Thanks to all the participants, this year's Valentine's Day trek was a memorable one. Nagala witnessed love like never before. As a couple this was our 3rd Valentine's day trek which we organized.
Interesting write up by Vijaysagar
It took me a lot of effort to convince my wife to get her to come to the trip. But today she is thanking me and is all set to jump up at Shumon's call for another couples' trek. This is testimony enough to the success of this trek.
The start din't seem all that bright. we were a couple of hours behind schedule because of the delay in getting the food packed. And as soon as we started the skies opened up and it started pouring heavily, for once Mr Ramanan's predictions came true. The rain gradually receded and gave way to a pleasant, cool breeze, and with some classic illayaraja playing in the car, we were enjoying the ride. As we neared the base camp i had my concerns about safety of the car at the parking lot. Shumon convinced me that the villagers collected some toll and ensured the safety, only the toll kept rising with every trip.
The flavor from the food packets we were carrying had already ignited my appetite, but the biriani had to wait till lunch. It was only idli and vada for now.
I had to wake up as early as 3.00 am, (to shumon's wake up msg) and had to reach pick up point by 4, that dint leave me enough time to empty my bowels. but now the call had come and i thought this was high time to relieve myself before the start of the trek. After a long time, i had the pleasure of relieving myself in the open with a vast green field spread open before me and a cool stream running by. I just had to be ready to cope with the embarrassment of some one treading into discover my spot.
Thus relieved and energized i joined the others as we climbed over a small embankment to discover a beautiful reservoir reflecting the mountains. we walked along the bank, crossed over at a place that the reservoir had dried up to make way for us.
Nathan and shuba were to lead the pack with shumon and sucharita sweeping from behind.
we least expected that we would be walking for the next 2-3 hours, and least of all thought that we could walk for such a long time. the thought never crossed us then, its only now wen i look back, i do so in awe. It never occured then probably because we had love for company!!!!
The climb followed the walk. This was a learning exercise in trekking for most of us. we slowly trained our foot on how to step, wer to step, to make sure about the grip of the step, to avoid steps that we were not sure of, a lesson in discovering the trail and following it, a lesson in using ur hands to support and guiding your partner and made sure they enjoyed the trek. This last thing made the whole difference to this trek.
Many people complained post-trek that not much of the usual bonding happened in this trek. True, this was because each of us were busy concentrating on our partners, so much to the neglect of the others. I can still hear ajay shouting to ranjani.
The trek was witness to some varied shades of beautiful bondings, from a jus budding bond in Arjun-ash, to that of a seasoned bond in Kannan-preetha.
As soon as we came to the first stream-crossing the water was so tempting and gushing from yesterday's rain that we took our first dip there. now we climbed the trail with the river rolling by our side.
The rolling river soon gave way to a beautiful pool, wat they called the first pool. while we thot this was it, seasoned trekkers quipped and decided to proceed to the second pool. trekking dint seem a pain now, it was now an oppurtunity to learn and bond. so no one complained. after all you could discover and conquer more of this raw natural beauty unfolding and tugged around you.
conquering a narrow pass cum climb on the way to the second pool was like receiving a KG certificate in trekking from Peter.
The second pool was a very inviting and shallow one. even those who had inhibitions slowly shed them and were eager to stay in water for long. Thanks to all the cautioning ,all the non-swimmers had a tube to tug and their partner to row.
while we were jus winding up, another party came in to camp at this pool. Shumon decided we had enuf time to conquer another pool. In no time we were diving in to a very deep and gorgeous third pool.
The wait for the biriani was to end here, (the taste was worth the delay in the morning). it was time to dry up , caress feet, and fill up water for the way back and lie on rock cut recliner, gazing at the green fern rock art and the blue sky tent atop and ofcourse, lots of sweet valentine's moments, (believe sucharita has captured them)...
we left behind the pool and the trail with no traces of our having been there, as had countless numbers of trekkers in the past. it was a shocking and a sweet surprise to me that all the trekkers had invariably been very disciplined in courting with this gem of the nature, thanks to leaders like Peter. No wonder, Nagala keeps inviting u back.