Peter Van Geit
Treasure Hunt Thursday, June 9, 2011
Welcome to CTC's First Treasure Hunt! This mail attracted me a lot.
After my 4 Easy treks to Venkateswara (Ladies Trek 2-days), Nagala-West (First Timers Trek 1-day), Nagala-West (Ladies Trek 1-day), Nagala-East (CTC's bday - Freshers Trek 2-days); this was my 5th trek of level Difficult (EX/1 trail). Yes I'm one among the Nagala Pirates team for the Treasure Hunt. Will I be able to make it?? OMG!!! It's a difficult trail. Will I??? This was only going through my mind on the whole friday night without sleep.
Saturday 3.20a.m, we the Pirates started our journey to Nagala in a private travel van. Our crew members are Alex, Karmuhilan, Praveen, Gowri Sankar, Prasanna, Ganapathy, Jayanthan & ofcourse Me. Since I was the only girl (but know few guys very well), for the starting few hours I was sitting in a corner and still thinking whether I will be able to make the trek successful and also deeply missing the IPL finals between CSK & RCB which was on the same evening.
(Pirates – First Group Pic at the start)
Its 6:30a.m, we reached the starting point of the trek. Distributed all the apples, lunch packs, 5 star chocolates, cream buns, pickle bottles, jam, glucose packs. The first group pic was taken. From here we started walking. All my other worries are vanished. Now it’s only one thing in my mind is to finish the trek with success (finding the treasure). Just when I lifted my head, saw a huge steep mountain and asked Captain Alex (Organizer) and Captain Gowri (Navigator); where is our trail?? Casually Gowri answered, we need to climb up this mountain and go down the other side. My neck got broke seeing the steep. Before starting the steep climb we realized that, we (Karmu) forgot and kept the Ham Radio in the van, which is the only thing through we could contact Peter from the top mountain. Can’t go back again, as we have already walked a long dry distance, so we proceeded further without it. By this time itself I was tired. Our walking continued for some more time and distance; with all the thorns scratching and pulling our skin. Thanking my friends/captains/pirates Alex & Praveen for walking all along with my speed, carrying my back pack and for their helping hands at all tough times during this trek.
(Our trail) (Discussion about the forgotten Ham Radio)
Now to a very shorter distance it was gradually ascending. Walking-Walking-Walking. The steeper climb has come now. Oh my God!!! I could see few other Pirates leading up there. I’m at the lower level and getting drained of energy very often. Up! Up! The trail is going on and on. Loose rocks were there, keeping all my steps cautiously. Taking rests often. We were at half way of the 600m steep climb, couldn’t see the top of the mountain because of the bigger rocks and trees hiding the trail from my sight. I was asking to myself whether I will be able to make it and was walking very slowly. Alex was encouraging me all the way, that I can do it. Others have reached the 600m steep climb; myself, alex & praveen were at last and could hear the voices of other pirates up high there saying, “That’s all we have reached the top, little more distance. Come on guys!!” Got excited!! And walked a narrow strip of the corner of the mountain and reached the top. Hurraayyyy!! I/We made it, completed the toughest part of our trail. (In my mind: Hope there should not be any more climbings). All had few mins rest (power nap) under the shades.
(The Peak nearby our 600m peak) (Pirate Prasanna looking at the path we climbed, from the 600m Peak)
Adjacent to the mountain we climbed up, there was another mountain. Captain Gowri asked us, “shall we get down from here this way and climb up that mountain to reach the dry stream which will lead to the treasure point (this is shorter distance but tough trail) OR shall we walk on this flat trail and reach that mountain on the other side and proceed walking to reach the dry stream (this is longer distance but moderate trail)”. We all suggested for the second option as we all already very tired of climbing up.
Our walking started. By all this time I was not carrying my back pack; without any weight also, I was too tired and drained of energy most of the time, but was happy that I finished my steep climb. After some ups and downs, our navigator had a doubt whether we are in right trail or not. We stop at a point. Gowri, Karmu & Jayanthan went in search of the correct trail. Meantime we others were taking rest. The hot sun was scorching, no proper shade, but still had my real power nap. After 15-20 mins they three came back and said we will descend a little and will reach the dry stream which leads to the treasure point. We took this time as lunch break. Had our chapattis with mayonnaise, tomato pickle, fish pickle, apple and glucose.
(A falls we crossed on our way)
Started our descending walk which was again all the way with thorns. Somehow all reached the dry stream trail. Awesome it was not a small or medium sized boulder. It’s a trail of bigger bigger boulders going down down and down. Saw a small frog inside the mouth of small snake. My legs were aching and telling me to stop somewhere and give rest. So I took many 5 minutes rest till reaching the treasure point. The GPS showed 2kms to the treasure point. We all had a hope that we will reach there first.
On the way we met East-Side Warriors team going infront of us. Walked the 2kms and after some time we could hear the sounds of other teams at the treasure point. It was the teams Chennai Trekkers & East-side Warriors. Chennai Trekkers were the first to reach and find their Treasure (Red bull) inside the deep pool there. Though East-side Warriors reached before us, we the Pirates (Gowri) found the second treasure box of Ferrero Rochers hidden in the sides of gorge. Aye! Aye! Captain!!!! We made it guys!!!!! Woooowwww. Happiness was flowing in all our faces. Within 10 mins all the 24 Ferrero Rochers were swallowed by eight of us. Yeah that was a great treasure at the right time.
(Pirates of Nagala with our treasure - 24 Ferrero Rochers)
All our bags were ferried to the other side of the pool. This was the first pool we all fell in the water. Had a great time. Other two teams proceeded further to the Picnic pool which was 500m away from here to have their camp set. We decided to camp here at the treasure point itself. Soon the darkness covered. No contact with the other two teams Hungry Wolves and Mountain Kings. Hoping they would camp somewhere on the way and reach the treasure point atleast by tomorrow morning. Camp fire is on. Cooking was started. Nothing is gonna be tastier than Yummy Maggie Noodles and Knorr Soup during the treks. All had a tasty dinner and soon unwrapped our sleeping mats and fast asleep. Often I woke up in middle as I was laying on a nice flat surface (lol.. it was a rough surface), saw a wow sight of fire flies above us and hearing the sounds of nearby stream, I slept again.
Sunday 6.15 a.m, I woke up and few others were already having their ice tea. As the two lost teams haven’t arrived our camp site, Peter gave us the other chances to find the other two treasures. We wake up all the pirates and started searching the remaining treasures. Hurray! Pirate Alex found one (Pack of Choco Pie) under the dry leaves on the gorge and another one (Box of French Vochelle Chocolate) by Pirate Jayanathan which was hidden under a small rock. Yeah! We made some more treasures, which we carried to handover to the two teams who didn’t make to reach here. We started walking to the Picnic pool. On the way surprisingly we met the Hungry Wolves team walking towards the treasure point. Somehow they all made it and completed their hunt in 24hours. Still there was no contact with Mountain Kings.
In 500m walk we reached the Picnic pool and all had a great time in the pool. Our breakfast was cream buns, apple, chips, rusk & raw maggie masala mix. Our pirates had a good natural fish pedicure. We had the most enjoyable time, as the other three teams proceeded to check-out Nagala. They all took a trail of climbing the gorge and reaching the dead end pool and first pool. As we already climbed a lot lot the day before, no more climbing and we decided to descend along the stream and reach the dead end pool.
(Pirates Team & I clicked this ;) )
After posing to pictures we also started from there. Starting it, we need to swim for a distance in the stream and then proceed to walk further. These are the moments we all enjoyed a lot. First our bags were ferried. Then with the help of swimming tubes and sleeping mats we few non-swimmers crossed the distance. We were very happy being in water because of the scorching weather. Chatting and teasing while walking was continued all the time. Took some breaks in the middle having biscuits and glucose to regain our energy.
Now we reached an awesome & scary place, where we were above a cave and need to jump down through a hole like path and go down to the pool with help of a rope. OMG! I’m damn scared. Donno how I gonna jump first. Prayed to God, mummy and everyone. Though they were all not there, and only with help of our pirates Gowri, Alex and Praveen; I did that. And again with their help, I got down in the rope. Ufffff!!!! I did it again!!! WOW what a scenic falls inside the cave. We Pirates enjoyed a lot, shouting to the core, taking pics and recording awesome videos. Wanted to spend the whole time there but need to proceed.
(Our most enjoyable moment)
Both the sides were huge gorges with a narrow strip of deep stream running. Again we need to ferry the bags and need to swim. We loved and enjoyed being in water again. WOW the path was awesome, having few turns to reach the point. We all did it. We spent some leisure time here for power nap, posing attitude pics, playing in pool and ofcourse it’s a lunch break too. Had our remaining chapattis with mayonnaise, tomato pickle & prawn pickle.
(Narrow strip stream with huge gorger both sides) (Our Lunch break spot)
Walking continued under hot sun with some ups & downs, crossing the stream this side and that side & boulder hopping. In my mind: “Where is the Dead End pool? I need some break, my legs are aching”. Atlast we reached the pool which I was waiting for. The other teams were just on the other side of the pool having their nap and lunch and then left after some time. We spent our time this side of the pool. Captain said it will take two hours to reach the dam (exit). So it’s again we need to ferry our bags and need to jump into the pool and swim to the other side. I love jumping. I didn’t had a chance for that in the other pools but now I had. I was the first to jump from our team and first time to jump without anyone there in the pool to save guard me if I drown, since I was wearing the swimming tube (lol). Wow it was too cold. Enjoyed solo in the pool. Meantime our bags were ferried. Then all the Pirates dived into the pool and crossed.
Now we decided to take the next break at the first pool, which will take another 45 mins to reach. This trail was descending not much ups. Walked slowly and reached the first pool, where we met two guys of Mountain King team and got the news about their lost of trail and about the IPL finals results that CSK has won the match. We were happy. Had a good fun in having the Tang juice and started our walk; the usual trail for eastern entry. Though it’s an easy trail, I was unable to walk because of tiredness and wound in my both foot. Again my backpack was carried by Alex. Yeah I could see the Dam, we reached. Took a group pic and walked to the van. The awesome & fantabulous 2 days that we all eight had comes to an end with carrying full happiness and memories. I was very happy that, I finished the toughest trail and didn’t give much trouble to my Pirates. On the way we had our dinner and all the way our enthusiasm didn’t drown till reaching our home. It was full of fun & teasing our Captain Jack Sparrow Ganapathy.
(Pirates of Nagala)
Gowri Alex Praveen Karmu
Prasanna Ganapathy Jayanthan & it’s me
Thanks to all the above and Peter for this Treasure Hunt!!
Aye! Aye! Captain!!!
See you all soon in another fun filled adventurous trek!!!
By, Saranya Sumi
Peter Van Geit
Treasure Hunt Thursday, June 9, 2011