CTC Emperor's Foodie Trek
Nice Write-up from Gomathi
Nice Write-up from Gomathi
Filled with new expectation and a thrill about new experience with totally unknown people at unknown place, I reached koyembedu. With a pack bag as identification and acknowledgement with a smile we joined the team. Guys who assembled shook hands & introduced with each other but, with in few minutes the place changed like a college get-to-gather. Our foodie trek begin with a tea party. When some were busy dialing the participants for confirmation, organizers were busy arranging convenience, we safely took control over the safety of bags. Once in to the car we got a feel of a family trip. And it really happened for next 24hrs with entirely new members.
Soon after landing at base camp the way the organizers & volunteers acted to cook food was amazing. Tomato soup, chicken barbecue & banana pudding was the delicious menu for the gala nite. With twinkling stars biding good nite……….tarpaulin spread under open sky, brought peace to mind at the end of the day, with the instruction about reality of life that earth is the only permanent cozy bed & belongingness to a group brings happiness & security. Next day morning the real deed begin after a hot tea. We packed quick & started to walk. When I got the sight of fine polished ash coloured conglomerates accumulated, the real evidence of stream path reminiscence at the foot hill. Still further a nice water shed with a 3 peak back ground stood very photo genic. Its shadow on water with few wood stumps left after submergence reminds the view of thekkadi. Few steps ahead short stunted sparse vegetation with dry but thick
humus soil remained me its…………eastern ghats with dry deciduous. “follow the clues of the nature as it is a good guide always!” was true when the terrain changed & gradient steepened. The running stream showed us the path for trek. The need for one another begin then on wards. Helping hands were readily offered & kept safe through out. After a brisk walk, halt at 2nd pool was a great relief. The sight of the falling spring cheered us and pulled us to swim. Good swimmers enjoyed & looking at that even crow bar swimmers tried all kind of new strokes with the support of others & swim tubes.
Yummy chappatties & bread with jam & milk maid gave us energy to move further. Our sincere organizers moved ahead of us to make arrangements for grand lunch at 3rd pool. We followed them after a while. View of 3rd pool was simply romantic…………..i simply kept admiring the work of the nature. The narrow cascade has worked for years to cut down the two cliffs apart and dig a minor pot hole in to a beautiful pool with a skill of efficient erosion for years immemorial. Undulating surfaced cliffs with scale texture shows exfoliation of granite due to weathering. yes! We are in the land which is million year elder to Himalayas, hence it bears the testimony.
Enough to nature, lets talk about wonderful people who accompanied us. People need no name mention as all deserve a hats –off for their excellent co-ordination & co-operation according to the need. Dedication of the team to keep the hill green & clean was evident when people eagerly worked to collect litter at cave temple. When one halt due to exhaustion, a mild push with a few words of motivation & more to action is the high light of emperors team. A special thanks to the team who took me to mini-coutrallam. Mirchi mutton gravy with rich & spice tomato rice is the height of the foodie trek. Men involved in cooking deserves diamond studded platinum ring! A big thanx to u all! For delightful food at the tricky edge of the nature. A cheer of the 4th ‘d’ sec. trek senior to rally us as” come girls” made us feel young………nice na! Two daring women from Denmark added colour to the trek.
The final vote of thanks session brought the college mood with arrows of kidding words against each other. Again a cup of tea at a near- by village with group photo the “happy trek ended with enchanting memory”.
Another Excellent write-up from Ravi
A trek starts with a single step and but it never stops with a single trek
My first trek with CTC – This was my first trek with total strangers, my earlier treks in South Africa and New Zealand were with my friends and colleagues. I never heard of a trek where you can have unlimited and tasty food, in my earlier treks all I had was cheese sandwich and juice. I was not sure what to expect… I was thinking … “are we going to eat on the way to the Nagala west at famous joints”, but once I met the group and got into the car loaded with groceries It dawned on to me that we are going cook and eat. Why am I talking about food to start with … come on folks its foodie trek …. We had our share our tough luck with a broken down car, the Emperor team made alternate arrangements and made sure everyone had a comfortable ride.
I was shocked to see a 8 year old kid joining the group with his dad, many parallel and tangential thoughts in my head. I was admiring his dad & the kid, I was thinking his das was crazy, I was jealous of the dad & kid duo… all these happening so fast in my head that I lost track which of these thoughts were more profound than the other. Before I could realize we reached the base camp and then started the preparations…. The team setup a grill, collected fire wood and in minutes soup, grilled chicken, paneer tikka and banana pudding were served to eagerly onlookers.Form a distance any one would think it’s a large family party, there were atleast 3 guys (I mean guys and gals here) were eating from one plate, like siblings of the same family. From strangers … it became a team… there was no lecture or speech… it just happened … from 35 individuals it became a team. We all slept on tarpaulin sheets in open air, like a large family assembled for a family function.
After a serving of hot tea, we started out trek with freshly grilled chapattis for breakfast. The first stop over was a shallow pool, every one eagerly jumped into the water and were greeted by small fish which gave an amazing massage, after about 2 hours of play .. which seemed like few minutes we moved on to the next pool, the trail looked friendly, only because of the friendly folks walking ahead and behind me. The second pool was even better… deeper and better… and our organizers were busy making mutton curry, biriyani and potato curry. The second pool was ideal for diving and oh man… I never felt bad for not learning swimming as much as this day.Some of us went further to the mini kutralam and enjoyed the walk and falls. We drank water from every waterfall to quench our thirst .. no one asked for bottled water …. As I type this …. Let me tell you.. I don’t even have throat congestion after two days leave alone cold / fever from drinking random water. By the time we realized we were hungry, we were served fed on the best biriyani and mutton curry I had in recent times .. no exaggeration.. guys made it better biriyani than my wife. Most of us left our spoons and plates…in the car @ basecamp.. so what.. big deal… why are friends there for… we ate from their plates. Eating from the neighbor’s plate without hesitation was the new table manners and every one mastered it.
After some lazy moments after late lunch we started our return journey, we came to a small temple and greeted by hundreds of plastic plates. Local people had a feast on Maha Sivarathiri. Our organizers informed us that as a gesture of appreciation for the environment we clean up the mess usually and every one jumped into action. We collected the last plastic up and plate and carried them back. All we had was one glove and some sticks, each plastic plate was pierced in the center like we make flower garlands. In a matter of 20 minutes nature was back to its original form.For those thinking …”hey there is nothing about the actual trek.. no mention of the trails, how difficult or easy it was…”. We never felt any difficulty at all… we had enough encouragement in the form of a 8 year old kid and one very senior trekker. The kid was on his second trek and was our lead .. yeah no joking he was announcing regularly .. “come on guys…. Come on girls”…. “like the all is well in Nanban”. Before we could realize were reached the base camp and when we thought its over, our friends prepared vegetable sandwich. And finally we introduced ourselves to the group.
we had surprise guests… two young ladies from Denmark who came to India for Holiday. They chose to do a trek apart from the visits to places of historical / cultural importance. They had a good time and had seen what someone means by “unity in diversity”. The learnt more about India in the 24 hours than any of their trips to other cultural / historical destinations.