Here is the write-up by masanamuthu
DAY - I
It is again Nagala but with new people, new energy. 22nd yr old – youngest organizer ( as far as I know) Senthil is organizing his first trek. A girl who is the co-coordinator for tidel park sent very strong SMS to be there at point by 10 pm sharp, the guys who is seating next to me also got the same SMS. The car owner who is also my past trek friend got the message,.this was not known to her that we know each other unfortunately. I was bit scared and thought she might be experienced trekker while reading the SMS. Once we gathered in the place, started speaking like machan,mama. The girl doesn’t have co-ordination role to play. Don’t worry Alekha. These friends are not my childhood friends, they introduced to my life before few treks and they are attached to my life closely. You will also get such friends for sure. CTC is well known to making new and true friends. It came to know later she is fresher to CTC, It is good to see organizers giving such roles to fresher and they take the volunteering actively.
We joined hands with another Mamu-Vikram who joined from M.Kaliash and gathered in koymedu. I noticed a aged man and very young boy waiting there, I just went and did handshake with them assuming both are coming to the trek as CTC always doesn’t have age restriction but later I realized that the aged man is a father who came here to drop his son . The young boy avinash who is studying 11th std joined his first trek not just with CTC but his first trek in his life. Kudos to his father. I have mentioned “aged man” & “young boy” words in last 3 lines but bit confused now what to mention for “Chella sir”. He is actually 40+ ( Sorry to reveal your age but Don’t worry still girls will propose you ) but he is looking like 20+ with new hair style,shorts,his son t-shirt. It’s all because of recent treks made him young. CTC guarantees “weight loss” for youngsters who are participating regular treks and “Age loss” for elders. The great example is our Chella sir. After meeting few known friends and few friends who are going to be known, the preparation is ON with full pace by Esakki who took charge in getting sign in liability forms and money collection by Bala who took charge in accounts. We could also notice couple of people who skin colour is contrast with us, the French girls also joining with CTC first time. Our-hero Senthil was busy in co-coordinating the car owners. Confusion over “total head count” and confusion over “Mani”, two manikandans joined the trek but one guy is supposed at that point. He managed all the issues beautifully and started pushing the vehicle towards Nagalapuram. I’m sure the guys whosever seeing Senthil for first time would have thought how this small boy became organizer but the fact is
“Muruthi sirusu keerthi peruse” ( I’m not good enough to explain this in English )
After travelling in senthil’s car. We reached oothukottai where we sipped hot tea with live singing concert by a “Tasmac - drunken citizen” in the tea shop. The police men who were busy in check post was jealous about us, they asked us that every time you guys go with your group why don’t you guys take us too. We welcome TN,AP police team to join CTC. No restriction. We had to swap people from cars and managed to get a vehicle free for 3 more persons joining the trek. A girl from Nagalapuram who was much interested to join CTC and tried hard for last 6 months without luck but this time the luck worked on her way. Her family didn’t allow her alone so his uncle, brother also wanted to accompany with her. I don’t think organizer can manage the situation unless he faces few drop-outs but Senthil said OK just for her enthusiasm about joining CTC and trekking interest. We enrolled 3 of her family with usual CTC norms. Thanks Senthil to approve such exceptional cases and allow freshers to feel good about CTC. Now kavitha’s family joins hand with CTC family.
We all gathered at base camp with our trekking gears, call was made to collect food items and common gears. We started our trek to enjoy the nature with lead position –Arun and sweeper Senthil & Myself. This group is mix of 40% freshers and 60% experienced trekkers. Another exceptional case on this trek is costal guard’s team who are coming for 1 day adventures camp with us with approval from Peter. We need to accompany the 10+ guys with us. It is going to unique experience for fresher to start their trek at 3:45 am with dark light , organizer would have thought to show the Nagala hill with a surprise when sun light comes in. We wanted the group to move fast and not leave gaps in the middle so kept saying “move on” guys, keep moving. The guys whosever coming last with us have to face mokka jokes so they will better escape from our eyes by pushing their legs hard. Lora,Emma was our first target to crack jokes, we had fun time while walking on the base trail. Thanks to Lora,Emma for accepting our bad English. After walking 30 mins,we could hear the stream’s sound that encourages to move forward. One of my father’s dream comes live today, My dad wanted to become me navy engineer and trained me since childhood as he works for Port trust but sometimes dream will be dream. Now, I’m the one pushing the navy officers to move forward and commending them and interestingly they need to obey/respect my order as long as l’m sweeper. Team kept walking and had lot of energy too as there were no delays in the trek. We crossed 1st and 2nd pool without any stop, Team was bit struggled and delay over few steep climbing and continued to walk along with stream. We reached 3rd pool by 5:45 am. Now the team is seeing each other’s face in sun light clearly. It is refreshment time to chill with water, dived into the 3rd pool and enjoyed the morning bath. If you need to tackle the chillness, you need to stay with water , should not come outside but when a call is made for tea preparation I would not be there for long time. Organizers never fail to keep their away from the water pool as we are mainly concerned about safely first and enjoyment /excitement is next. Manoj is a fresher who got brave heart tried to jump on a rock but failed with bad injury/bleeding at his leg. Bala and others helped him from his injury and I thought he won’t be able to climb further with his bad injury but he did it. CTC Emperor is well known for serving tasty food at any hill ( sapatu ramans ) and we don’t want to see our brand goes down. Fire is ON in our eyes and in cooking pot too for preparing upma with ghee and hot tea. Thanks to costal chief who gave us assam tea while we struck initially in setting up fire. His question was really funny, you guys need tea powder or tea ? when our fire was working bad, we opted the option direct tea not tea powder. So they served refreshing morning tea for us. Meanwhile, costal team prepared their noodles and left more for us. We managed to set the fire at another place and cooked upma with ghee. It is very tasty to enjoy the breakfast with heart melting sounds of stream and with chilled air. No camera man can cross our place without clicking our eating style. Adithya who was very keen to get more noodles from costal team’s pot and managed to get after a long struggle. It is better to serve noodles to French girls without explaining what is upma?and what flavor and all. Whatever the Indian food is, they felt that would be spicy. Luckily they didn’t say tea is very spicy ( ahhha.ahha )
After spending 1 hour, it is time to pack up from the 3rd pool but some hipamatoas is still enjoying the water and not ready to move forward. Commando Senthil forced the guys to move up from 3rd pool. The team was slowly climbing up on the rocks, few freshers scared lot to make a move at the rocks as it looks endangered without any grip but they managed to do it as co-trekkers helped them. Myself and Senthil showed a path at left side of the stream as water level was high than usual one. Few groups followed it but arun will not let the people follow the easy trail, he took another group to walk in the streams and passing through the streams. Nagala is the best place to walk on the rocks, I always enjoy it . People was making their move very carefully and started climbing a small steep and descent to cross a stream. Again seniors got more jobs to guide and help the new comers. We didn’t take much to time to reach the mini-courtallm falls, another halt at the falls. It is awesome waterfalls (can also term it as snow fall ) with high force and chilled water. Nobody will ask you token to enter into falls and no rules and mainly no garbages,no druken citizen will be around you as we usually sight at tourist spot – waterfalls. So all you need to enjoy the virgin forest with joy and don’t forget it is natural massage too.
DSLR men were busy in shooting the moments and capture single drops of water falls and we started slowly moving towards next mission – 5th pool. It was heavy rain last week in Nagala so it is bit difficult to confirm the trail and follow it as most of the path was washed away or at least the path will confuse you . Team was ready to face the challenges and we slowed started climbing up the precipitous path with rolling stones. Everybody pushed hard to get the top of the peak but realized later that we followed different trail, that doesn’t have any clear path and also thons will damage your skin as much they can. People started walking 4 legs (used the hands as legs too) in some place as there were no grip and don’t want to get injured at any places. After trekking on the hard path for 1 hour in frog style, we couldn’t get idea about reaching the destination. Sasi kept asked me how long it will take to reach the other pool. My answer was always 10 to 15 minutes so I think sure bunch is guaranteed to my face if I give the same answer next time. The peaks offered amala fruit in the middle that gave us fresh energy and moved further with same stamina. Don’t regret yourself that we missed the easy trail. “Don’t follow other’s route, make your own path” – Thumb rule of CTC. We should be proud to say we can make easy trek to moderate trek level and can complete it too. Yes. We somehow got connected to regular trail at last while descending from the hill. Swetha was looking tired and couldn’t manage the rolling stones; co-trekkers helped her all the way and got their luggage too. Thanks to all helping hands for supporting the slow trekkers and making them also to get the mission completed. If there is a halt any place or people taking rest in the middle. All we need to do is crack meaningless jokes and all we had is funn..funn..funn time but people who won’t tolerate our mokka jokes will have to escape or run away from us. This time it happened to swetha. Nice way of doing the sweeping job. Kudos Arun,Senthil and Bala.
Meanwhile Amul baby – Rakesh joined in our trek at last after starting late from Chennai and we all kept moving along with the stream. Another water pool welcomes us and swimmer got dived into water. Non-swimmer were busy in blowing their tubes. I must say people who were wasting time in blowing air would have invested the same time to learn swimming. I’m sorry Bharani, I didn’t mean you. ( bulbantha..bulbantha.Bharani ) .
After enjoying the water pool,people cut their pickle,jams packets to have chapptis for lunch. Team started moving towards camping location, It is time to say good bye to coastal guards, they planned to leave the place from there itself as they climb down and reach the base station before night. Brave hearts Senthil & Rakesh accompanied them to drop at base station and they need to climb up to camping site – 5th pool. These guys are really amazing and never hesitate to do any job at Hills. I don’t want to leave the water pool quickly, I was enjoying there for long time and came out from there at last and walked with bala,arun towards 5th point. We are last batch going to base camp, noticed tent was already prepared and folks got ready to sleep now. So what is the time now? It is 2:40 pm. Ada pavikangala. Team would have tired due to the hard trek and didn’t have proper sleep at night. Between, I’m the tent master as per the volunteering team email but nobody allowed me to touch the tent ( People would have already known that “Nan verum paratto masternnu” ) .
We didn’t disturb them further but this won’t happen at usual CTC emperor trek, emperors would be always busy marking and extending territories at hills. I clicked few sleeping snaps of people for time pass. I also went to a rock near the water fall and started putting the body in sleeping mode. If somebody murmuring or if some sounds come in the middle while sleeping, we used to get irritated and lose our sleep at bed. Here no bed only rock and water fall’s sound keep going into your ears without any stop but we can go into deep sleep without any disturbance. That is the beauty of nature which can be understood by our inner parts. It is time to prepare hot tea after a tired sleep. Once the pot is ready with tea, call was made to take the tea but half of group is still sleeping. A big rock was found to do mokka tharbar where aditya,arun became centre of attraction for laughing, had a great fun time for around 1 hr by discussing past trek’s comedies and other funny events. Meanwhile the two real heros Senthil,Rakesh came to camp station after dropping the costal team, they took just 3 hrs to climb down and up the Hills. People welcome them with a big round applause. Volunteers collected dry woods and preparation is ON for soup by 6o clk. BIG thanks to vikram who always get free noodles for soup packets. He is the man emperor team was looking for. Mixture of soup and noodles are now ready after struggling in fire, Had a tasty soup in emperor style. The fire was not set in OFF mode as the preparation was going high for Emperor special dinner – veg briyani with ghee,cashews. Collecting woods by a group, cutting onions by another group and blowing air in the dusty fire by Senthil and our main chef Arun is busy in making the formula there. I was busy in eating the toasted cashews (Intended cashews scam )
A group from a tent was busy in playing games and laughing. Emma started singing “Kola veri” song in the middle for the group added joy to the party. But a group of girls was simply sitting with their bowl to eat the briyani. Get ready folks for next generation of life style. All boys are busy in each department of cooking, No girls touched and not even come near to the fire. Make use of CTC to learn cooking that will be useful in your life boyz. I’m really tired writing about our special dinner at every trek or I may not be right person to explain it, I’m sure CTC fresher would have enjoyed the dinner lot. No words to explain the taste, it is good to eat the veg rice under the full moon and at the night. There was a technical fault while preparing veg curry in second pot that made few guys delayed for some time to get the dinner. Once the second pot is ready with briyani, there are no many takers for food however we wanted to finish the biriyani. Any volunteers for eating ? ? ? Nobody …..because all are gone to sleeping near the camp fire.
DAY - II
It was cold at night, I had nice sleep but chillness at morning around 4o clk woke me up .I couldn’t sleep further, thought to resume the camp fire which was setup last night. senthil accomplished me to do it. Once the fire is set, the guys whoever felt cold have come out from their blanket. We are about 5 guys started thinking why not we take the food which left unattended? We put briyani pot near camp fire and hands down into the pot to taste briyani by 4:30 am in the morning ( he...hee..hee ) but only thing is I haven’t even thought to brush my teeth before eating. ok, No problem. As usual everybody was saying “No elephants are brushing”, then why not we? the taste was so good, people joined hands to take the food. Now everything was finished. At last, I’m happy no food was wasted and we had double chance to taste the Emperor special briyani. Now time to prepare the hot and fresh tea, It was prepared in full pace but no takers because people are still sleeping. I had nice tea at morning. Myself and esakki went to refresh at water pool by 6oclk morning. Daring attempt to take chilled water at early morning. It was good to see lora,emma woke up from their place and start the day with a prayer. Sometimes this kind of trip teaches new culture and can help to influence other’s culture. Now folks are getting ready for challenge to climb up 800m peak. Few guys are not ready to take it because of tiredness and don’t want to push their body hard. It is kind of punishment to cook breakfast – noodles for the guys whosever didn’t join with us but who knows ? This may be a punishment to us to eat the cooked food. Now march towards the peak starts with lead Rakesh and sweeper Arun. Not sure what role senthil is playing? He runs all over place. No defined position to our organizer. It is very steep with full of thons, slippery path due to rain. We left our back bags at camp luckily ,just carried 1 litre of water with us that helps to push easily, the team was so energetic and never delayed while trekking in the no trail areas. We lost the trail due to heavy rain that confuses our path but didn’t regret ourselves. We enjoyed in walking on the bushes. After about 1 hour hard trekking
We reached the green flat surface and halted for sometime to capture our sweating t-shirts in camera. It is halt time like the highway buses stops at canteen for 10 mins. We highway trekkers put halt our leg’s speed and relaxed with 5 star chocolates and honey water. Go & trek on these hard path and take a sip of water tastes like honey to your tongues. It is high time to take group photo with greenish plant and take rest with chilled wind. Vishnu priya was busy in climbing up a tree and giving pose to camera like monkey. Ya, finally we could spot wild life at Nagala. She became centre of attraction for a while and always no miss to fun with round of comedy tracks. We resumed our trek slowly and happy to climb up now as we could see the peak. Finally we reached the peak . It was wonderful view point to see the opposite peak at one side and Dam, reddish base trails at other side, everybody started enjoying the location and obviously photo session. I found a decent rock under a tree but I know these emperors never allow us to take rest; this is what happened in past treks too. Yes. This time somebody noticed a very nice ridge near the peak.
That looks very beautiful and should be nice if we go there. So what is next? unpark your body from the rock . Started moving towards it. We never set destination, keep exploring the destination. I’m happy to get such a hard core trekkers with me. We 5 guys managed to go the big rock which gives beautiful view and also offers pleasant wind. We shouted from the rock to the peak where our boys gathered to take photo from there but it is long way communication not really sure how many SLR camera men took photo of our adventures rock walking. I had confident on my best friend balaji who is expert in photography that he would have covered the ridge very well and our risky steps too. After spending sometime, we left the place and climbed up to the peak. We were eager to see SLR photo and searched balaji camera but disappointment remains to me because it was full of Vishnu priya photos with lot of expression [ Enna koduma sir ethu ] He took 1 or 2 photos of us on the ridge. I forgive balaji this time as you covered me in future treks. After having fun time at the peak. We started climbing down to camp site and enjoying amla fruits in the middle and this time we got trail,reached camp site easily. We so far didn’t spend time in the falls so decided to take bath . We formed group like honey bees near water falls. Somebody was playing with water by blocking/unblocking it from the top and others was busy in pushing water on other’s face. It was totally fun to take bath as a group .
After taking the tasty noodles around 11 am, we planned to leave the camp site and started getting ready by collecting garbage and folding the tarpaulin sheet . The whole group started trekking back to foot hill. We unfortunately had to face few bad incidents here. Ajith’s knee was injured while he pushed his body on the rocks, he took rest for sometime and we did the first aid as much as we can. He was feeling paining at every step, struggled lot while descending from hills. It was sad to know his ligament was tore later. I couldn’t imagine how he could make his step with pain. I appreciate his mental strength. News was, group of people was sliding just above 3rd pool. Manoj was also joined with them and fell down at 3rd pool from the top which I can’t even assume that how bad he would have injured there. He doesn’t know swimming but he felt down in water. The moment he missed in the sliding, Senthil & arun quickly moved on the side rocks and dived into water from top and rescued him from water. No words to explain your caring and daring attempt boys. You guys simply lead by example and ensure safe trip to fellow trekkers. After sometime relaxing in 3rd pool, we went back to 2nd pool where we could see group of children playing there with CTC social trek group.
We got busy in preparing popcorns. It was hard to collect dry woods and setting up fire however senthil and co managed to cook the hot pop corns . Meanwhile arun was busy in taking swimming lessons to non-swimmers. Other group was busy in diving by disturbing SLR camera man to take snap while jumping to water, What to do ? we need some photos to impress ladies fans in facebook. Other group was busy in holding boys at their shoulders and pushing them into water. Some other group was playing with children at the pool. It was fun filled time with hot pop corns. It was so nice to see children’s smile and was fun to watch their innocent face with joy but sad to know they all have come from an orphanage. Let’s pray god to give them always happiness in their life .I respect CTC to bring smile on the children’s face. We left 2nd pool by 4:30 pm and walked towards base.
We didn’t fail to pay attention to cave temple in the middle, Filled bharnai’s head with full of sandal mix. Ajith was not able to walk on the base trail so balaji got a role to play, he drove his mahindhra Thar into mud road and gave ride to him .
Meanwhile we took pictures at dam,had again round of comedies with group and pot dance by vishnu. Once everybody gathered at base, we started self introduction and feedback session. This is something happens at end of each emperor trek. We had lot of fun,lot of adventures and of course lot of food too. I enjoyed every moment of this trek and was happy to see people helping each other during the trek. Adithya gave his jerkin when somebody felt cold at night. Vikram gave his knee guard to ajith while he was struggling to walk. Bala helped manoj when he was badly injured at his leg with a plaster. Senthil,arun was carrying bags of slow trekker when they delayed and struggled in the middle. Balaji who got ‘rescue lead’ of Emperor team, always don’t hesitate to help people at any circumstances. Rakesh,senthil was climbing up & down twice in single day to accompany costal team. Pulling mano from water at 3rd pool by senthil,arun and etc,..etc.., This is really wonderful trip with lovely and kind hearted people. The trek completes with our hero chella’s dialogue “I’m getting younger in every trek” and mano’s speech from his bottom of hearts saying heartfelt thanks and finally a group photo. I don’t think I miss these guys after the trek, I’m sure we will meet up in future treks.
Very good work by Senthil, BIG thanks to him to organize this trek beautifully with lot of patience