Nagalapuram! ...... a hill so beautiful... right from the time we were approaching it. Walking along the stream, listening to the birds, butterflies touching you gently and the sound of the water... wonderful!!! The dip in the pool was invigorating... chilling both body and mind. Rope climbing was truly challenging and fun. Every moment was filled with excitement and wonder... The moment we reached almost the top, the view was so spectacular that I wanted to stay on there. A flood of accomplishment filled my heart. The night at the camp was absolutely amazing... the glittering stars looked closer than ever... sleeping under the open sky was an unforgettable experience. When we reached back the village I was filled with an amazing feeling of satisfaction; as I had experienced a sort of remote and lonely beauty of the nature. It was wonderful. Everything was so beautiful…
Trek to new relationship… the two day trek opened me up to new people, new friendship and new experience… An opportunity to share two days in the wild, on the trail, beneath the stars, and through the cities with such a positive, brave and compassionate community of explorers was an amazing experience. I don’t even remember most of their names but can’t forget the hands that extended to help me. Thank you guys for having reminded me of how beautiful, wonderful, magical and fun life can be. I feel lucky to have spent this time with such wonderful people – I will remember you as giggle, energetic, quick to lend a hand, musical, courageous and kind. You are all very unique and beautiful people. Shine on! The most beautiful part of it was when we all parted saying ‘byes’, all I could see in the faces was “I’ll-see- you- around” look. We all made a connection, it was beautiful...
Trekking was always a great dream of mine. I feel so lucky to have been invited to come along and I am truly honored to now consider myself a trekker forever. I am sure the opportunities to trek again and again will never end. Thank you Peter for making my dream come true. And for that I am forever grateful.
Moonwalking through NagalasNot another boring weekend infront of TV. Not another usual weekend under the roofs of sathyam. Not another usual night’s sleep on the comfy foams. I jumped out of my comfort zone by waking up at 4 on a morning and driving at 90kmph to the pickup point at koyambedu. I was thinking - "No way that everyone in any group arrives at time for a trip" - and had my first amazement - everyone was right on time!! After having a few many andhra idlis for our breakfast, we reached the village from where the great long walk began. The energy level of the group was so high that we could have made the 2-day trek in a single day!! The climb was getting more interesting with awesome pools, GPS tracking and finding the not so obvious trails. There was no hesitation among people to make some hard extra climbs to find us the easiest trail possible, my second amazement in the trek. Thanks to all those experienced trekkers who saved us a lot of energy. We had a short dip near an amazing waterfall when the first use of the first aid came up. Yayy!! I am the one who made it possible when a little extra enthusiasm within me gave me a blood dripping finger. That was the first physical inscription of my trek memories. But I could feel no pain with food in my mouth and all the energy and enthusiasm. Bread and jam would never have tasted better - save this moment.
The great rope climb of the trek came the next, my third amazement. I was a little proud of myself when I made a risky rock climb(of course with help) to help tie up the rope so people down under can use it to climb up. I was imagining myself as Tom cruise in the first scene of Mission Impossible. But people who made the rope climb next, made mine look like the efforts of Power star in front of Super star. Girls are no less match to guys in that climb through the waterfall, my fourth amazement. Snickers and tang drinks made us reach all the way to the top around 5.30 in the evening. The day light was gone by that time and the night trek began. I heard a voice saying its 1.5 km to the camp site from there. I was very happy that we had made an almost 18.5km walk. After an hour there was this same voice saying its 1.5 km to the camp site. In my mind, "Oh god, have I just gone insane or am I hearing voices in my mind??". So finally we reached the camp site around 10 in the night.
I was really happy and proud that I survived the next 1.5 hrs. When Peter asked for volunteers to fetch water from a stream below, the kollywood hero inside me had woken up and we seven of us went searching for water with nothing but darkness around us. All the ghost stories and horror films I have heard in my entire life came alive in my mind. It was a 100m descend with rocky slopes. Finally when we found water, it was like we made an amazing discovery that mankind would praise us for the rest of our life. The day ended with an wonderful dinner with soupy noodles with soya topping(!!).
(Weird dreams in my sleep!!)
Day 2 started with a heavy breakfast pumping us with cornflakes, sandwiches and lemon tea. It was told that we would be having payasam for our lunch. Got my hopes high on that payasam. Payasam was in my mind like that of the acorn in the mind of the scrat in ICE AGE films. On our way back we walked up to a view point with the prospects of rain. "Moments of real happiness are always private". I had such a moment in the view point with little drizzle and the great view of nagala range before us, my fifth amazement. I wanted to keep those moments personal and private. Then the descend was awesome with little drizzle and great views. We reached the hill base around 6 in the evening and was outta hill around 8. The trek ended with mouth full of chicken in a roadside motel and 90kmph ride back home. I swore to myself I would never miss one such trek in future. Thanks to all my co-trekkers who made this a lifetime experience for me. It was not just adventurous but much more than that.
Now I am an experienced trekker too!!
P S: Payasam was never made and I am the still the scrat thinking of the it.
Finally we had our Fitness Test completed in Pallavaram Hill just the day before our Trek, with rain giving way for it to happen. Hoorah…. we all were deemed fit but that 10 minute climb was ooooh… difficult. We took pictures and got a glimpse of Nagala hill range from there. After getting updates from Rajasekhar that it won’t be this difficult in Nagala and from Peter that it won’t rain there, I was high in spirits to head for my Moderate Trek.
Waking up at in the morning, got a ride in Selvanayagam sir’s car and with all fellow trekkers filled in 4 other cars, we started off.
Thinking we would be eating our packet breakfast after reaching the base. But, once we reached the village, suddenly saw Peter running to every other shop to find out if we could be served breakfast. Wow that is always the highlight before starting our trek, those delicious idlis and vadas. After the initial wait, we were served a nice breakfast, and then we all happily headed to our destination.
On reaching Nagala, once all items were distributed and bags packed, Peter weight checked all the bags and we were ready to go. Oh yes, definitely not without our group pic.
Day 1 – (Day and Night Trek)
We were told it would take 1 hour to reach the base of the foothill and then one hour to the pool where we can get into the waters (which was in Peter Standard Time as Kavin coined it). From there on, keeping track of time never helped, though . Walking all the way by the stream with water flowing by was really refreshing. Now and then splashing water was reviving.
We reached a split in trail. Even the GPS instrument got confused, our living GPS of Nagala, Peter, got us back to the right trail and we continued our journey.
After walking, climbing and jumping across water, we made it to a small pool. After taking our dip and refreshments, we started off to the first pool with falls and our lunch point.
Falls and Pool
Wow….. what a energizing view.. with the falls just gushing and the pool. All of us got into the water and all photos taken, we were back to fill our hungry stomachs, and we had 1 hour and was advised to take a power nap.
After catching up with some sleep, we climbed over the waterfall and then came the first interesting part of the day.
We came to stop after seeing a very steep rock with water flowing down. 2 or 3 climbed atop. Peter tied the rope down and moved a tree to provide us support as we climbed. All bags were passed one by one and then all of us started climbing one by one. Prasanna lend his shoulder for us to step and climb (great man!). Peter, Sharan and Aravindh gave a lending hand and helped us climb up. Sathish clicked our adventurous pics for “moments to cherish”. Once we got atop, now came the interesting part 2. Similar steep rock. Again we repeated passing on the bags and then we climbed. Truly gratifying adventure of the day.
Coming to the last water point, being advised to fill all bottles with water, it was done as a team effort. After the pit stop, we continued our journey through rocky, rough and steep climb. Peter was calling out “just 2 more hours” (in PST aka "Peter Standard Time") to the flat grass land. And we never saw it until we reached our camp site at . All of us finished all the stocked water by then and were tired. . Payasam was the bait, with hopes raised for many, which we shall make in out next trek ;).
Finally we reached the camp site around . Then a group of unexhausted souls collected all the bottles and left in search of the stream to fetch water. By then most of us had settled down, took rest, and set up camp fire. By all were back with the “Elixir of Life”. We all gathered around and started the cooking process with our master chef “Rady” cooking delicious soupy noodles with the sterilized wooden stick .
We called it a Good Adventurous Day and rested finding our spaces under the moon.
Day2 (Dawn and Dusk Trek)
We were ready in the morning after the pre-breakfast apple and light stretches, for the second day. We climbed to the breakfast point sweating under the cruel sun. Again we had few enthused souls collecting all bottles and brought water from nearby stream. After cooking milk and tea, all of us had our corn-flakes and started to the Fort.
En route, the weather turned better and walked on the jeep trail and hit the Fort. Leaving all our bags there, a great relief, we headed to the viewpoint all by ourselves. Birds eye view of the entire Nagala range and Tada, and Pulicate lake was just awesome. Enjoying the view and taking pics, we also witnessed rain on one side of Nagala. Thank God, we were spared.
After a good relaxing time, we headed back down as the rain started drizzling. Definitely climbing down was good with nice chit chats and stories being shared.
We pit stopped for lunch, again went through the routine of making soupy noodles, filled in our tummy’s and quickly headed back to the base.
All of us started and headed for dinner. And finally all of us called it a day and a weekend, an unforgettable experience with 27 other unknown like-minded people, exchanged good-byes, and parted ways hoping to bump into each other sometime sooner.
A special mention of the photographers Aravindh, Sathish and Karthick. Also all 28 who showcased such great character and came forward to help wherever required.
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