Sunday, January 4, 2009

Rama is a serial trekker now!!

Many raised eyebrows when I told them I'm into trekking.. After two months of trekking, I'm pretty sure that this is where I belong!

My encounter with Nagalapuram -- I have summed it in my post below

Do read it and leave your comments!!

My experience about the Nagalapuram Trek -- A first time trekkers FIR -- A bit Long though!!!

My typical Saturday itinerary is something like this-- get up @ around 12 noon, get hooked to the internet, book any movie running in Satyam Cinemas/mayajaal, Do Pub hopping and hit on a watering hole, Get home late night and crash for the day cursing myself for wasting one day of my weekend.....

There was a unusual twist to my usual cozy Saturday story.... Thanks to Baidik who threw light on this group to me.... I registered to this group on last Monday and through the chain mails realised that a trek is happening in nagalapuram hills.... Never heard of that name before... But I registered for the trek just for the heck of some fun filled TRIP.....

I woke up @ 4am... Rushed to Tidel Park after picking up Raghu - the co trekker on the way... As we came near the Tidel main entrance I saw a set of people chit-chatting, I asked one of them casually whether they are part of Chennai Tekkers Club, He was flummoxed and did know what I meant..I was bulbed... My wandering eyes caught another set of people... I didnt want to be embarrased this time... So i just went near them and tried to figure out myself whether they part of the group .... Bingo !! they were the CTC guys... We waited for 5 mins or so... there came Peter, Balaji and other trekkers... I introduced myself to the other trekkers...Then we headed to koyambedu to pick up the other trekkers...

"The TRIP has begun" My SMS to my mom once we started zipping from the koyambedu CMBT.....We pulled over for some gas in a nearby gas station...We had breakfast in a food joint... Then suddenly the rain god descended on earth, it was so refreshing to see it pour... we waited for about half an hour for it to stop and then we continued with our journey....We reached the base camp at around 9.15... We parked the cars/bikes...back packed ourselves with the snacks and food materials and I embarked on a journey of my life...

Perfect weather, Lush Green forest, thick tree cover and a passionate group of trekkers, I couldn't have wished for more. We were traversing across the thorns, bees and what not.. At one point we were walking across a small piece of rock clinging ourselves to the the wall of the rock...At the moment I almost felt that I have made a mistake by enrolling for the trek...After about 30 minutes we hit on stream with a small waterfall , it was so delightful to eyes... We jumped into it and soothed our aching muscles for sometime..Peter tied a rope across the stream to make sure that non-swimmers were not denied the fun... we lazed in the pool for about 30 mins and continued with our journey... for about one hour we were wading through thorns and steep climbs... and finally we broke for lunch near another stream.... Pooris and Idlis were in the menu.... But for a change I didn't have much inclination to eat.

I was feeling very thirsty then and all the water we carried were dried up.... so Shubro helped us filling the water bottles from the waterfall which was flowing into the stream... To be very frank I have never tasted any water like that before, so cold, refreshing, straight from mother nature... It felt like ambrosia ...Water has never tasted so good before...

After Lunch we continued with our journey ... I was starting to feel the pain...Aching legs...bruised hands(with thorns and even a bee stung me!!)... fatigued body...All of these wanted me to give up.... but my mind was just keeping me up to go an extra mile..But after a point I decided its the time to give up ..Then came Ram who carried my bag and gave me support and was helping me in the perilous climb... Thanks Ram !!!! We reached the summit at around 2 when the sun was scorching... We took a group photo to mark our conquest...

We began our descend immediately, we increased the pace of our walk and descend was really steep we had to watch our steps as there were many loose stones... After about 30-45 mins we hit on another stream... We decided to follow the stream...As we walked along the stream... we encountered another stream which we had to cross.. Peter did the initial safety checks...and we jumped in and cross the stream with the help of Peter, rope and the other swimmers... We thought we were done with the rivers by then... but we were in for a surprise when we bumped into two more streams one after another.... Yes we had to swim across the streams....We were so much connected with the trek that we didnt really feel the pain... We synced perfectly with nature took whatever it had to offer..... Peter and other swimmers were fabulous in helping carrying the bags across the stream.... and also helping the non-swimmers cross the stream seamlessly.... I'm sure we can give Mike Phelps a run for his money!!!!

We were just swimming and climbing and swimming again.... we were kind of unsure where each stream was leading us to.... I was getting a bit apprehensive about getting lost in the woods... We looked like blips on a radar scale when compared the mountains on both the sides.. I was reminded of an Eagles all time hit song "hotel California" -- where they end it like this -

"Relax said the nature ("nightman" in the original song) We are programmed to receive,
You can check out anytime you like(crossing every stream thinking that this the last), but you can never Leave (never find the way out)"

Then came the good news from Peter and the other senior trekkers that we have finally hit the right spot.... I heaved a great sigh of relief....

The night set in.,... the trekking continued.... We were walking cautiously across the dense forests...It was pitch dark and we were walking with our torches on....Then we were told to hold back for a minute or so by Peter.... The GPS system stopped working.... But Peter and other trekkers were quickly able to get the trail at the drop of the hat... that was when I realized that when technology fails experience steps in!!!

After that -- In Peter's words "it was just a child's play" and we reached to the base camp and got back to our vehicles....

Raghuvir and I were so tired... 100 kms before us looked like Nagalapuram IV to us... but we drove the vehicle like Johnny Depp drove in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and somehow managed to reach home safe.......

Finally -- Thanks to all you guys for making this TREK (atlast I realized its not a TRIP) a memorable one... Special thanks to Peter, Ram, Vivek, Antony, Balaji and Shubhro for organising such a fantastic trek

Last but not least... I think Robert Frost, the greatest American poet should have been a trekker himself since his lines fit the Club perfectly.

Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening

"The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep. "


--- Live for a reason, Trek all-season

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