Write up by Chaitanya
It started with a mail with a catchy subject "Beat the heat". Catchy escpecially for chennaites. And a trek organised by Peter, my dream to go with him has come true the last weekend.
The time i was asked to assemble at Guindy was 4.20 am. Didn't sleep the night before. Slowly started getting ready at 4. I was feeling very lazy to open the main gate of our house to ocme out, instead i tried to jump. While i was doing so, my left shoe got stuck in between the rails of the gate. With a very heavy backpack which included a lot of common food and stuff i was trying to free my leg, and at that moment i felt some thing vibrating in my right pocket, and all of us can guess from whom the call could be.
Obviously from some one from CTC. I was wondering that it's just 4.15, why are they calling me so early. A voice said "Hi Boni kumar(He meant Boni krishna chaitanya ), this is Alex from CTC, where are you?". Even i know that it will easily take 20 to 30 mins for me to reach the meeting point, i told him that i will be there in 5 to 10 mins. For that it self he was exclaimed "Still 5 to 10 mins??!, we are here in Guindy waiting for you." That's it, my heart started thumping very faster remembering that "We won't wait for late comers", my shoe was still in that grill. Pushed very hard and finally jumped the gate.
Was running like anything. In 1 min i reached the main road. Some vehicle was coming , i raised my thumb for lift. Lucky me, the guy stopped, it's a white sumo. I got in and explianed him the situation i am in. With out a word he jumped on to the accelerator. In 5 mins i was there at Guindy . Felt relaxed. Thanks to the sumo guy.
Got introduced to some of the troop, and was directed to get into any of the vehicles . I got into Kannan sir's Lancer. We reached Nathan's cafe. There the two groups A and B were split. I was in A with Peter and B was taken care by Sankar. Felt good after meeting some of my old CTC friends.
It's a three day trek to Nagalapuram, and it's a 'U' shaped trail. The plan was that the two teams starts at two different points parking the vehicles in our respective starting points. Meet up during the second day in the middle of the trail, exchange the vehicle keys and go ahead which happened as per the plan.
We stopped at satyavedu for having break fast, had some steaming idly, vada and pongal.
After parking our vehicles at the south-eastern entry of Nagala we started trekking with all the food and neccesaries packed in our back packs. The hot sun was up by the time we started our trek. Peter made sure that every one is carrying as minimum luggage as possible.
There was a 15 mt initial rope climb at the first pool near the temple, the excitement and the real CTC trek started there. We passed all the bags up and one by one all of us crossed that point, now we are totally in the hilly terrain rock boulders surrounded by the dense trees providing us a thick shade from the hot sun. We walked along the stream. On the way had many dips in the cool streams of Nagala. We halted at a point for having lunch. After cooling down the body in the stream there, Peter took all the interested people to a place near by for a refreshing dip under a waterfall. Was awestruck when i came to know that some of our team mates are in their 50's and competing with the youngsters. One thing i learnt in this trek was "Mindset and confidence is what is needed for a CTC trek". Durai sir, Sundar sir, Kannan Sir, Peter ,Ilango Sir, Ram Sir.. all these are in their 40's and 50's and they are the ones who are leading the whole team and cheering us up.
Had a very nice Poli for lunch, had a power nap and started trekking, by 3 pm we reached a peak from where you could see 1/3rd of Nagala hill range. Even at that time of the day we couldn't feel the sun's heat because of the cool breeze that's gently touching us.
After breathing in the fresh cool air, our body got rejuvenated with new energies, and we started our trek to our to-nights camping site. On the way to, and nearby our campsite we had a water source. I wonder , how many ever dips you have , you still feel like staying under the cool streams...Every one had a refreshing dip, and we headed to our camping site which is very plain unlike all other CTC's camping places. Peter and our chief chef Sunder sir prepared soupy-noodles for snacks and noodly soup for dinner. Sunder sirs hands have some magic. Every one falls silent while eating.Had a very sound sleep, except for those ant attacks for a few of us.
In the morning started trekking to the 810 metre peak with out our luggages ... Its a very steep climb, which tested our 1st and 2nd gears. When we reached the top of the peak, waaahhh it is.... the whole Nagala range, our starting and end points of trek, all the green valleys, coooolest breeze, with the best of CTCs friends,.. I can still feel all of them...
Had a very loong and nice photo session, and the exploration started here after. Every one of us in small small groups started exploring new trails ,the way back to camp site from the peak :) . Many of us missed the trail actually :) . Finally we reached the camp. By the time we reached, our chef kept yummy ravva pongal ready to fill into our hungrily breathing stomachs. After the breakfast started our trek downhill to reach the mesmerising eastern pools. --There are no more climbing-ups -- These words from Peter made all of us very happy. On the way to the picnic pool we met the other group , exchanged our vehicle keys. After all that long walk through the forests from morning, we were really hungry. And at that kind of time, team b guys offered us hot hot rice with pickles....aaaaaaaaaahhhhhh sooooperb it was. Having pickle rice in the middle of the forest by the side of those streams, given of hospitalility...
Further we headed to our lively picnic pool. The thought of that pool in mind drove us faster towards our destination. The trail took us through many awesome and pleasant places with crystal clear water, small private pools. Fyynally ..... we were there.. immediately after reaching the pool every one dropped the bags and dove into the pool. Thats one of the best pools of Nagala. By dusk every one reached the pool which was our camping site.
Again the same style dinner, soupy-noodle and noodly-soup but this time its made with top-ramen , a differnet feel. Along with that we had some of the snax which we brought along, ornages, peanut bars, cruchies, wonder cakes.... Every one found a nice place on the rocks . Sleeping under the open clear sky with a water fall by your side.. hearing the sound of the flowing water, how many times in our life would we experince this!!? Figured out some aeroplanes moving during the night.. saw one falling star :) ! ! !
Waking up to the beautiful sound of the water early in the morning.... would be one of the best moments ever.. which every one of us has experineced. After freshing up and having tea, Peter took us to another view point of Nagala. Its a 250 mt steep climb. These view points were so beautiful , that they will make you forget all the pain you have underwent to reach it. There he has shown us the water stream trails, the chain of hills joining Tada with Nagala...
Furhter after few more miles we came to the bath-tub pool which is exactly as per its name. Its like some ones private pool. Had a cool dip in it. Headed further to reach the 50 ft water fall . And staying under the fall it was like a refreshing massage to the head and whole body.. After spending for half an hour. This was all a circular trail with the picnic pool as the starting point. Returned back, had some milk with corn flakes for break fast and packed up every thing to leave.
By noon we reached the dead-end pool. Till then everything went well for all of us. Here we were attacked by honey bees suddenly. They chose some special sweet persons to suck the nectar from. For some it was one or two bees, but for a few, many bees attacked beacuse of which they felt revulsion. With some help they made to our parking place having a hard time.
After exchanging all our vehicles , we started to Oothukottai for dinner. We had our dinner at different dhabas nearby . Ate as if we were the victims of some drought. After a belly full of diner we started to Chennai.
All three days passed off in no time. On the third day I was thinking how faster the time went away.
Still am waking up in mid-nights and searching for ants all around and the jungle around...but falling back to sleep with a lot of disappointment...!