Where to start from? Actually there was no start for this trek. I and Bala were sleeping till 3:00 am even though we have to go to Tidel park by 3:15. Just because of Bharani, we woke up and in half sleep reached Tidel. We came to know that there are 2 unfortunate souls dropped-out as usual. After pickup at Madhya Kailash and Guindy, we had small intro sessions and tea sessions at koyembedu. After we saw the other team already coming over there (4:30 pm), we started heading straight to the trek location with dreams about how deadly the trek is gonna be. But still in half sleep!!! J
Finally we reached oothu kottai where we took a tea break to refresh. Everyone in the group is a CTC-ian. So, we started sharing our previous trek experiences and funny things that happened. And then by 7:30 pm, we are ready at the base to start our 2 day trek. The distribution of food items where happening and as usual some started eating the food on-the-spot (to reduce luggage weight). Dam was full and overflowing. By seeing that, we are sure that there should be more water up there. We walked ahead as fast as possible. Rakesh, Marimuthu ran fast and took a deep dive into 3rd pool for the morning bath. Then we moved as fast as possible and reached the 5th pool at 10:00 pm. As Hari/Harish already knew the full route from West to East, they were on the lead and Arun came as the sweep. As some set of people followed Hari, we reached 5th pool early and many followed us. We started playing with underwater camera for some time.
Being fully relaxed, it was funny to see the tired people coming and all of the sudden Arun charged them for the central peak climb. Some wanted to stop over there and people whose foresttown (like hometown) is nagala wanted to continue. I simply followed them to the next steep climb of the Western peak. And as some didn’t turn back, we left our bags down just to do the west peak climb.
Western peak is really steep and after sometime, there is no trail and most important, no water. As I had managed Venkatagiri with borrowed water managed the same way in here as well. :P Rakesh was commenting that Western peak is nothing when compared to Venkatagiri. Yes, it’s true. J
We took some exciting photos at the peak and Rakesh/Mari searched for notebook to write their names. But thane hurricane has flown that out of the spot. We started climbing down at 70 degree decline then. Bala fell upside down and started rolling down directly towards the eastern side, but Hari grabbed his leg and he was safe. J We started heating up water for the lunch. As per schedule, we shouldn’t have taken up any lunch.
After eating good, the real trek started at around 12:00 pm. Until evening, it’s just plain walking with no waiting/rest. We walked across many pools, streams, and crossed many. At one point, I didn’t care to ask the name of the pool and didn’t care to cross or dive across stones. After a long running, we reached the dry stream which will lead us to east side. There was a hut to mark the beginning of it. But we need to reach one more hut from where it would take another 2-3 hrs. So, it is going to be non-stop walking distance of around 20 km with small climbs, jumps, dive across stones and get full scratches by different colored thrones. I got scratches from red/green/blue colored thrones so I can make out any color with this combination.
We finally reached that second hut around 5:30 pm. By the pace in which our following group is coming, we thought we will hit the camp at the hut itself. And we started relaxing near the hut, But as expected. Emperors never quit. J We need to do a night trek now as it’s already 6:00 pm when they reached.
Without stopping we started trekking some of the more dangerous routes. As it is night and bala /I don’t have a torch, we are extra careful with the spare torch we got from Hari. There is one place I remember where u need to slide and fall to land on a tree. Even though torch is there, the moon light is the real savior for us at such spots. It’s one day before the full moon day. We finally reached the treasure hunt pool. Now, we need to ferry luggage. There were just 3 non-swimmers in the group. The luggage can be moved if 4 people can climb a free falling into pool hill and balance to pass it on. We did the second one just because of moon light. Moon light trekking was awesome!!!... It will be a life time experience and thrilling!!
Finally we reached the picnic pool at the east side by 11:00 pm night. We are happy to see more guys as Senthil’s team was there by 5:00 pm itself. Nearby you can see the roaring picnic pool falls into which some dived even on that night cold. J Arun/Marimuthu rocked in the cooking department with Senthil joining them as usual (siting near pot). Some tired guys went and slept flat. Some were ready with the bowls for the biryani to be ready. Some from Senthil Team were also waiting for biryani for a second round. But unfortunately everyone slept.
Finally Emperor’s Biryani was ready with its own Andra spice. Mixed as much ghee as we can and started crunching it sitting around the camp fire with the moonlit background. Wow!! It was great experience. Sleeping near camp fire is suggested the best but some risked sleeping with bed sheets. Pity them that they all woke shivering, but still sun light saved as.
Morning, it was a show time!!... J All circus diving was done by Rakesh/MariMuthu/Senthil/Arun. As we had Senthil’s Team as well with us, some more new friends. We were pushing each other into cold water and the first person to be thrown was Senthil. J After that, it was full fun games and anthur bulti dives. Emma would have killed arun by soaking him inside water. Even DFS didn’t do anything, but Emma’s grab has made him to panic. J
In-between, Vikram lost his gold bracelet as well. I thought to myself that if he had left that in treasure hunt pool then, we would have done a Misson Nagala Gold to explore and find that. But he doesn’t know where he left it. While all this happening, silently Senthil/Arun/MariMuthu/Bala and others, helped in cooking maggi noodles. It was served hot after a really very fresh bath. Slurp!!!
After 1 ferry points, we headed towards the gorge pool. Wow!!!! For the first time, I am seeing such a big gorge. We need to climb down using rope but with the number of non-swimmers increased and force of the falls is bad, we have to take the longer route.
The longer route is filled with Snakes. Somebody reminded me already that Nagala East is full of Snakes. I was extra careful in every step. But we were able to see snake skin at the top. Since the people count is more, we can be happy that Snakes would have been feared by our constant gorilla sounds.
The gorge itself was awesome; some elite swimmers went to the gorge falls and had a dip. This is the time I felt bad that am not a good swimmer. L The next thing is deadend pool. It’s super awesome. For frequent visitors and people who had nagala as their forest town, it doesn’t matter. But for me, it was a wonderful experience. At many places, I have to pause and ask the person before me about how to climb this 90 degree rock!! J
Then again a ferry point, as it is getting delayed a lot and team size is huge, we split up and managed in the fastest way we can. When I reached already some luggage was moved. I thought of swimming there. But depth fear was still on me!! :( As usual, I used the tube and swim to the other side.
Then it is lunch time… Soup/Tea… With soup, all the soup boys gave excellent stills. Madumita was catching fish and left it back to the stream to break the boredom. Maybe it’s her childhood “Chinna Chinna Asai” thingy… J I should really appreciate Madhumita/Sneha for doing such a tough terrain with ease.
Although CTCian can be marked under forest animal categoryJ, there was a real animal that followed as from West to East. Our favorite dog Sonia. J It did really heavy trekking than us by taking longer routes to avoid ferry points. I once tried following its route and got torn apart by thrones. I don’t know how it managed with blood on its feet. It’s really a poor doggie to get out in the east being a dog from the west. We fed tea and milk to the doggie.
After dead end pool, it’s nothing big to mention. There was a pool flat on the plain named 1st pool at the east. Nagala east is really a tougher one than the Nagala west trek and there is more possibility to get lost.
You can never experience such a funny atmosphere anywhere. Kudos to Arun/Rakesh/MariMuthu/everyone who were there to add fun elements.
Finally we met all the teams for the evening snack on the road except Masu/Prem team. Mr.Vikram got his gold back and because of which we got an extra treat as well… J
I had another unforgettable trek experience with Emperors Team. Nagalapuram the CTC’s forest town, its native place, was so beautiful as I have ever imagined.