Write-up By Marine, Morgane and Ninja
Emperors Trek & Deep Jungle Safari on 15 & 16th Sep
We started the Emperors Trek on Friday evening at Perungalatur. This was our first trek with CTC so
we were really excited about how it was going to be. Based on previous experience with Indian
trains, we arrived about one hour in advance to make sure not to miss the bus. There we got
introduced to the Emperor team – we realized that it was on the three of us to hold up the girlie
power for this trip. 😉 The bus journey in AC sleeper was really comfortable and at some point we
wondered why we were able to have such a peaceful sleep… Later we realized why: We had stopped
in the middle of nowhere waiting for a new bus to arrive. After having changed buses and forgetting
one pair of trekking shoes our team arrived in Theni four hours delayed. We took a crawled
government bus to Bodi, there we squeezed ourselves and our luggage in a van to take us up the
mountain. It was amazing for us to see how many people and bags can fit in one van!
Equipped with nice sweet poli for lunch and water for the next hours, we started with an easy trail to
the water pools – the first opportunity to take loads of pictures. After having breakfast there we
went on where the real trekking started. Who said that there needs to be a path? We climbed up the
hills through thick groves and grassland. Arun’s motivating calls made us keep up the pace… we
didn’t take a lot of luggage with us, but it was the first time we wondered whether it would not have
been better to share tooth paste etc. to decrease the weight of our bags 😉 The hill didn’t seem to
end. The oranges we found on the way made up for the effort and the view was indeed beautiful. It
was nice to have a break, take photos and keep watching the rest still climbing the hill.
We stopped for lunch and had sweet poli. Then some of the guys started making bhel poori, cutting
onions, tomatoes, carrots, adding coriander, as quick as possible, then crushing in a very special and
mystic way, with cleeeean Hands, this wonderful CTC’s bhel poori in a perfect plastic bag. While
everyone watched with fascination – the 200 euro Swiss knife turned out to be very useful. At this
point we prefer not to mention Ninja’s German dance lessons. 😉
After having lunch and full of new energy we went on walking and enjoying the scenery. When we
were wondering when we would reach the tea estate, our leader kept saying in 15 min. So we walked
on full of hope. After 15 min, it was again some more minutes…and some more and some more. Like
this, we slowly step by step reached the world’s highest organic tea garden. What a feeling after all
the effort! We sat down and enjoyed a tea while the entire group came together.
In the meantime the temperature cooled down – it was the first time in India that we felt chilly and
even had to put a jacket on.
As it was about to get dark, plans were changed and the jeeps ordered to collect us at the tea estate.
It felt like ages until the jeeps arrived. Later, while being in the jeep, it was obvious – the road was so
bumpy that the jeeps couldn’t drive very fast. We got shaken a lot so that some people started
feeling sick. That smelling at a lime is supposed to help – I think we will never forget that.
For dinner we stopped at a small village. So many hungry people fighting for omelets and parotas to
fill their stomachs 😉 It was fun to watch. At midnight, we had a quite impromptu but really warm
birthday celebration. It was a very nice idea to put cake and candles on the jeep. And the coke our
birthday boy got spilled over his head was in the truest sense of the word sweet indeed.
It took another hour to reach the place where we would stay the night. The place, an empty house,
was really great for such a big group like ours. We all fell asleep as soon as we laid down.
The breakfast next day was soooo tasty! We stopped at a small restaurant where we had the best
Indian dosa we had so far. By jeep we went to the next place – to the waterfalls! It was impressive to
see such huge waterfalls from close up. This will be one of the moments we will remember for sure
when we return to Europe. The tea plantations and all the pictures we took in there will also stay in
our memory. The trek downhill was quite exhausting but we won – we made it back in time to catch the bus!
Overall it was a real pleasure to go trekking with such a motivated, caring group! It won’t be our last
trek with you guys!
In the end, we couldn’t demonstrate our cooking skills 😉 but next trip we definitely will!
Thanks for taking us with you,
Marine, Morgane and Ninja