The world has been undergoing some crazy time since the start of the year 2020. Almost all of us have been under a lockdown of one or another kind. The travel industry is near standstill. Humans are suspicious of each other due to infectious & deadly viruses he or she might or might not be carrying. It isn’t likely we are going to return to the same world that existed before the coronavirus in the immediate future. Lockdown in Jaipur was declared two days prior to all India lockdown on 24th March 2020. The situation in the city was akin to curfew with all kinds of movements on roads restricted.
The justification of lockdown was to save lives. But now as it is being eased and the number of positive COVID cases going up in India, it seems saving lives is secondary. Being locked up for close to 70 days with no access to parks, gyms, yoga studios, or cycling is hard to describe. The lockdown in Jaipur was modified last week allowing movement during the early morning. It was possible to venture out for morning jogs in the public parks, cycle, and even a hike.
The idea of undertaking a small trek near Jaipur in the Aravalis after being completely homebound for 2 months is hard to describe. It is certainly safer to enjoy fresh air in the jungle than in a city park, currently.
Weather prediction for the day hinted at an overcast sky and a light drizzle. It was a pleasant break from a high temperature of 42-45 Celsius for the last couple of days.
So here I was in a jungle full of Acacia trees. It is within a few minutes’ drive from the edge of the city. I’m sure this nature walk is good for the soul.
The trail is not a preferred choice of the hikers in Jaipur; a climb through the sand and thorns of Acacia trees.
Over here are some more pictures from this week’s hike.
A hike is never complete unless you savor the views and moments.
Was this hike any different from the ones we have undertaken in a pre-coronavirus world? Yes. A lot has changed.
- Safe distance seems to be a top priority in everyone’s mind.
- Hikers had trouble breathing due to masks. During the climb, the heart rate goes up necessitating intake of more oxygen. So everyone was struggling. The mask is not exactly the best thing in such a situation. But all of us need to adjust to the new reality.
- Hiking groups in Jaipur with a large member base are out for the time being. During the last two years, many new trekking clubs have come up. As a result, many popular hiking trails in Jaipur witness a large number of hikers. It is not uncommon to find groups with 30-40 people on popular hiking trails in Jaipur. I suppose this will take a backseat in the coming time.
I’m part of a small trekking group in Jaipur; our members have been discussing steps we need to take owing to the current situation. We also have a few members who are doctors. The consensus seems to be towards reduced hiking trips during the next few months, no carpooling, maintaining a safe distance, and hiking in a group of not more than 5 people. I’m not anticipating another hike in the coming two months.
The hikers exchanged experiences of the last three challenging months. I was happy to be back in nature on a beautiful day. This was certainly better than visiting public parks like Central Park. While the authorities have permitted walkers & joggers to use parks, the circumstances warrant staying away from jogging tracks. Let me share this quote- Learn from the past, Anticipate tomorrow, But embrace the now.
Going by this analogy, one should enjoy a beautiful day, whenever the opportunity arises, safely! What is your opinion of the current situation? How have you adapted to the new reality?
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