Post trek – CTC Emperor’s First camping activity at “Port De Nova” – Sankar

Write-up by Sankar                      
The first 3 things that get in my mind when I think about this camp trip are Eat(=Muniyandi Vilas), Play(=till last calorie is burnt), Love(=the Lonely Island). Anybody who have been to this trip wont just say this as a camping Trip because you have biking, camping & also eating (which was a major part in this camp: P ). You can sense this feel only by experiencing it!!!!!  Hope everyone get a chance like I did!!!!! . To start with my write up, here we gooooooo………
Just few weeks after my first trek with CTC-Emperor’s, I just can’t stop planning about my next trip with them. You got to believe me this group is so seducing!!! 😉  So often I keep checking the group mails (more than my office mails)   And when Arun announced about this camping activity (that too with the caption “FIRST TIME” ) I registered for the trip and was awaiting for the day to come (getting prepared to get exhausted to be honest)  
DAY: 1

As we planned, everyone gathered at Tidel Park by 5:30AM. To my surprise on our friend brought Xylo(I guess it was Mr.Kannan or Mr.Palani), so we all placed our bags comfortably in the car and started our pleasant ride in ECR. Arun and Balaji were leading us. Mano and Shankar (Puli) were sweeping us.First assembling point was at Toll Gate. Once we ensured everyone’s arrival we started from there. Second assembling point was at Mahaballipuram and the third one was at Kalpakam. There we had a break for 10 minutes. We had tea, coffee and stuffs and we started from there. Organizers ensured not to take long breaks as the temperature was getting high. I was eagerly waiting for the breakfast and the good news came from Puli saying we will be assembled at Pondicherry for breakfast!!!! (Wowww)  So I drove my vehicle faster to reach the spot..
Once we reached the hotel I saw people gazing at the kitchen. For example if u place some sweet on the floor then you can see ants crowding the it, same way once they started serving food people started crowding the kitchen, that at any moment someone would have kept his hand in frying pan if the food got delayed  The number of  plates used to eat were inversely proportional to the quantity of food galloped Only 10 plates would have been used for a crowd of 40(Do youuu believe thattt???? ) The hotel employees would have felt glad for not washing too many plates: P.  
After finishing breakfast in next half an hour we reached Cuddalore. There me, Kalyan, Murugan and Suresh had tasty guavas (I bet you can’t get them in Chennai: P ). Then we were heading towards the next meeting point. We had our gathering at a lonely railway crossing with a petty shop nearby; there we met Malan and Ankush who joined us from Pondy and after a brief chat with them and galloping few tender coconuts (felt refreshing for scorching sun )  we started our journey towards the lonely island waiting for our arrival to make some noise. We started moving faster without any breaks further. We were informed about the meeting point so we were moving steadily towards the destination. After travelling 25KM from cuddalore we reached a side road where our friends where waiting to direct us to Arun’s friends place, As we entered the village the kids around there were so excited seeing group of vehicles entering their village, that they asked us whether we have come to shoot a film in their place . 5 minutes from there we reached Arun’s friend’s place where we parked our bikes. 
Thanks to him for arranging shades for bikes to park. We refreshed there for few minutes and started to the island “Port de Nova”. From here our bike journey came to an end and from there onwards we moved as a group, and so obviously there was lot more fun part to be shared.
After we travelled for around 20 minutes we reached a place where u can sense the typical smell of sea. Yes it was a fish market placed near sea shore. One side they were packing tones of fishes to be sold and on the other side they were bidding rare varieties of fishes (colorful & huge in size). On the other side our guys were chatting and roaming around the shore. 
To my surprise, Sundar brought an octopus floating and the next moment he was about to eat it raw!!!!  ( I got reminded of Bear Grylls Man vs Wild)  Then he took a kitchen knife to cut one lobe of octopus and everyone were eager to see him eating… Since there was no salt he didn’t eat it (that was his reason for not eating it  ) So sad the octopus escaped  . After a clicking couple of snaps around, the boat arrived to take us to island. Since they couldn’t accompany all the 40 inside a boat, we split into a group of two and we reached the island in next 10 minutes.
Once we reached the island everyone rested under the shades. Since there was a bore well nearby we were trying to get water out of that. After a long try and with the help of Malan, who brought water from sea to fill the water gap in the pump. Finally we succeeded getting water out of it and we filled our bottles. While resting I could hear someone scolding me. Ya it was my tummy asking for food . After waiting for one hour, our food arrived in a boat. You can see everyone’s face glowing like a 1000 watts bulb on seeing the dishes. We had parotta,chappathi, rice, fish kulumbu, Prawn kulumbu, rasam,curd and soft drinks (7up, Pepsi and Slice)to end with. You can’t ask more right??? Sitting in an island and eating some delicious homemade foods it was simply awesome. 
After a heavy meal we headed towards the camp site. Many rested in the shades of Palm tree. Me, Bala, Puli went to sea shore and started playing football. After a long travel and heavy meal think how tired we would be????? But still we can’t stop playing in that lonely attractive sea shore…. Once the temperature started getting low, slowly people started coming to shore. First we started a proper game with a group of 8, and finally we had around 20 people and we were playing non-stop for about 3 hours, with Arun leading one team and Bala leading the other team. Then we played few other games and finally we had “Kola Kolaya Mundirika”  
The fun part is the catcher should sing the song aloud  and there were some English translation too 😉 We played till last bit of energy to spare. It was an awesome experience to play by the shore like kids keeping aside all your worries, no body to question in a lonely island. Yess it was a perfect weekend. Then we laid the tent and lit the camp fire nearby. We had fun by dancing around the fire with all funny moves. Now Sundar came towards camp fire holding something in his hand, this time it was a live crab  . He fried it in fire and had few pieces. I was wondering how Sun TV missed him hosting Man Vs Wild in Tamil   As the sea breeze was high they lit candles all over the place inside a PET bottle(reminded me of the candle light dinner though I have not been there)  Since every possible part of my body was acing, I laid down to take rest… Imagine how beautiful it would be to be in a silent island with a cool breeze,surrounded by candle light and clear sky above, where u see millions of stars glowing????? Awesome right!!! Ya I felt divine!!!!.  
Then came the dinner, again we had a long menu to go  fish kulambu, fish fry, chicken kolumbu and idlli. Even I had a doubt whether we were in an island or “Muniyandi Vilas”  After a long fight between hand and mouth all tired souls went to sleep, but few hard ones were still searching for some entertainment…(mudiyala)  Then I, Malan, Kalyan, Gokul, Selva, Bharat, Dinesh, Sudeep and  Murugan (the order which we sat  )started playing cards. The game was new to many and it took few minutes to explain. Malan was patiently explaining all those rules even though we interrupted several times. After few trial games we started playing proper game with points. The only girl to join us was Amul Rani @ Alaghu Rani(that is how Murugan used to mock at her ) But she haven’t played cards in her life time  so she was cheering us!!!! I tried my level best to make her understand the game. Hope she does ;). The game went so interesting that we were playing till 12AM. Finally everyone slept around 12:30AM. 

The next morning we got up around 5:30AM to watch sun rise. Bharani joined us as he was staying in cuddalore. We had fun by dipping Saba, Bharani, Balaji Arun and  few many into sea(as they refused to take a dip  ). Then Me, Mano, Malan, Ankush, Anannya, Amul Rani went with Pondy na to have “Noongu”. They tried their best to find some but they couldn’t find any, as all of them were ripped and not suitable to eat. Finally we tasted the fruit (vidamatomlaaa ). It was little fiber but tasted like mango. We had few pieces of that and we started back to our camp site. We packed our bags and moved to the shore to board on boat back to Arun’s friend’s home. There we had Tiffin (Puri, Idlli, Vada). Thanks to Arun”s friend . Once again filled my tummy there (lighta  ) then we started from there by 11AM. Malan and Ankush departed from us in Pondicherry. Then we had few stops to have Noongu, Tender coconut and stuffs. Then we reached a hotel at Kalpakkam by 2PM, almost all the items in the menu card were ordered. The only person to taste all those stuffs was Mano .  Even the bearer would have forgotten to mention few dish but not him!!!! Everyone started from the hotel in sleepy mode. 
Now we were told that we are going to have some fun activity near Mahabalipuram.. So we were very eager about that!!! Finally we all reached a place called “POLARIS” in ECR where you have Kart Beat and Paintball. I have heard of Kart Beat but what about Paint Ball????? It’s a War game where you have guns loaded with paint balls… The one who get hit will have paint splashed all over his body… Funny right!!!!! We had four teams, each team is split into two and they have to safe guard their flags!!! If the opponent picks the flag then he wins!!! Once they wore those head cover and all those guards, everyone felt like warriors!!!! I can sense the pride in their face, (as if they are safe guarding their country!!!!).We had nice time there hitting others and getting hit!!!!! The only brave person to accompany an opponent next to him was Murugan (build up ) Since his bullets got over he ran straight to his opponent and sat near him (his opponent to had a empty gun without any bullets to hit )   Everyone were wondering why opponents are sitting together, even someone told me to check whether Murugan is behind a girl . After a colorful experience there in Polaris, we all took pics with different poses with body full of colors!!!! .
Finally when we planned to leave, we came to know that Kalyan’s bike key, sunglass and Bharat’s sunglass were missing. I was little tensed as they gave me all those stuffs to keep it safe  To add fuel to the fire, it was his friend’s bike and it had only one key!!!!!  Very tricky right???  Then everyone started searching them and in few minutes we found the Kalyan’s sunglass but still his key and Bharat’s sunglass was missing. We heard that it was last seen inside a white helmet. So we asked everyone who has a white helmet to search for it. We searched everywhere but we couldn’t find the key. Finally it was found inside gokul’s helmet, who was busy posing for pics (vessam vessam vessam ). Then to celebrate that we all had few tins of coke, 7Up, Fanta all those stuffs to chill out our heart and empty our worries (actually to empty our team account factu factu factu)  Finally we all departed from ECR to busy city streets cherishing the memories of this camp and hoping to meet those friends again in some event and kick start the chat about this event!!!!!    
Thank you guys for giving me a life time experience!!!!!  Hope to see you all in next trip!!!!!

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