[By Parthiban Annadurai]
Hello Hardcore CTC’ians,
Navigation BootCamp 2k17 – It was our first visit to CTC Fortress Nagala. We were so excited and curious about the final module from the beginning of camp, since it would be real situation to navigate ourself in the hills and forest.
Initially, me (Parthiban from the team called InTo_ThE_WILD) and three more members from Bengaluru registered for it instantly and booked the ticket to Chennai Central too (we were really so excited & curious) and my other set of friends ThondaiMan (a.k.a. Maan) and Arul from Coimbatore have also registered with the team name called “KAILPULLA YEDURA VANDIYA (yeah we are big addicts of Thalaivan Vadivelu)”. As usual, due to some personal as well as office related reasons from our team three of them were dropped and i combined with the Maan & Arul team. So, for 7th module itself we combined and submitted the results and we got approval from Peter and his team for doing this together as a single module.
Once we got shortlisted for final module, we were on CloudNine! Due to three members dropping, cancelled the tickets for them and after seeing the starting point as Uthukottai, booked Tatkal ticket in Kaveri Express to get down at Tiruvallur. And my other teammates also planned their travel somehow in last minute and made it to Tiruvallur by 6.00 am (one of our teammate Arul, our Main Navigator who is expert on technical concepts reached Tiruvallur station by 3am itself, so much excited aan!!).
Some two days before, there was a whatsapp group created for transport purpose and a mail communication also started to happen. Through the mail, we got a contact of Hari(PSI Kicks). These guys were our Life Saviours, since they waited for more than 10 mins in Junction to just pick us to Nagala East point. Nice car trip also!! (ETIOS Cross naa summa vaa!!) We finshed our breakfast in Uthukottai itself(cheap and at the same time quality too).
There comes the Entry point of the real test and we met Peteru and his colleague Kote. We have been given the WayPoints as 5, 2 and 6, suddenly Kote was saying to Peter that this guys looks new, so better will merge with some experienced guys, we also somehow thought the same but bit nervous after Kote saying like that and we started to realize the tough terrain of Nagala. Basically, we guys love trekking a lot and we been to Kolli (not normal, went inside to Gorakhar Caves), Sakkili Fort(its in Senji, everybody says about Raja and Rani Fort only) which doesn’t have any trails just a rock climbs but we never thought about navigating properly. We don’t know really, what Peter thought about us, suddenly he showed a great confidence (yep,this only driven us throughout the camp and we also don’t want to disappoint him) on us and told that this guys can go alone, no issues. We were like stunned and at the same time happy about the way he thought about us.
We just started from the parking area and there comes our problems, App is not loading anything, Data Connections gone completely.. etc., And there our VarathaRaja met us and he asked us why you guys were carrying this much weight (each carried minimum 10Kgs! yeah,crazy(some says mad) people we’re) on backpack and to one our teammate to change the clothes, since Arul came in Formals (yeah, Maan & Arul are still College going Students (Research Scholars @ PSG)) and i put up my shoes. Then we all were set to go for the WayPoints. Luckily, we loaded in my Phone and got working too.
We just crossed Shiva Temple and there itself we missed the Path or Trail which goes next to Stream till our awesome basecamp area. We blindly followed some teams and took their way. Thats where our real navigation begins. Exactly after 1 hour, we completely took the wrong path and just trekked the uneven terrain for more than 1.30hrs and struck with the Narrow Steep. So, we thought of coming back to the deviated point so that again follow the known trail. But there comes a real test, it was sudden forest fire. I heard in basecamp that some people have seen the fire from far, but we were chased by that! Instantly, nobody knows, from where we got energy to run and i thought like do i came for trek or Hill running practice?? There again we got up in some other terrain which doesn’t have water for more than 3.5hrs. While passing there, we just meet a strange guy!! Yeah, it was Slender lorises (Loris) (and we were like, enna daa Discovery la paathadhu laan kelambiruchu!!) We just cliked in our eyes, our camera was not able to focus it. Very sad!! Then we again started trekking, competely dehydrated. After, nearly 4hrs, we found out a pond with full of dark greenish water. We were like, dont miss this just drink and better survive first(viduvomaa enna, kaanja maatukku kazhani thanni vacha maari, paanjitom la).
From there, our destination changed to BaseCamp not WP5. Everybody thought the same and we were literally thinking, why the shit we came to this and struck up with this?? Then, we keep on went with some hopes and after 1 hr exactly, we heard some noise from the below of the hill which we were standing and echoed and got reply too, what a moment it was!! There comes our real incident based on our teamname “KAILPULLA YEDURA VANDIYA”!!(eduthom paaru oru vottam, andha maari oru vottatha CTM 2016 la kooda vodala) and we don’t know what we did to Nagala in the past, again we met with a steep. But, here we dont have any choice, since many human voices we heard (read it in Bear Grylls mode, “indha pakkam manidhargal nada maadra maari theriyudhu, so namma indha pakkam ponaa, ni8 thanga vendiya edatha adanjidalaam”), so we somehow cleared the bushes with Maan’s Weapon (Uruttu Kattai vachi Bhallaledava maari adichi norukitaan paiyan). Still after clearing there were bushes with full of thorns and then there was a small steep. Here comes my real test, since Maan & Arul were lean guys and am being a fat guy, not able to roll in that small steep (Maan & Arul were like, Thaavu daa Thaavu, Thaavaradhaa, naanae inga Thavazhndhuttu irukkan), somehow with the help of my long legs, just rolled and reached the base. Thats where we got our Beats back!! Drank water over there in stream and then again marched to basecamp by just keep on screaming(basecamp vandhuduchaa, yaaraachum sollungalan) and we reached the beautiful basecamp.
So, we took nice dip and Free Fish Massage(for this we paid each Rs.50 r Rs.75 in one of the Dam which is located in Kerala) and had a Puliyogare (Maan amma, oru vandi soru katti kuduthu vitrundhaanga!! Ella Amma um ippadi dhaan pola!! Honestly speaking, we ate that hell lot of Puliyogare). After that, Maan had a Power Nap for 15mins and then we again thought of covering atleast one WayPoint, so that atleast we would be having something to discuss with others in Night at basecamp(we were like agian, KAILPULLA YEDURA VANDIYA).
Here, when we were on the way to WP5, great Raja given a clue to reach WP5 (true that we also found out it somehow). We started to climb that steep way and again another problem(Nagala is like, avlo seikiramaa vitruvomaa enna ungala!! we were like, Aathaa enna kora vachom unakku!!) Yeah, clouds have become so black and we thought definitely rain will hit, so we started back to avoid the risk and reached BaseCamp. Actually, there was no rain, just drizzled and went(eppadi peiyum, namma dhaan edho paavatha panni Nagala kitta maatikitomae!!).
After the day long full of confusions, we were just chilling in BaseCamp and hearing others journey without asking them(all were like, one finished, two fineshed and we were like, inga onnumae mudikkalayae). So, here some people(badass CTC Guys!!) have really finished 3 WPs too!! Meanwhile, we finished another pack of Puliyogare with some Bread & Jam (enna nadandhaalum soru mukkiyam la) and made our rock bed near the stream and slept very deeply(one of the memorable things in our life).
Morning, we don’t know what force awaken us!! We all woke up by 5.30am and suddenly i came up with a plan for covering WPs, and everyone agreed to that plan. Since, saturday itself we almost reached the WP5 and came back, sent Maan alone to WP5 immediately by 5.45am. Till that time, me and Arul got freshen up and planning for reaching WP2 also asked others about reaching WP2, everybody told the same way which we planned. Maan(a.k.a.Bhallaledava) came back within 51mins by reaching WP5 and came back. Then me, Arul started to WP2 and we have told Maan to wait near the Sliding Pool trail which is going to WP6 by 10am. So, that he can go for WP6 and finish it off. As per the plan, we finished exactly came to that place and told Maan to go for WP6. Somehow, Arul felt bad and he joined Maan for WP6 and i came to basecamp to pick all our stuffs. On the way to WP6, Arul & Maan met Mougli team and another one team (WP mudikara nerathula kaiyum odala, kaalum odala, andha team paera kekkavum thonala!!) and then we three team completed the WP6 and started again to reach base. Here also, we set the time like i will be waiting at Sliding Pool with bags, so that we will be start exiting asap. Here, our fellow CTC’ians helped me by carrying some of the stuffs till sliding pool. So, everything went well as per plan and we finished all the WPs as per the original sequence(we were like, saved Peter confidence and felt great about it!! bcoz namma ammakal laan solli irukkanga, mathavangaloda nambikkaya yaamaathara maari seyal pada koodaadhu nu(apa apa sentiment punch um theva, enna namma appde valandhutom la!!))
After finishing assigned WPs, we just started and found Raja and his gang were chilling in one pool. We also joined them and were discussing about things faced during Camp, it was fun discussing about it!! For nearly two hours, spent in water, had Chappathi with Tomato Thokku as a brunch(again Maan amma proved herself, evalo chappathi!!) . Then we had a altogether different combination of food. Yeah, Mayoneese Murukku, Bread with Cheese and Mayoneese, Mini Samosa with Mayoneese and what not!! At exactly by 2.30pm, we started exiting with other team and came out by 3.15pm.
What a memorable day in our life it was!! (it was like the time to play “The Best Day of My Life” song by American Authors).
Takeaways from the Nagala Camp:
-Push your body and soul
-Nature is the only source of peace
We didnt feel any negative issues in this camp at all, all were too much positive things only (bcoz idhu namma CTC organized event aachae!!). Thanks all for making the day as remarkable day in our life and it was great to see the spirit and energy among fellow CTC’ians.
Parthiban A & My Beloved Team