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Today marks my last day as a Certifying officer with USAID. Quite typical with my previous career moves, there was a fair share of uncertainty when I signed up for this position. I wasn’t very sure what exactly I was getting into and I guess that was likely the draw too. It’s been a terrific year and a half – Timing our relocation amidst the pandemic, Sifting between remote and on-premises, moving from the States and between the States, Balancing team and personality dynamics and over the last couple months – making the most of our time in Delhi. I’ll cherish my time here over the next several years and walk out having met and worked with some awesome colleagues.
That said, I am pretty psyched on our next move. It’s been a long time coming and would mark a good transition from being a generalist to a specialist. Can’t wait for the randomness, surprises and ofcourse a good bunch of travel to unfold.
L made me promise on Saturday night that I wouldn’t cancel the hike next morning. She had every reason to be doubtful since we’d cancelled the Rajgad hike earlier today. After our K2S hike last night neither Ankur nor I were in a mood to venture out in the heat. What we didn’t know however was that she traded a sleepover with her friend for the Saturday morning hike to Rajgad. With us on the hills all last night and bad network reception things fell between the cracks. Amends were made and we chalked out a plan to head to Lohagad/Visapur on Sunday first thing in the morning.
I’ve been here once during monsoon. With cascades in all directions, this is one terrific monsoon hike. Turns out, the Visapur stretch is a great summer hike too. The rocky path all the way up to the fort makes it quite interesting and challenging. S had a terrific time sitting in the carrier and commanding me to climb faster! We made it to the top of the fort just before the heat started kicking in. Spent quite sometime exploring the vast fort contours and now arid interiors. Devoured several glasses of lemon juice and Thak before making our way back to the car. My calves were screaming of their presence on every step downhill. Such bliss and yet another reminder to continue scouting for such opportunities to explore the outdoors even more.
Katraj to Sinhagad – Take 5
Sharp at 0600 as we finally reach the road that winds up to Sinhagad, Ankur and I take a moment to savor the twilight chill. The last 7.5 hours has been nothing short of mesmerizing and rewarding. Just as it was twelve years ago when I did this hike with a much larger group.
Part of me wanted to just camp right on the first hill. To think of it, this has been something I’ve wanted to do for a while. Next time around, I should probably start a bit early and set camp on the hill just before Sinhagad so I can catch sunrise there.
Yesterday, something which had been up in the air for more than a year and half, finally fell in place. So this hike is also a celebration of sorts.
‘Urbanization’ peeking in quite adjacent to the Hauz Khas fort. This beautiful reservoir and the surrounding wooded area sealed the deal! Spent quite some time exploring around here this evening. Can’t wait to introduce M&S to this place.
That’s one neat, much-needed reminder!