Write-up by Kavya
“Thank you for the registration,
You got shortlisted for the ladies trek held on March 17 and 18. Lets rockkkkkkkk girls. Keep checking the emails from us for further notification.”
This was on March 10th and the trek started then and there for me!!!! I was so excited that I could not even stand still. I started packing my trek bag from that very day. Each day I would add or remove something from the bag and was doing the countdown in my head. Finally March 17th came and for the first time in my entire life I woke up at 4 a.m without a single alarm clock or Dad screaming “Wake Up!!!”
I reached the bus stop with two friends of mine who had also gotten selected for the trek. The city looked so clean and fresh in that early morning and the images that I had googled of Nagalapuram was running through my head. After several vehicles crossed us, our bus came into view and two beautiful French ladies got down from the bus with big smiles on their face and a loud, cheerful voice welcoming us for the trek. We climbed into the bus and the first think that I noticed was the driver’s huge “Veerrappan” moustache. The trek had officially begun!
As the bus crossed through the roads of Chennai, more people got into the bus and there were rounds of hellos and smiles and old trekking stories exchanged. We reached the base camp by 8 45 a.m, most of us familiar with each other and ready for the adventure! Day 1 started with a beautiful view of a huge lake where we began our trek. We walked through thorns and small rocks and it was quite some time before we reached our first destination – Magic Pool. We swam in the pool, slept on the rocks, posed for photos and I remember thinking, “Trekking is not so hard after all.” Little did I know what was in store!
The second destination was Dead End Pool and dead end would have been my destination if it was not for the two organizers Emma and Laura who helped us throughout the trek. After many slips and falls and thorns and bigger rocks, the Dead End Pool was a refreshing site. We swam across the pool and reached the other side and then came the most awaited part of the day – Lunch!! I did not know that even uncooked food could taste heavenly when you are having them in the middle of nowhere surrounded by rocks and water. After lunch we continued our journey through steep gorges and big boulders. I learnt a very important lesson for life there. However careful you are, you will slip and fall so it does not matter how often you slip but just how fast you get up and continue the journey with a smile.
After many scratches and ant bites we reached our final destination – Picnic Pool. What a beauty! A beautiful waterfalls ending into a huge lake surrounded by rocks, it was like a painting and for me, a dream come true! As the sun set the briyani cooking started and a campfire was built. It was a delicious feeling sitting under the stars twinkling in the sky with a slight breeze blowing, a fire in front of you and water surrounding you. It was like the five elements of Nature in perfect synchronization. That night I had the most peaceful sleep ever.
Day 2 started with milk and cornflakes for breakfast and a dip in the picnic pool under the waterfalls. We started our way back rope climbing down the gorge that we climbed and jumping and falling amidst the rocks. We reached the base camp by 6 p.m that evening and I remember standing at the edge and shouting “We are survivors!!!!!!!!!!!!” and feeling an intense sense of satisfaction and achievement.
It was then that I realized that though there were points in the trek where I was tired, frustrated of falling down, covered by many scratches and close to giving up, every minute was totally worth it. I decided that I will continue going on treks and I thank CTC for giving me the opportunity to understand myself. Those two days taught me to appreciate life in a totally different way, the best 48 hours of my life spent with a great team and organizers in a magical place.