Well, very frankly, I am not the kind of guy who would love to climb rocks. Or for that matter, even do avid trekking. But I enjoy photography and I would tag along to all sorts of places to get some nice shots. So this time, I accompanied Surdy and Adi to this rock climbing day-out in Mumbra.

We reached Mumbra at about 7.30 am where we were joined by a group of passionate rock climbers who do such climbs every weekend. Some of them are as young as 20 while the oldest is 54! We had breakfast (kheema, omlet and pav!) at a local restaurant, and headed for the hill. I guess it is called the Mumbra hill because there is a Mumbra Devi temple on top of it.

Arun and Franco had carried the gear for this day-out. For them, this is just a hobby and they would teach us beginners various sorts of exercises such bouldering, rappling etc. So if anyone of you is keen on this hobby, then you must get in touch with Arun Ullal at aruntrek2003@rediffmail.com. And he does this for free, no charge!

So geared with all the wonderful equipment, we went up the hill. Rock climbing, Surdy tells me, is about power, skill and mental toughness. And indeed it is! I only had to do two boulders to know that. Rest of the time, I got to the top using an easier route and was trigger happy clicking people who were sweating it out :-)

Franco (beige pants) and Arun (navy pants) were good with this stuff. The best rock climber out there was Manoj (orange pants), who was practising for the forthcoming competition in Belapur.

We had a lovely lunch :-). And another shorter session in the afternoon. And after that, it was time to pack up. While the rest of the gang headed to their homes, Adi, Surdy and me went up the hill a little more (by steps of course) to see the Mumbra Devi temple. It's a nice small temple, and the view of the creek and homes below is awesome from here.

And oh boy! India is a cricket crazy nation. Log kahan kahan cricket nahin khelte!

And while people are the most interesting subjects of my photographs, street photography is equally captivating.

So, end of another day, this time spent differently though. It was good fun - meeting a different set of people and getting to know a different sport/ passion. And all this for less than Rs. 100 in expenses, you can't get a better bargain. So all you rock climbing fans, go try your hand out there.

Tags: India

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