We shook off the lingering Thanksgiving weekend with a sturdy hike today, climbing 1,100 feet to reach Karnala Fort.
The climb passes through the Karnala Bird Sanctuary off highway 66 in Raigad, Maharashtra, home to some two hundred species of birds.
We also spotted wood spiders, carpenter bees, termites, dragon flies, and cicadas, and saw signs of tarantulas and snakes.
The woods were also dense with simian and human activity, the latter dressed in surprising attire for the 5.3 km trek to the 13th century fort: everything from flip flops to saris.
Some families carried impossibly large picnic baskets, considering the challenging terrain. The trail ranged from steep rock-and-root steps to slippery scrim to flat trails along the ridge.
Upon arrival at the fort, a series of iron railings provided balance along the steeper stone rises.
From the top, we had a view of other forts in the distance, including Prabalgad, Manikgad, Haji Malang, Matheran, Rajmachi, and others built along India’s Western Ghats. We also spotted our favorite local peak, Tooth Mountain in Karjat, shaped like a giant wisdom tooth.
Perfect for recalling our Thanksgiving feast.