This year the IAYP programme of treks got off to a fun and rain-sodden start for participants in the Bronze and Silver award cohorts. Our destination Karnala Fort - just south of New Panvel, is a spectacular fortified pinnacle reached by trekking through the Karnala Bird Sanctuary.
We started through the lush jungle in pouring rain - but as we ascended the weather improved, and emerging from the trees we gained glimpses of amazing views through the rolling clouds. We walked through groves of purple Karvi flowers which bloom only once in every seven years, and reached the fort in good time to enjoy the tricky final ascent. As the weather once again closed in, we carefully negotiated the slippery downward route and arrived finally about three hours after setting off ready for a much appreciated nimbu pani and looking forward to a hot shower when we got home.
A great group of mostly younger students made the climb with no murmurs of complaint. Their good humour and the forging of new friendships - we were a mixture of old and new students, was in the spirit of the IAYP - young people finding new ways to enjoy their free time, work together and appreciate the beautiful natural world.
Thanks to all involved: students, staff and a parent for making this a truly satisfying day out.