time period. After crossing we finally in the jungle trees all over water flowing beneath your shoes wet all over, crabs all over where ever you step, as we were walking we came across mango tree small mangoes fallen over, ketan he is proper jungle boy started to eat them I just tasted they were really sweet, stopped had like three to five and again in the woods. Small mushrooms beetles, spiders you will be able to see lots of signature spider all over the jungle. 

We were just crossing the water flowing basically ketan was taking me I just stopped where ever I felt like clicking. And then again we were out of the jungle and we were at the top of the damn where actually water level comes when its full, ketan got idea of swimming so he thought walking across and going little ahead, ohh I was damn scared to walk on that route I can still feel it it was like total slope with road diameter not more that five inches and one slip and you go tumbling down the hill in the water, ketan crossed it in min. but I was going slow as I had camera and bag too at one point the soil was so slippery one step you slip second step you slip but some how I managed and crossed it. As I reached there ketan was already in water with the village kid enjoying, I am scared of water so I was out busy clicking photos, all of sudden ketan came out full of mud on his body like terminator he was enjoying every bit of it. Again we started to walk as we had to head back, but we took different route again through jungle and the came to wards a slope like steps made of concrete going in the water, we sat there for almost thirty min and was just enjoying the rain it was so heavy and windy we were all wet and busy eating cake, biscuit it was fun. 

After some time got up started walking as we had to cross all over and walk through the dairy catch auto then main part is local train which is full always after walking since 8am to 5pm. But my first trail was awesome I really enjoyed it. Enjoy the photos. For more photos CLICK HERE

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Leopard Encounter

July 20 2008

Its Saturday and I am with my biker group called as saddle tramp just chilling out at shivaji park. Enjoying, looking at girls having barista blast one with four straws in it, guys talking about bike stuff which I really don’t understand a word of it but if some super bike name comes out I say ohh ya awesome it is. So we stayed up to 2am. But I am still thinking about next morning train I have to catch to go to goregaon. Next day had planned to go for a jungle trail with my friend name ketan who knows inside out of the jungles surrounding Mumbai. I go home at 2am on Saturday night pack bag for next day. I took my Jan sport bag pack put my friend Hemanshu Sony R1 camera all batteries charged up, got 3GB card and 3 macro filters which was gonna use for the first time in my life. 

All packed put alarm for 6am and then in dreams. Alarm ringing got up at 6 sharp may be before that too. Dressed up green t-shirt and dark green pants as it should suit the natural habitat. While going to the bus stop got some biscuits, chocolates, chips which will be out breakfast as well as lunch.

So got in the local train and ketan joined me at Andheri. At last we reached Goregaon station from there we took auto to go to Dindoshi and then to some place called water tank, you really need to take auto to that area as in morning lots of people sit for nature call yuck smell all over. At last we reached paid auto got ready and started our trail, to reach proper in jungle you need to climb small hill and then walk for around 30 min then u enter proper jungle and there you are all alone just you and the nature greenery surrounding you. But in start you see Raheja builders who has swallowed the start of the jungle and they building there own concrete jungle which is sad to watch. After walking for few kilometers there you are three ways going in jungle and there is one small temple there, you really need to pray there so you come back in one piece and alive. So there we started out journey I took out my camera attached the macro filter too it as I knew I would get lots of small insects butterflies you just can’t imagine. Ketan is pro in finding such things he knows what where how this that…………….. He use to show me I use to click and then I also started to look at the things by myself I got the proper eye where to look how to click. But I should say you really need lots of patience to click insects or any damn thing in jungle as those things don’t wait and pose for you, its you who need to be really fast and compose and click. I got awesome yellow moth, beetle, caterpillar, snail all kind of things. 

As we were crossing the jungle we came towards a hut we took break had some water sat and there is a old man who stays there since long time, Ketan started to talk with him I was busy looking for insects, and suddenly I heard some word like leopard I said in my mind it must be mistake must be lizard or something but noooooooo wait hold your breath really they were talking about leopard. The old was attacked by him and he saw full size leopard roaming outside that hut. I was thinking hmmm good what next, after some time we started our journey we went in to the jungle we were talking clicking photos we walked for hrs and in that period we came to certain point and stopped to a big tree it was huge. And the ketan said ohh we are really in very deep jungle we were so inside really deep inside all bamboo forest, different kind of noises coming as we I was clicking photo of the big tree I went towards other side of the tree and there…………………………………. 

My heart started pumping fast………………. On the tree there were many claw marks of the leopard, lots of them and there I was damn scared really scared, ketan was cool as he is used to jungles and he has done crazy thing in there he had stayed whole night on one branch of tree just to have one glimpse of leopard he is crazy but what about me he can climb tree in sec I let me think may be in five min till that time I would be half inside leopard. We had one bag pack and a camera nothing else not a knife too. But then still we started to walk as we really wanted to get out of there………… but there one more attack I was almost going to faint guess what fresh shit done by leopard, it was not just shit but mix of white hair I think so he must have eaten old white man nooo it must be rabbit or some thing but now I really needed to run but ketan again said lets wait under one tree and see whether leopard is around I said ok and we sat for a while, again after some time we started back towards city, my camera was inside the bag. 

As we were walking I saw many bones of animal’s dinner place of leopard. I said hmmm. Great! And then after and hour and fifteen min we were out again. Stopped at some place clicked really good macros again. Whole day it was sunny as we were suppose to get out there heavy very heavy rain started and we were all wet, but enjoyed a lot it was hell like experience, & next day came to know its restricted area forest department, photography not allowed. But I got best of it. Enjoy the photos. For the complete set, CLICK HERE