Post trek Western Ghats Series-I Trek to YANA

Post trek write-up by Kaushik (beach college – student : )
Post trek write up:

Let’s start with the proposed food menu for the 2 day trek.
Electral(84), apples(28), carrots(54), oranges(28), cucumbers(28), 5 star bars(56), peanut bars(didn’t
get to see them)(56), Maggi noodles(4×10), Knorr soup(14), chapattis(30), methi theplas(56), tang(6),
MTR ready to eat(15), Rusk(30), jam squeezes(42), pickle, puran polis(52), lemon(60), sugar(1kg),
and salt(1kg). The organizers realized only too late that Anvesh’s suggestion of the 60 lemons and
sugar was to make lime juice, which was not prepared anyway. So I found myself that Saturday
morning at 8am on the 9th of June 2012, at the beginning of my first trek with CTC, distributing
lemons to random people with trekking bags at the Old Bus Stand in Sirsi. What a start!
As was expected, all the buses recommended by Damodar were late by at least an hour. In the mean
time, Anshul and myself were discussing methods and techniques to scam ‘baap ka paisa’. Once all
the participants had arrived and unloaded all the food items to be distributed, onlookers wondered
if we were planning to open a supermarket in the bus stand. After completion of all the ablutions
and rituals, we hired a small bus to take us to a village called Baigavi.

After dressing up for the occasion in the only village bus shelter, we started walking along a road. Sticking to the GPS directions, they chose a random opening through the bush off a jeep track and entered the forest patch.
In his pep talk, Damodar made it clear that the group would be led by him, and no overtaking would
be permitted. So we religiously followed him even when he took a U‐turn to discuss the GPS trail
with Subbu and Ritesh who was bringing up the rear. Damodar took a while to herd us back into
formation before we could progress further.
For the next 2 hours
we walked through the dense forest, fighting our way through the thorns and the leeches, wading
across mud pools, and descending precarious slopes, uncertain of our footing.
The gods felt pity and pissed on us without a moment’s pause.
Our minds went numb. Our movement became very mechanical. We followed Subbu’s shouts of
‘Cmon guys’ from the bush ahead. Another voice periodically yelled ‘stop’ and we promptly ceased
all movement. A third fellow called out ‘snake’ at regular intervals. Cameras came out of our pockets
instantly and snaps were taken from all possible angles.

A fourth couldn’t stop howling ’sweeper’ hearing which we had to make way for Damodar to pass
through. To top it all, ‘Gabbar’ Ritesh barking ‘move guys move’ did instil ca certain degree of fear in
our hearts and we had to sprint ahead for a few seconds before slowing back to snail pace. At times,
even Subbu could hear Gabbar’s roar and had to dart ahead.
The endless waves of thorns and leeches reminded me of those old irritating computer games like
alien invaders. Our beautiful flawless skins were tainted with scratches and blood stains.

After what seemed like ages, we stop for a poli break(coconut and daal stuffing). Dalvir informed us
that we had covered only 2 kms so far, and had to progress a further 4 through the forest before
sundown. His warning didn’t register in our heads. We were too busy munching down the tasty
Now almost out of water, we reluctantly started walking again and soon, reached a step farm. Most
of us sat down to dry ourselves in the long forgotten sunlight while Subbu volunteered to visit the
nearby house to ask the residents for further directions.
Recharged, we started trotting again and it wasn’t long before we reached Yana.
The majesty of the unusual rock formations was slowly revealed to us as the forest canopy gradually
disappeared. I don’t have to say much about the place‐the photos are enough.

The leeches had taken a special liking on our group.
The view of the first rock formation from the temple was quite a sight to behold as well.

Due to conflicting opinions of the locals,GPS, snakes as to the location of Vibhooti falls (our
proposed campsite), we took the road route to the falls.
It was dusk by the time we reached a nearby village. The locals advised us to camp in the school
ground warning us of the leech infestation at Vibhooti falls. We settled down at possibly the best
campsite the CTC elders have ever seen in their many treks.
No time was wasted, and a frantic search began for dry leaves and firewood. Big stones were hauled
from a nearby spot to prop the cooking vessels over the flames. The gods wanted to relieve pressure
again and dampen our spirits, but we toiled undeterred, our hunger driving us on. Three of us held
up a tarpaulin sheet over the fire, while Anshul got busy emptying the soup packets into the water
filled Aluminim pot. Abhishek volunteered to administer small doses of kerosene(barely worked
against the leeches) at regular intervals to wake the now very drowsy and misbehaving flame, and
Prem, perched on the school compound wall, was on standby for moral support. All of us religiously
inhaled the revolting fumes like in those tamil home poojas.
Sudden changes to our plans were made, and a visit to the Gokarna beaches was unanimously
decided for the next day, especially after the 8 km of forest and 10km of road we had covered on
foot until now.
We slept soundly on the tarpaulin sheets in spite of the hot, humid, no breeze conditions. The new
and enthusiastically purchased colourful, compact and ergonomic sleeping bags were left
We were rudely forced into unpleasant consciousness by an angry Gabbar howling at us (by now our
bodies had begun to involuntarily obey his commands). Pack up in 5 minutes or be left behind! Clear
up all the garbage! Fast! Fast! FAST!
An hour later, we started trotting towards Vibhooti falls, following the sound of the crystal clear
water crackling in the cold morning air, and flowing down the artificial gulleys created for irrigating
the farms.
After a short uneventful walk, we reached the falls. It was a wise decision to camp in the school
grounds. The leeches at the falls together would have sucked us dry.
We took a much needed dip in the cold water. Some adventurous fellows climbed up the rocks to
the higher levels of the waterfall.

We enjoyed a peaceful morning walk up to the village bus stop.
The gang opened up ready‐to‐eat chapatti and MTR rajma masala/ aloo mutter packets etc. at the
bus shelter. Entertained was provided by the cows and dogs fighting each other over the cucumbers
we had to discard, and reminding us of the old Roman gladiator spectacles.
Bellies full, we crammed ourselves into a crowded morning bus to Gokarna.
After getting out of the maze of houses, we were treated to a beautiful sight of kudle beach…

After taking another dip in the salty waves, and followed by a few rounds of ‘catch the guava..or
coconut’(I am not sure), we settled down for a late afternoon lunch in a beach shack.
We boarded an empty 5pm bus back to Sirsi. The journey duration was doubled to 3 hours due to
some unexpected road works in progress. Our original plan was to walk in forest for the second day
and appear somewhere on the Gokarna‐Kumta‐Sirsi road and flag down a local bus. But when over
50 people tried to get in the vehicle at Kumta, we were grateful for the change of plans.
Back in Sirsi by 830pm, Gabbar introduced us to some ‘oota’ at a local restaurant. The sambar was
particularly good. We had an hour to spare before boarding our night buses back to Bangalore, and
had a final round of group photo sessions.
From roaming around in the forest on one day, to swimming in the beach on the next, and covering
around 30km of terrain on foot over the weekend, it was truly an eventful trip.
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