CTC's favorite PICNIC pool-Beauty of Nagala East - Moderate Trek - Jan 21&22, 2012

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

[Write up by Kalaivanan]

This being my first trek with CTC, I was quite excited and enthused to experience everything that comes along this trip.The reason for my interest in trekking is no different from that of any other's – gaze and admire raw nature, adventure, maintain/improve fitness, socialize [inclusive of flirting :P], learn and such others. All forming the group shared the same interests, may be in different proportions and in no way can I say that I'm disappointed, and I hope this holds good for the rest as well. 

In general the trek was filled with a few half slips and desparate balances [few of which failed, pushing us into the water], a few cliff-hanging/hair-raising moments, a routine/cycle of sweat along the trek & dip in the pool was followed throughout, regroup, refresh, a few trail along wrong courses & revert to right ones. A brief look into the trip follows. 


Day 1
The day started early for me, but our journey started the latest, as the car that I hopped in, piloted by Magesh, played the sweeper, with Thilak guiding the route and Suresh Kannan, jockeying Maestro's music all along the ride. All cars regrouped twice before reaching the destination. Though our start was a bit late, we reached the destination on time for breakfast – hot Idlies & vada with sambar and spicy chilli chutney, typical of Andhra, were readily served on our arrival. 

It was time for loading our bags with food items and common items. The volume of food items was a little large, that I doubted whether we are here for trek or a fiesta ;). Once fully loaded we set our sails to conquer Nagala [Destination : Picnic Pool]. I took Prabhakar, an experienced trekker, for company – who was very informative, explaining a few aspects of trekking/trekking positions like eye-sight, navigator, sweeper and sharing a few adverse experiences that he faced in his previous treks. 
The journey began with an easy walk on mud-road towards a dam. While crossing the dam and entering the jungle, initially I felt that the trail was a bit narrow with just half-foot width, only later when we were passing along half-toe trails I realized that the earlier one were luxuriously wide. After a trek for about 2 hours we reached our first stop point – Dead-end Pool. Earlier we skipped the first pool, for want of spending more quality time at the Dead-end and Picnic pools. We spent about 2 hours here, meanwhile the veteran trekkers prepared to ferry our luggages across the pool. Once all luggages were ferried, the walk towards Picnic pool resumed, after finishing lunch – vegetable biryani packed in the village. 


Another 2 hours of walk took us to the trek destination/camp-site – Picnic pool. Along the journey, a part of the team including me, diverted twice slightly off-course and then rejoined the trail before reaching the dreaded 'Parda point' [dono if that was its real name]. Fortunately, the difficulty of crossing that point was hyped, that most of us prepared for a dare-devil stunt, which eventually made crossing this point an easy task. Then we undertook a mini-ferrying/self-ferrying across a small pool, which our friends dubbed as the 'irumudi' of this trip, as one has to carry his/her luggage on his head and cross the pool drenching in it. 
Finally, around 4 30pm we reached our destination and started settling slowly. People started gathering firewoods to set the camp-fire, some jumped into the pool to cool down. With the camp-fire ready everyone gathered around it to celebrate Mr.Mayuran's birthday. He blew his birthday wish against 'a firewood planted on a cream-bun' in lieu of 'a candle on a cake'. Later on he was introduced to birthday bumps by practising it on him, for he never have heard of it earlier. 
It was time for soup and the entire team was abuzz - some collecting firewoods, some setting up the stoves and almost everyone pouring in suggestions to ignite the stove. It's obvious that 'too many cooks spoil the dish', but for the first time we witnessed that too many who doesn't cook can spoil even the stove :). After all that little chaos the stove was finally set & up; then came the part for those who can cook to play their task and the soup was ready. 

While preparing and serving the soup happened the self-introduction which helped us realize how diverse was the group – the group included personalities ranging from my ex-colleague to my prospective future colleagues, students to professionals, corporates/enterpreneurs to government servants. Some people introduced themselves in quite an interesting manner – with some even stressing his relationship status as SINGLE – some very briefly and some very articulative. 
Post that, pasta was prepared and served for dinner. In the mean time a little singing was happening in the background. This part of the trek helped the team socialize better – there were a few pleasant surprises that some of the group members were related in some way or the other, say, two of them found that they belong as alumni of same institution, a few others shared a common native town/village and so on. 


Gradually everyone started to chose their sleeping-spot and settled. We slept under a roof that pristinely telecasted the activities of the universe. The sky was so clear and cloudless, that when viewed in a half doze state, after all the tiredness of the day's toil, felt as if  floating in space. The stream and the frogs tuned us a lullaby all night. 

Day 2 
As the dawn broke we all up to the flute of Suresh, who was erstwhile just playing pranks on others. In the morning the call of nature was answered out in the nature :) [thirandhaveli pulveli kazhagam]. 

Morning activity started with Tea preparation by Vadivel. While Tea was being prepared, Thilak led a few members to a morning trek up the stream – of which I was also a part – clicked a few snaps and returned; while returning another team led by Vadivel was up the same course and they did go a little further to 'Treasure-hunt pool'. 

Once we returned we treated ourselves with a well-made tea and bun. Then packed all our stuff and took a dip in the pool, till the other team returned. Once they returned we started our downward jouney and it was again a cycle of sweat and dip, only this time we didn't trail along any wrong courses and surprisingly felt at ease at all those spots that looked treachorous just a day before. 
At the Dead-end pool after ferrying all our luggages back and a brief dip, had our lunch – chappathis with all possible side-dishes like Paneer-butter/palak paneer masala, mango/tomato pickle with mayonnaise. Interestingly, on the return journey all those missing items like water-bottle, a sock, etc were found. 
Apparently we got tuned to trekking, the downward trek felt relatively simple; while reaching the village, just when we felt the trek was over, we were re-routed through swampy fields as road construction was under progress on the regular path. Finally when we reached the village we feasted on hot Bonda with spicy chutney and coffee. 


By 6:40 pm, after all financial settlements, re-loading of common items, our car left first countering our role as sweeper during the onward journey. Owing to our early start we reached home by 9:00 pm. Later at home, while resting, the body slowly started to feel all those minor bruises, cuts & sprains identifying them with the trek's memories, concluding the two days of pleasant and engaging activities. 

A suggestion – I may not be right, but I wish I could express my thoughts here: 
- On our promise not to litter – it's better that we try and avoid use of plastics at every possible instance in every possible manner, for instance, instead of having pasta/noodles we can have oat-meal for dinner, which will be packed in less space [less plastic], instead of bread/cream-buns packed in plastic we can opt fruits [2 or 3 bananas can easily supplement 2 cream-buns] (This may help reduce the expense a little as well). If not to litter is our promise, let us not litter even our cities/villages with the dumping of all those plastics we carried for the trek. All I wish is to take the commitment to next level – discourage use of plastics wherever possible. 
I post this here hoping that it will be valued in a community committed to conserve/preserve nature. 
As I have mentioned, I may not be right, but please do give it a thought. 

[Write up by Shyam Sundar]

The day when shortlisted name was out was happy, to see quite a known faces from my previous trek. This was my second Trek with CTC, once again with Vadi. on 21st woke up @ 3:30am to get ready for awesome trek, the first meeting point was in Guindy. I reached (around 4:15) met kiran,prabhakar, arun, gowrishankar makam there and started heading towards to Nathans café to meet the rest of the team. we had an breif intro among ourselves, we had to leave early as there where 2 more treks on the same day. so 5 cars with 24 energetic souls started for a lifetime memorable trek. 

We reached TP Kotta Village where we parked our vehicles and had our breakfast, we had hot idly's with kaara chutney/ sambar and then we collected food items for the trek period, the common gears and started to trek. everyone was full of energy and was in full phase, we regrouped at constant intervals. we reached the dead end pool and every one was all set to dive into the pool. we spent some quality time there it was so thrilling for me to jump the boulders into water(to mention i dont know swimming much) i should thank naveen for lending his life jacket to me for the entire trek and then after a while we stated ferrying the luggage, and crossed the deadend pool. it was a awesome site when i climbed we passed the dead end pool. there we had our lunch(biryani) and started toward picnic pool. 

we reached picnic pool around 4:30pm,one of the most beautiful waterfall i should say. everyone started to jump from all sides into the pool. and @6 it was soup time, we started gathering fire wood, and started to get the soup ready, while the soup was cooking we had formal intro session, and during shick we came to know that it was mayurnathan's birthday, we had small bun cutting and also presented him with birthday bumps.


Then it was dinner time we started to make pasta's... and was making ourselves warmer with the camp fire.we gazed at the stars, i have never seen so many stars in my life time, it so beautiful slept enjoying the beauty of the stars with waterfall as bgm. 
The next day morning woke to to the musical rain by suresh with his flute. most of them where shivering and the ignite the camp fire again, then it wa tea time, while the tea was getting ready, 10 of us started to do small trek we had 40 mins to spare so went ahead towards trail of the treasure pool, then while returning the rest of the team were also there, we left them and returned to the camp site had tea, took a last dive into picnic pool before packing our stuffs and trek back. 

we where ahead of time as everyone was still in full energy, we reached the deadend pool and ferry the luggage back to shore and had chappathi for lunch and moved towards first pool where we had our group photos. Then we started back to our base camp reached there around 5:30pm. When we reached the base camp we had Hot Boondas, Coffee and paneer soda waiting for us. then the accounts where settled, it was nicely organized by vadivel, the over all expense for the entire 2 days was only 500+ bucks(520 to be exact) we all planned to make it round to 600 and contribute the remaining amt 80*24=1920 to a social cause. 


I would like to thank Vadi,thilak,gowri and naveen once agin for guifding us... it was an awesome experience

Thanks to all my new friends (fellow trekkers I but prefer Friends) for making it a spl weekend of my life.

[Write up by Arun RS]

There is a great commotion before CMBT bus stand at just a quarter past 4am, its not from the bustling commuters , but  herd of CTCians on the set go line to make  adventure. 3 groups ours to nagala east, the other one to nagala west and the last one is a ladies trek to our place.
At morning 7.30 we reached the hut near nagala east to have idli, vada with kaara chutni. After gathering food and general stuff the mission was set. As usual i was happy to walk at the end so that i can take my own time taking snaps and enjoying nature at its best. But, others at the end had other idea- to sneak out and join ladiest trek :-P. After assembly at dead end pool by midday we swam across the other side to reach picnic pool. The entire team co-ordinated well in logistics and transport of our heavy goods . On the other side of the pool, we all ate lunch and started to picnic pool, on the way our real adventure awaiting us.


We heard the story of how a girl has to cross the toughest point enroute to pool by covering her eyes to conceal her from looking down, as she got panic attack and hence the name, parda point, where we have to sneak across the cliff to avoid crossing the long stream beneath and the scenic beauty baffled the gang. Before 5 we all comfortably reached atop taking dip in the holy waters of mother nagala.

After dusk , we made camp fire and sat for a story of each one of us. It was a mix of software guys, students , high profile govt officers. Cooked our tasty pasta for dinner and went to bed early besides campfire. Morning was spectacular with numbing scenes to capture in our eyes , after tea , a group of 9 warriors started our expedition further to source of picnic pool. The group got so close so that the way back to base camp was fun-filled and humming of cine lines despite the long walk. Non-stop talk by suresh entertained all , not to mention about my guess that he has to be either a RJ or a teacher proved right. He runs a coaching institute to train students to board exams. After settling account and eating hot bondas , some 15 of us ate dinner at madurai veeras near panimalar before flying back to our nest. 

A special thanks to organisers vadivel, tilak , gowri and navin for arranging such a wonderful trek. Hope we form a gang for the future treks. 

Please share your experiences about this trek with the group in the below link.



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