Post Trek write up – Tour de Courtallam, Dr. Arun

WRITE UP BY Dr. ARUN who gave presentation on First Aid at Trek Polama 3

“Tour de courtallam” – hmmmm.. , the invite sounded different. I registered immediately just seeing ‘Courtallam’ (couple of months back) and totally forgot about it. I was reminded by the mail after a long gap. Having realized that it was too late for me to tour, I tried my luck with my days off. 
I was thinking it was a trek (though the invite was clear) until I called the organizers, Vadivel & Durai. Soon I could see the eagerness and the enthusiasm from the fellas with lots of doubts and boarding points in their mails. 

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I boarded the Podigai sf train at Tambaram with others (total strangers to me at that time). I was really lucky to realize that am with the young energetic mixed crowd in the train. As usual,  I was lone & reserved initially. Then slowly I got introduced myself to the organizers vadi n durai, the ‘romantic’ couple, the ‘mama’ couple, akka, mutant, nonmutant, steel body, gargle, muscle men, noty gals(2), silent gal(1), butter, big man, bros., chechi and others (I guess all are familiar with ur nick names. The only known people to me were Denver n nandan. 

We started getting acquainted to each other, chatting in the usual way. All of us were awake till late night, then slowly e one got knocked off. Surprisingly it was not hot in the sleeper class with windows wide open and the strong wind against the pacing train. I got up early morning to find that there was no water to brush my teeth and to wash my …. in my coach. Thanks to Babu sir the big man for his efforts to make our journey smooth. 

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The sun rose lighting up the hidden sceneries in the dark – unveiling the range of mountains with the coconuts, paddy fields and other plantations. It was a welcoming rain for us, I thought seeing the dark clouds kissing the summit of the mountains. I suddenly realized how important the trees are to maintain the weather balance which lacks in our city.  We reached Tenkasi in the usual Indian railway time (1 hour late from the scheduled time) at 845 am. 

23 June 9 am – Boarded the bus to our guest house “MUTHU KUDIL”. Special thanks to nonmutant – Suriya for arranging the omni van n the guest house. It was a simple, colorful, well ventilated n clean guest house. We hurried to reserve our beds n after our usual morning rituals we boarded the van. But before boarding we all had our share of palm, padaneer, jack fruit, mangoes and what not? 

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We headed towards the five falls (only 4¼) – a bit early for the season I guess. There was the usual unresolved never ending problem of partition between the 2 sexes with police n securities waiting to pounce on the mischiefers with their eagle eye. I had a free oil bath without spending on oil with the fellow embracing shower takers. Our gals were forced to be decent by our women police (thanks to them) to maintain the ‘Q’ for the shower. Soon our hunger centre was stimulated by the delay and we ended up in a small hotel in Intharuvi for our bf. Some of us ended up in mooligai vanam while others were still eating. 

Having fully loaded with food our next stop was at “Paalaruvi” enjoying the forest n hill side road. I thanked the organizers for having shown such beautiful places. This was the tallest water fall that I have ever seen. It was a magnificent waterfall, with its water in full force driving all the people out of its own area. With few foto sessions in the drizzling rain we headed towards the KIP. 

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On road to KIP (Kallada irrigation project)we happened to stop near the huge unmanned n unused railway bridge exiting the tunnel. The Hotspot no. 1 for the foto lovers where all of us (the b. builders, the couples – ‘romantic’ n ‘mama’, the nonstop chronic munchers, akka n others) made our portfolios (probably for modelling). 

Not wanting to get out of the place we finally reached kallada for lunch. With post food drowsiness we started climbing the steps of the dam, which was a seasonal dam for irrigation n power. Down the steps we ended up in a shallow river / stream from the dam where the swimmers waded across by walk. It was that time the ‘dirty gargle’ joke n its 2 people became famous. 
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After the chai session we were back to the house with lot of eatables. With a massage trainee  – Org. Durai in our group we guys found our partners for oil massaging each other. While the gals down were wondering with strange n sensational noise. We then rushed to the “Main falls” at night for the bath. Never in my life rather in most of our lives, we never had or would have a chance to take a shower in the falls in the midnight. Soon after that we rushed to fill our stomach as the hotels were closing down. 

Most of us preferred to sleep out, rather than the room – to enjoy the lovely breeze offered by the nature. The early birds opted for a trek in the morning and ‘lazy’ me cuddled under the bedsheet. I along with others went for a morning shower in the “main falls” to clean up the remaining dirt and worship the god kutralleswarar (Kutrallalingam)in the near by temple. The ‘tired trekkers’ and ‘lazy bones’ had breakfast and travelled towards “Kumbavarutti falls” in ‘Achenkovil’. 

We were delayed a bit by a ‘tree fall’ blocking the road. Finally we reached the destination after the usual foto sessions. The way to the water fall was covered with flora of giant trees. The water fall was awesome which had the maximum force of all the falls we visited. After having our shower session we hogged our lunch and proceeded to the next mini waterfalls. We again had our shower and quickly boarded the omni van as we had only few hours left. 

On the way back we had dancing numbers performed by each one of us. 
Our last destination was thirumalaithirukumarasamy temple (Hotspot no.2), probably the organizers wanted to end the tour thanking god for our safe trip. But hardly any of us went to the shrine. We enjoyed the scenic view from the temple top slip. We had a grand foto session. Soon after, we rushed to our guest house n saddled up to board the train. 

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My mind was already full of work for the day ahead, but my heart was still wanting to continue the tour. For me it was a tour with memories, joy and new acquaintances. Way back I was sitting with my new friends in the train thinking of the loner journey I started with. We had a good chat, shared our contact details, had food together and slept off. I was dreaming about the next tour when, where n with whom???????….. 

Thanks to the organizers, volunteers and CTC for this memorable fun trip. 

In short – well organized with atmost coordination, right choice of places, economical, fun filled and good fellow people. 

Kudos to Durai, Vadivel n their volunteers. 

Dr. Arun 

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