(Write up by Hemanth)
(Note : This is a pretty big write up, takes about 10 to 15mins,do read & enjoy, penning this down took a few hours)
It’s not everyday we are excited about the morning alarm going off at 4 A.M
18th Nov17, the first time I am going meet CTC and trek along the ‘’ never seen before ‘’ Nagalapuram!
All comfy, the vans started at 4.55am from Koyambedu picking up all the heroes for the adventure.
Seeing Peter for the first time, he looks like the white walkers chief from game of thrones with the blue eyes and all that haha 😛
One neat — “small shop — breakfast stop” — (Read it with the flow, if you don’t get it, try again!! :p) with Idlies Poori & Pongal Vada sambar, can’t complain at all! Packing all the carbs in the morning right before the trek, All 23 of us, perfectly adjusting together from Uthukottai, moved ahead with still some, not so familiar faces, for first timers like me.
With Kotte, Peter & other few coordinators all of us looked like we were well taken care of.
The weigh test of our backpacks, in the van filtered out all the ‘Extra weights’(Which isn’t really extra for trekkers like me) I was even stripped off my privilege to carry my flip flops & a towel, a few of them, even food. Haha.
The ascent: It was 8.32am when peter says “Anna Stop” at this ‘not really a road path’. Getting down everybody is brimming with energy, waiting to lash the mountains, to grab the nature at a pace!
Get set go. Trek! Hail CTC!
Not even 20meters from the place, a few of them crossed a small, flowing water canal and kept moving forward & that’s when Peter said that the path’s not by crossing the canal but through the canal.
Now all the boots are off our feet, we walked through the stream, getting a soothing pebble foot massage, if and when done right 😛
A little further, soft beach like sand, made the feet happier. We set out together like a wolf pack, one behind another following the path along the lush green 5 ft grass! Beautifully scenic!
With the phones’ signals already going missing, we know the forest is not far away.
The path gets narrow, a few thorns scraping against our skin, was the welcome we received by the forest, hinting that the adventure, we came seeking, wasn’t going to be a bed of roses!
Little did we know that, the trek wasn’t really in the mucky paths of the woods but on waters of the streams predominantly. So we ended up climbing, balancing, slipping and cuddling with all the stones and pebbles in the water all through. We realized there’s no other way to do it all without getting dirty and wet. So, no more hiccups with the shoes! Bring it on!
A few of them had to slow down while walking on water and the others kept jumping and moving forward.
The wolf pack split, a few strong men, at the fore front, disappearing. A few middle men like me, and finally a few crawlers. We had the spirits as high as sky, nevertheless
We kept moving forward, on the rocks, shuttling between the right and left sides of the stream, quite often, falling, getting back up, dusting and moving ahead.
We had trekked close to 4 hours already. At one point, I realized I lost sight of people in the front of me and I saw nobody behind me. I couldn’t see no moving forward path. There was no way but climb up on a huge inclined rock which had water flowing down. I stuttered around here and there to see the slightest of chances to make it through without the climb, but nah, nothing at all!
I waited for nearly 15 mins and even then, when I couldn’t see people behind me, I thought I was lost and was petrified. I didn’t know what to do other than to wait and pray that I’m not lost.
A sigh of relief left me when I sighted Kotte come along with a few fellowmen, only to tell that, the way I thought was impossible to climb, was the way ahead.
when I realized. When you think it’s not really possible to do it, it’s easily possible & when you feel it’s impossible it’s much possible!
To my dismay right after that climb, I see our guys chilling on the rocks eating lunch and a few enjoying the water spa under the falls. I went quickly and got comfortable, ate a little, washed all the wounds with the magical water and relaxed. I saw the foremen had climbed up to another falls on top and were chilling like bosses. I had hurt my right knee real bad and it was bleeding. So, didn’t want to climb up. So I remained at the lower falls and chilled while medicating under the falls! 😀
Kotte came and told us that the break was done and we are to continue forward. I know he feels I’m a crawler and I had to make it up soon with everybody else to give a better image.
I wore my wet boots, which weighed triple of what I had started the trek with. My ankles were hurting and my knee, bleeding. I told myself I’m not going to be the last and kept my pace along with the foremen. Yes, painful but I was determined. I held a steady pace and walked panting heavily. We then climbed dry rocks with the wet shoes and slipped a few more times. By then, I had become accustomed to falling and getting up, I realized, “when the going gets tough, the tough gets going” haha, so much of philosophy see. All of it making Real time sense!
In the order Myself Harshal & Suresh, were walking together when we came across something looking like a 70° inclined trail & rocks. Though it looked impossible to me, I decided to climb it thinking it was the way. I went pouncing on the rocks I could get a hold on and set on with my hands and legs. Following me, was Harshal and much below him ,was Suresh. I had almost made it to the top when we heard Peter shouting that we had taken the wrong route and the path uphill was towards the left, unfortunately for me and fortunately for Suresh! Harshal and myself had to struggle as much as we had to climb the incline to get down.
Having done this mistake, I, once again, lagged behind. Phewwww, so frustrating to get the tag of a crawler when you’re really capable of going ahead strongly. “Maybe not your day, today.” I thought to myself. To add to my falling spirit, my thighs kept cramping all the time, making the climb get worse. Blood oozing, thorns scratching, wet boots dragging my feet down, cramps making me lag, I kept going. “could there even be something more to this?” I asked myself but kept moving ahead with the undying fire to make good.
From crunching inclines to stabilized flats terrain, from flats to a slight slopes, from slopes to flat surfaces. It was getting better. I was moving ahead possible not to stop anywhere now except for the cramps trying to make me halt, but no, by then, I was determined that I would not let this stop me!
I kept walking with the foremen and finally, phew, round 6.45 when it was slowly getting dark, we reached a point, they told was the camp site!
A slow water stream nearby for survival and a fall little behind for luxury!
What a day. If I told you now it was all worth it, it would be an exaggeration but it was indeed quite a day! So traumatic. So real.
So adventurous. I wouldn’t say it was difficult! Over all, it was a perfect trek, to call off the day1! After all what’s a trek without some blood as souvenir and some beard to survive on!
The other heros from the other trek Nagala-Tada came and joined us at the camp site. The wolf pack had just gotten bigger!! Some 16 more of adventure enthusiasts chilling with us for the dinner. Some soup, with less salt for supper, was not so yum, after all you can’t expect sweet lassi at the top of a mountain. :p
Kotte was asking for volunteers to sing, make some
. I wanted to sign the Humsafar song, which I had practiced long back, but I was a little shy. Also I was busy tending to my wounds, so I remained mum.
A tired group, slept, snoring happily to the pure oxygen, letting the nature heal their punctured bodies. The CTC core team or whatever, looked like they were more of a family, went to the pool in the night to chill and back for some talks, music and food.
Close to 11pm, all of us were inside our sleeping bags and blankets. Just the starry sky and trees around as the bedroom and a few strangers next to me, sleeping. I captured this memory, framed it in my heart, so it remains forever.
Day 2- Nov 19,2017
Around 6.30am it when I was up after maybe sleeping last among all of em. Soft light on face, neat and nice the body felt all fresh, the wounds were healing and the oxygen was illuminating us all. Now the pack got bigger. Close to 40 of us!
The morning pool jumps, Swimming, forest breakfasts. Typically, a beautifully adventure morning, a dream everyday morning, for me, certainly for all the 40-likeminded people.
Can’t start better. The day trek of
Following the trail. Now today, I didn’t want to again be called a crawler, from the start I tagged along the men at the front!
The trek starting at 9.30am, had a lot of pools & falls on the way chilling every pool clicking group pictures.
Go pro videos under water, slow motion dives, checking out dragon eggs like rocks on crystal clear water.
We halted for breaks in falls and leisurely started to descent, after which there was quite an incline followed by complete descend along the thorns and loose rocks.
A little challenging because I had to apply pressure from my knees and that they’re hurt, but didn’t let that hinder a little of my pace. Kept it all along with foremen, also to enjoy the privilege of bigger breaks, while waiting for people coming. Much better moving forward, falling and raising. We reached at a beautiful stop, to halt for lunch.
Almost looked like a luxury picnic spot for adventure trekkers. Again, some jumps dives and water spa some play some food. Behind the spot was a much greater place, the cliff point, pretty tall to jump from! Not everybody but a few of the strong foremen were chilling like bosses jumping making videos and crazy adrenaline dives. (I jumped too :p)
Wrapping the lunch. We set straight to descend. Down down and down, falling and getting up, steady and muddy, daring and dirty we all trekked for a few more hours.
To finally see some heart crunching plastic waste bottles all at a point to realize we are back to this world of garbage from the mighty mountains. Moving ahead trying to pick up some garbage and stuff it inside the heavy wet bags we had a final small water stream to clean ourselves up before a 2-3kms walk to the transport.
I don’t know what it was, I don’t know if it was planned, we all had to go to Sathyavedu from where we got down.
Our men arranged for a tractor. Crazy!
We all hopped on to the tractors socializing on a never before experience of a conveyance like this.
Making some new friends, talking all about adventures and trek, fitness and fun. We reached in 45mins only to take a bus to some place which I don’t remember the name in the local bus for the next 80mins.
Continuing to socialize listening to some nice stories and narrating a few, we reached our vans to go ahead to the planned Dhaba to smack that hunger blues. The best finishing part of the trek is the food with the strangers turned friends. 😀 yummy tummy filled in. With bruises wounds, a lot memories and with so much life getting back to Chennai, with all love spread from the Chennai trekking club!
Reached home by 11pm. On dot as per the email schedule. CTC always is on time you see :p
I hope someday I become a part of this adventure family too 😀 feeling blessed already! Thanks just can’t be the word!
Hugs and cheers to the spirits of each one of them! CTC is the place – explore – adventure – live life like never before!
* Thanks to Peter & Kote for roping me in .
* One special thanks to Peter for finding my power coolers lost in the deep waters in a falls
* Thanks to Naga bro for the slippers for the final 2km walk.
* Thanks to Sid & Harshal for the pictures & videos.
* Thanks to the other co ordinators who kept motivating.
* Thanks to everybody for being a part of this memory 😀