Awesome write up by Rajkumar:
I have joined CTC in 2011 and participated in quite a few treks with different organizers until the 2014. Post which I had to take a break to focus on my career. This break took a toll in my health and fitness. When I planned to get back on the game I was asked to take a fitness test. I had to do it twice to be eligible for it. Eventually I got selected for trek organized by Prasanthi and Pankaj.
Though I have worked on my fitness until the day before the trek, I had to admit that it was more challenging than I anticipated. The first day was quite manageable. On day two I managed until the Picnic pool. Post which I was trying real hard to cope with the situation, along with few others as well. But we managed to complete it with the help of our organizers and couple of volunteers. I have gone through new trails and on stream this time.
I’m able to see the way CTC have evolved in the past few years. It’s not about having fun alone. It made us to understand that we can’t succeed if we don’t try. Every time we had trouble in proceeding, the organizers and the volunteers use the suitable approach to keep us going. They manage to encourage us through the entire trip without letting us down and taking care of our requirements.
I would particularly like to mention about few people.
Pankaj – Energetic and cool dude. We all like the way he handled us throughout the trip.
Sasi, who was taking photographs through the entire trip. But he managed to walk ahead of us other so that he doesn’t spend much time on taking pictures.
Niranjan & Arun - Helping the participants throughout the trip. Their simple message to us were “Stop being critical; accept and let things be to be happy!
Sujatha – You were stronger and faster than most of other participants. Keep it that way!
Last but not the least – Prasanthi. It’s been an honour participating in a trek organized by her. She is a confident, efficient and most friendly organizer. She will never take no for an answer. If we find it hard to finish she will give us an interesting reason to complete the task and not let us to quit. I am sure she will inspire more women come out of their home and explore the wilderness and realize their strength.
To sum up, being in CTC is not a privilege, it’s a responsibility. To stay in, we must work harder. The result, it will make us as a better person stronger person. And my regards to the rest of the friends I met in this trek, I hope our paths will cross again soon!!!
Surya's thoughts on the trek:
Thanks for the organisers and everyone else for the trekking experience. I have been a member of CTC for almost 5 years but this is my first trek. I found the trek to be quite a therapeutic experience mentally. It was great to have two days completely cut off from the depressing outside world ;). Considering that I have had a rough few years over the past, the two days were a massive breather for me personally. I feel indebted to everyone who accompanied me and pushed me on to complete the trek.
To be honest, I took the whole trek for granted, the preparation side of it. I have been very negligent about my fitness over the past few weeks and it showed with all the huffing and puffing. So, to overcome the thorns, bushes, rocks, cliffs, dehydration, and other such challenges was satisfying.
It is good to lose quite a bit of inhibitions that I have had and having to expose myself to thing I hate the most… humidity and dehydration. My apologies if I had slowed down the group at any point.
It is quite an experience to put oneself through the limits of physical exertion. It helps to free oneself up, in different ways and to appreciative things we take for granted normally, like say water and a healthy diet
The hills were quite lovely with the hidden streams, trails and vegetation. Can understand why people flock to these hills regularly.
My one regret was being unable to enjoy viewing the lovely steep landscape and vegetation there. It's a reminder to keep oneself fit so that they can enjoy the trek alongside pushing their bodies to the limits.
I wish to do a lot of treks with the group with improved fitness. I find all members to be very congenial and wish to meet you soon.
Sujatha recounts the weekend:
Our day started at with pickups in Tidel, Madhya Kailash and Koyambedu. Around 15 of us were onboard when we started from Koyambedu. There was another trek organized by Koteswara/Peter for the same weekend, so we got a chance to catch up this team in Koyambedu with quick exchange of greetings.
It was around when we left out of Chennai and we reached Nagalaparum East Entrance around . Hot breakfast was arranged through the local residents, who reside near the temple area where we alighted. It was a great start for the day with hot Pongal, chutney and idli.
Around we had our regular briefing and started to ascend into the trial.
We reached the small stream where we all refilled our bottles and started through the dry stream route. We were so less aware that we will be walking till to find the next water point! Yes, we were continuously walking from with little rest in few places just to catch and regroup with the fellow trekkers. The pool route was so dry with big boulders which really tested our endurance and strength. We were all completely exhausted with less water and the tough big boulders to cross.
We were longing to get to the water point and to have our lunch. It so happened that we only reached this point at . We were all so delighted and felt blissful seeing nice fresh water and refilled quickly and gulped so much water in one go! The sun and the long continuous walk was very strenuous but worth it when you see so much fresh water! We had our lunch at that point and all had a quick power nap.
We started towards our night camp area at . We had a hard deadline to reach the camp site at before it gets dark. We did our ascend and descend as quickly as possible and reached nearer to the stream. We had some big boulders to cross and were aiming to push ourselves to move as quickly as possible. We had to do some night trek as it was already and we are not yet close to the camp. We did 1 hour walking with all our torches on and aiming our best to keep on the right rocks and avoid falling down, as some of the rocks where slippery with the trickling of water.
We reached camp site around . Some of us took a quick dip which was so refreshing. Few of us reached the camp site around and there were few more yet to join. This is when something wonderful happened. We already saw few fire flies in the night quiet silent environment and it was too good.
Now our chief chef Pankaj and Bear Grylls Arun(yes that suits him! :) ) were kind enough to start the fire and started cooking Upma. We added some ghee and chilies that we got from the villagers to spice up the upma. The funny thing is Arun was trying to fry the Rava in the pot to make sure it comes out well. We did not have a stirrer so he managed to take a long piece of wood and cleaned up to use that as a Stirrer! We had some hot upma and it tasted heavenly in that environment
We winded up for the day around . This is what my fitbit shows for the long exhaustive trek!
We started the second day with a walk towards the picnic pool. It was such a bliss to see the fresh water pool and the waterfall, we all quickly jumped in for a quick bath. We had our lunch in picnic pool and started towards the Sliding pool which we had planned as our next stop through the rock face route.
We had to cross big boulders to reach this route and that is when we reached the rock face which had a very steep climb. We reached Sliding pool around and had a quick refreshing break. We had 2 more hours of walk to finish our day so wrapped up quickly at 5.30 and started our descend to the way out.
We reached the van around 6.30 and started out of Nagala at . We stopped at Hotel Karaikudi in Uttukottai for our dinner and when we reached back Chennai it was close to . This is the second day achievement!
We all went back home with a great sense of achievement and pride for a weekend well spent with Nature! Lying down in couch that night make you feel that you are so blessed to have such luxury in your normal life with everything at the end of the fingertip, when we were struggling to get a good place to sleep with minimum arrangements and food/water when you need it just the day before! :)
Special Kudos to our Photographer Shashi Bhushan for capturing all the wonderful moments in his professional DSLR Camera!
Can’t wait to trek again!