Let me begin with the line that Pauncho said on the bus to the trek starting point,”We need no guide, lets follow the stars.”
At that moment I was also thinking the same, waiting desperately for the trek to start , talking about snakes and Eucalyptus trees with Pradeep. We spotted a Malabar squirrel on the way to the starting point and that marked the beginning of a great experience.
We started late and it was already noon when we started the climb.The climb was easy with plenty of breaks.I would call day 1 as the photography day.Green grass,clear blue skies and green mountains were mesmerizing.Each click of the camera was just an effort to capture nature’s beauty but the aura of the place can never be captured, it could be only felt.
We reached the campsite just in time to see the shades of the sky change from Blue to Red. Getting water from the bottom was quite a task which i relished the most. As the Sun set it left the chill behind which was to increase over the night. Learning to set up a tent was fun and probably you don’t need engineering for that , you need common sense and experience.While the fire blazed , the soup was cooked and the maggie cooked, the temperature was falling drastically. I did not have a sleeping bag and after that cold night spen with no sleep the first thing I decided to get a sleeping bag. The first day was not that satisfactory considering the fact that we covered very little distance but the night camp and the cold made up for that.
I had secretly wished this day to be tough and my wish was granted. The journey down was tough and was real nightmare for some. Had to help people get down . Especially the lady I helped will always remain in memories and the witty remarks by her companion , to quote one,”Hey Messi , if she falls in a nice place just leave her there and proceed.” When finally we reached down with more than 3 hours of decent I could not contain myself at the sight of water. I jumped into that cool water not realizing that it could be deep and considering the fact that I was not that great a swimmer i should have avoided it. But a lesson learnt ,was helped to come out by fellow mates.The climb up from the stream was the most difficult and the most enjoying part of the trek. Almost no sleep, previous day’s exhaustion and the morning decent made it more challenging. But Me and Ajinkya just kept on walking and were the first few to complete the trek.Was wondering how the lady I helped would complete the trek and when she came to the top all that I could do was clap , clap and clap.
The crowd on top was great , especially the children who wanted to feel our sleeping bags.We waited for everyone to climb and then moved to catch the bus to Kodai. I never knew that in no time I would be served with the best biryani of my life.
The treks with CTC have always been great. I have been meeting new people , making friends , new experiences and the best part is a day well spent.
Thanks to Balaji and Tara for organizing such a memorable trek and kudos to everyone who completed it and was a part of it , be it the guide, be it the biryani man, the bus driver or the Bison.