On March 20, 2012 Chennai trekking club email notification pops up... Nowhere into Western Ghats...
The title itself was so amusing… NOWHERE... really??!!
The immediate thought to come to my mind was that having been tried places somewhere or other, now let's try NOWHERE...
Sheer thought of finding existence of nowhere was so amusing and curious that without giving it a second thought I registered for the trek…
After a couple of days I got a SMS from trek Organizer saying
"Hi Madhuri, this is Vi… Organizer of nowhere into western ghats trek… The trek will be covering 25-30 kms in 2 days... It will be a very dry trek… Just give me a confirmation if you wanna join the trek..."
Over the phone: Me: dry trek really???
Vicky (the organizer): yes.. 25-30 kms, scorching sun.. Me: no water bodies??
Vicky (the organizer): as of now we haven't planned any waterfall but if we get time we will go to a waterfall on day 2
After this conversation, I was actually in two minds if I should join this trek …but with further questions and clarifications well answered by Vicky (the organizer).. I made up my mind and confirmed my participation for the trek... and started preparing for the trek in full excitement... Started figuring out what all things I need to carry... a checklist of items was made… and somehow I managed shopping for the stuff just a day before the day 0…
Day 0: CMBT – KSRTC bus stand
It was decided to gather at KSRTC bus stand directly and to leave by 7 o clock bus. Organizers had already informed all the trekkers to reach by 6:30 pm to avoid the last minute hassle… I was there by 6:20 pm and could see a lot people already gathered chit chatting and getting introduced to each other… the faces were new... most of us did not know each other… but yet we all shared a common interest… the idea of NOWHERE trek was different… and we were all set to take up the challenge with a smile.. J
As all the members arrived, we started boarding the bus and having settled in the bus... with few new members in all started knowing each other...work, hobbies, weekend pastimes were being discussed... If it's their first trek with CTC... where all they have been with CTC or otherwise.. it was interesting to know all each other..Having settled in the bus and made acquaintances knowing that coming 2 days going to be really awesome yet hectic, people decided to doze off and got back to their seats..
We reached Mysore and boarded another bus for our NOWHERE destination. After around 3 hours of scenic journey through coffee and tea estates and spotting a few Deers.
we reached anti-poaching camp in Bramhagiri sanctuary. This was our base camp. It was already 11 and we were so hungry.. and was really worried about the trek thinking maybe we are not going to get the food until lunch. But trek organizers had already arranged for food with the help of forest officers. Having finished breakfast, with the minimal possible luggage we started our journey of exploring nature with full enthusiasm in another hour's time. Instructions done, headcount done, carrying enough water with you done and whistles wer distributed to the participants for use in case of emergency...
and here we start…It was a huge group of 30 people, few of them having interest in photography, some of them professional trekkers, some to test their endurance, and some like me to explore the nature..
While passing through the greenery of the forest and a few water streams, we spotted wild bison, deers and horns of sambar deer, birds singing (people use android apps to listen to natural music for peace and medication..
I was wondering we don't need these apps if you actually listen to the birds chirping.. you will forget everything..I could listen to the most amazing songs.. so deep, melodious and harmony in the sound… we have lost this in our busiest of the busiest life and the places where we stay in)
Now, how can I forget to mention the most irritating creature called Leech which made people bleed.. but leeches could not deter the enthusiasm of these 30 bold trekkers
and they continued for their journey into forest… and after encountering leeches for a while.. there came the most amazing part of the forest, a water pool.. all of us were very excited and immediately jumped into water.. after about an hour we started our journey back to base camp.. the water pool was the most refreshing part of our journey..
while coming back to the base camp we had lunch… the most yummiest south Indian lunch I have had.. having finished the lunch and taking a nap we all started on our way back to base camp.. On day 1 we walked around 15 kms.. still we weren't tired and still excited for what is more in the store?
We were making plans of sleeping in the nature's abode.. looking at the twinkling stars which we rarely get to see in the busy city.. the plans were just being made and there comes the rain… I could see guys trying to save hut from getting wet with the help of tarpaulin sheet.. but what we saw was the guys twirling down the tarpaulin sheet around hut and failing to save it and finally leaving behind the sheet on the ground only to let it wet.. it was fun to watch them.. Even their failed attempt they were rejoicing in the rain with that yellow coloured tarpaulin sheet..
Further to this we started playing antakshari and dumb charades which continued for hours and hours. It was dinner time and as rain stopped we started the bonfire.. people shared their trek experiences and what they like about CTC… but the real fun was to listen to our Forest officer cum guide's experiences and stories about in and around forest.. he was telling about the stories of Nagraj ( Cobra), panthers, bears etc etc… and people were so engrossed in his stories that once when suddenly we heard the shouts of people around we actually got scared if we are being attacked by some animal..
By 10: 45 in the night everybody was asleep and we got up at 5 for our Day 2 journey..
We went to grass lands again and revisit the Day 1 experiences.. after spotting rare birds and colourful butterflies we came back to base camp.. this time we walked around 12 kms..as we reached the base camp.. we wrapped up everything.. had breakfast and started our journey . then we reached waterfall IRPU where all of us had a good time and enjoyed the good natural massage under the waterfall.. now all of looking so refreshed and we finished the lunch. After sometime we reached Nagarhole national park, we spotted a lot of Deers, lungurs, lion tail monkey ,
the most beautiful black squirrels playing on the branches of the tree and started our journey for Bangalore..some of us chit chatting, few playing games and few dozing off… we reached Bangalore..
From sanctuary to Bangalore, I was one of those lot who had occupied the last row of seats in the bus.. and having a really tough time in the last seats we had decided no matter what we will take up front seats in the next bus from Bangalore to Chennai… having this mission in mind,, when we reached Bangalore we quickly finished our dinner and waited eagerly for the bus to arrive.. and as the bus arrived we immediately boarded the bus and occupied the front seats.. and finally a peaceful journey for the back seaters…
Poonamvalee.. poonamvaleee.. I heard the bus conductor shouting at his best.. Passengers who were fast asleep got up and started to getting off the bus.. and later CMBT came where I had to bid adieu to all my new friends…
The life had come to reality.. it was Monday and office ahead to attend.. life is back to normal with office – home cycle..but what remains in my mind is the cherished memory of the 2 days spent in trek..
Things I would always reckon from this extravaganza would be "GREEN FOREST" and "Ardent Treack lovers I happened to meet.
Thanks to CTC for this amazing experience…