The first thing I do after reaching the office is checking for CTC mails. :)
Saw an invitation for cycling trip to Nagari hills. I didn't need to think for another moment to register for the event.
After some email thread, saw the final list of 8 members for the trip. Pickup point was at 2AM from Tidel park. I reached the place 5 mins early. Saw Peters SUV crossing the Tidel signal. Loaded by cycle on the bike rack. On the way we picked Nobal and Rekha. We headed towards Koyembedu where Karthick (need for speed driver) was waiting with Arun Nagalingam. We packed the cycles in two vehicles and started towards Nagari.
By 5:30 Am we came near the mountain ranges of Nagala and light started to come out from the horizon. We took a diversion from the village road and went along a path. Finally it ended infront of a check dam. We have to pass around a hill to reach the Nagari. We ran to the top of the dam. The wind was very powerful and it was continuous also. Ajay, Arun, Rekha and me unloaded the cycle and pulled it to the top. Peter has advised us to take the road to the next town .Karthick and Peter had to go back and take a good road to reach the village. Nobal and Sinu were sleeping all these time :D.
We started our journey. Peter gave his backpack to me which had puncture kits, pumps and tube. I felt the pressure on rear wheel on my cycle is little low. Blown some air and we started. I was a nice untarred road. On the way I had to blow air on the wheel as it was not holding. After riding for half an hour we saw cars coming on the road.
I was feeling very difficult to ride with half pressure tyre, so I decided to change the tube. The nuts were very tight. Finally made it to unscrew, changed the tube and assembled it. We wasted lot of energy on this puncture fixing.
We road a little further and it came to another tar road. After few miles came the breakfast point. We ate idles and bondas. Sinu and Nobal came out of the car to have the breakfast. We unloaded the cycles from Karthicks car and parked it near the hotel.
Mission Nagari ride begins.
The fifth person Karthick also joined us on the way. The road was prepared to get metalled. It continued for few kilometers. Peter went ahead with his SUV into the forest. We proceeded and it came to a white road. We saw the vast greenly crops and hills. We are approaching the forest section and started the muddy, rocky, sandy roads. At some places the path was too rocky and there were small boulders to cross. We are feeling the pressure on the hands. The sun was intensifying and started showing presence on us.
In the middle we made a cut towards a lake. The scenery was mind blowing. The lake was surrounded fully by hills and there was a wall of bamboo trees and grass lands. We decided to take rest there. Rekha, Karthick and me went near the lake. It was muddy. After spending few mins we came back. I saw a man doing boating in the lake. I picked karthick with me to the place near the boat. It was nearly a kilometer away. We walked and finally saw that the boat was …. thermocol layers paked and sticked together. They were using it for fishing. Had a chat with the fisherman(one of the guy knew tamil).
Lunch in the forest
We packed the mats and started after and hour. The path was getting more and more rougher as we proceeded. We reached a stream. Sinu has already started preparing the vegetables. We made noodles and boiled eggs. It was very tasty with the ketchup.
Mango play in the pool
After lunch we proceeded to a pool. We enjoyed diving, swimming in it. It was not deep as well. I don't remember who started the mango game. We started to though mangoes from one to other and dive to catch it. We spend another hour in the pool playing with the mangoes.
Peter told on the end of the trail route, there is a temple and a waterfall and we are going there now. We started towards it while Nobal and Sinu stayed with the car. The trail was getting harder and harder. Some places its like from one rock to another, from there to another… very rough terrain. We synced up at stream crossings. By 5 PM we reached at a place from where the temple is 500mts away. Peter told it will be late if we go and visit the temple. So we started back downhill. It took less that half of the time that we took to reach the top. On the return we started hearing byke sounds. A group of motor cyclists were heading towards the temple for setting a camp. We came to the place where we parked the vehicle and had lunch. We saw a tractor full of villagers, they were making noises and commenting on the cycles. We had to come to the lake side where we took rest in the morning.
We filled water in the 25 litter can and started.
We went further east on the lake side, it was an awesome place to camp. The clouds were getting formed and it was starting to rain. Within few mins we setup the tent and collected the fire woods. Luckily we could do all there things within it started drizzling. We sat inside the tent. The wind was blowing very powerfully. That was an amazing experience to all. On the other side Peter, noble and sinu were making arrangements to make dinner. After few we went to help them. The tarpaulin sheets were jammed on the cars door on one end and 3 people hold it on the other side. In the middle the preparations went on. Finally when we made the rice, the rain stopped. We had the dinner in the tent. Felt very sleepy. The mats were arranged in the tent. Arun went to take sleep in the car and we 7 spent the night in the tent.
Gracing on cycle.
By 6 AM Karthick started disturbing the sleep as he could not get a sound sleep throughout. :D. By 7 we started cycling on the shores of the lake. We took lot pictures with action on cycle. had a couple of punctures. The vast grass land was like a big ground. We enjoyed the ride and came back, had the breakfast.
The lake water was not good enough to drink. me and Peter started to the jungle to find nice streams. After riding for few mins we came to a place where there was full of mango trees. the place was very cold and filled with smell of mangoes. Found a small stream and we collected water in bottles and came back.
After the gracing on the land, peter, rekha, sinu, noble and me jumped it to the water. After few mins Nobal went back to read Steve jobs book. karthick and Ajay took rest on the shore. Peter started swimming deeper and found some place were we could just make our hear out of water. We proceeded slowly and reached a remains of tree that in the middle of water. We three took a hold on the tree while Peter moved towards the next tree. We also made to the tree. That was big one. Me and Rekha took a seat on the tree. By this time Ajay and Karthick started towards us. Karthick took Arun N s camera in his water proof pocket of his life jacket. :D. We he reached us, we could see water flowing out of the pocket and camera was not turning on. Its was damaged. :D. After spending few hours we came out of water. I struggled a little to get to the shore.
We had get more water to cook the lunch. me, karthick and Ajay went to collect the water in the 25 litter can. We out the can in jays trekking bag. We filled the water and and Ajay took the water in his back pack the whole way. :D
Surprise trip again
After the lunch, Peter announced cycling to another hour and we will return. We started with peter. The trail was very narrow and hardly a person can walk. It joined a jeep trail. We proceeded on the track and came to the place where we had lunch on the first day. At this time I realized that we are on the same track that we had on first day. Peter told we are going towards the temple once more. God..that was a shock to me… I made my mind to see the temple. Karthick, me Peter and ajay again on the same route. :D . Peter and ajay were moving very fast and we two moved slowly. After covering a couple of miles saw peter and ajay resting. We waited for karthick. After that peter told we are going back and we had to start. I wanted to see the temple. Karthick wanted to see the temple and we two proceeded to the temple while peter and jay returned to camp site. on the way we saw some devotees going downhill on scorpio. We reached the temple and had a nicebath under the waterfall. the tractor people that we saw on the first day were playing cards near the temple. :D
on the return way, we saw a gang of buffaloes. we rang the cycle bell and the buffaloes were running on the trail. Finally we reached the camp. We saw rest of the people enjoying in the lake. Ajay and rekha already booked the seats in the car and loaded their bicycle. So me noble and karthick had to ride till the village road. We said good bye to Nagari hills and started by 6. It was going to rain as similar on the day 1. After reaching the village we had coffee, packed the cycles and returned.
This was an awesome trip with cycling, camping, swimming and little bit of trekking. Am sure we all had a good time and wonderful experience and more than that big lesson too… how to survive in forest in extreme weather. Most of the things that we did on the trip was new to us. Thank you Peter for making a this event an unforgettable for us, Thank you to all of you. Hope to c u all on the coming events.
More photos on our forum