Write up from Swathi
After much anticipation, my husband and I got the call for a bike ride from CTC. It was extra special for us as it was our third month celebration after the wedding and ours was a last minute wait-list convert. As fate would have it, I fell sick on the previous day of the trip. It was a Friday morning, 26th of Feb, 2016 and I was thinking of cancelling my first trip with CTC. But the excitement of our first bike ride was strong enough to motivate me to venture out. So yes, we did go the next day and it was a bike trip to Talakona falls, AP!
We woke up at 5 in the morning, got ready with all bags and other things to carry. We reached Koyambedu assembly point at 6. It was dazzling to see all the bikers with their riding jackets on, holding a helmet each draped with shiny protective guards. I saw people of various age groups but it was not hard to notice that I was the only girl in the whole group. I was immediately apprehensive as to how this whole ride would go. After getting the basic instructions, we started off with the ride from Chennai. I being a pillion rider, was trying to follow the signs shown by other pillion riders. They all seemed professional in the way they were guiding and assisting one another whenever the road had humps or curves. This made the whole riding process relaxed and enjoyable.
The ride was very scenic. It was at the right duration with lush paddy fields and sunflower fields on both sides of the road. We were taking frequent breaks, and the organizers knew exactly where to stop. We had some ravishing watermelons, sizzling tea and fresh juice.
Our first touch-point was at an off-road point called Pichatoor Dam. This was extremely calm and tranquil like it was right out of a movie still. I knew we would have not found this if we were to travel on our own. After a sumptuous breakfast at a local dosa shop, we drove on for a few hours to reach Talakona forest.
The place was full of greenery and there were rooms for accommodation. We got three rooms. The team was very co-operative as they gave one room to me and my husband as I was the only girl in the group. Others (20 members approximately) adjusted themselves excitedly on their sleeping bags in the other two rooms without complaining. We then freshened up and went to explore the place. We walked for some distance and there it was! Majestic view of water gushing and the melancholic voice of it splashing against the rocks. The guys jumped into the water at the blink of an eye.
After two hours or so, we headed back to our rooms where we began an amazing game of Bluff. We had started getting comfortable with our conversations. Not too long after that, we had some really spicy authentic Andhra style dinner. All of us again gathered for camp fire. It was the best time to know each other personally. Everyone spoke about their previous experiences with CTC. We felt so proud to be part of it now. We got to know how big it really was! We definitely knew we wanted to be part of all the futures treks and rides. The organizers made us feel homely and they were very encouraging. By this time, I almost forgot I was unwell. The day ended with those sweet chit chats.
Next day early morning at 6, we started off for a small trek towards the same place. This time we had to go beyond the falls that we had seen the previous day. That junction was very slippery and the team was very steady and helped each other. It was indeed adventurous! We walked for almost 3-4 hours and reached the peaks, captured the moments through our lenses. It was time to go back.
The thought of such a trip coming to an end soon was disheartening. But we had to move on. We all started off again after the breakfast. With few tea breaks and few photo sessions at some amazing locations, we headed back to Chennai with a heavy heart filled with beautiful memories for a lifetime. Looking forward to my next adventure!