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I was too excited to go to Venkateshwara once again, came early from the office, packed my bags, and said bye bye to my roomies who were excited too cuz I was going :P
As I left my place, I opened my ticket printouts just to confirm If I have taken the right tickets, and oh lord. The date on the tickets was 19th Feb. thought a mistake, I checked the date on my cellphone, it was 18th Feb.!!.
The train had to start at 10:50 and no one even noticed that we were having the wrong tickets : P :P
So the phone chain started and everyone was clueless, the 1st thought came to mind was meeting up at Central, but then everyone decided to assemble at CMBT. So after all the confusion we started from at around 11. We reached Tirupati and waited for the Bangalore and Hyderabad folks and thats how it began
Initially 24 people had registered 13 caqme, so it was ensured that we will be having lots and lots of food ( 4-5 apples each, 7 cream buns, lots of chocolates, 4-5 packets of chapaatis and so on) making our bags extra heavy. We started from Talakona with the initial steep climb (though it was stairs, everyone were extra tired at the start) so we had a bun break. After that it was no stopping, with amazing speed we reached the blue pool, which sadly was not blue this time around. But who cares, we still jumped and swimmed, even the nonswimmers with their inflatable tubes, life jackets and rope enjoyed it. After having lunch we proceeded for the next camp site at night. We decided to camp at the top of the ice falls. A beautiful camp site I must say, and an amazing amazing view with a pool and the ice falls. Everyone jumped jumped in this pool too.
Camp fire was lit and maggie, Bessibela rice, sambar, pulaao :P was prepared, and then came antakshari ( quite loud :P) . 3 of us decided to swim in the moonlight, so there it was swimming at night under the moon and the stars in freezing cold water, with torches on the rock just like the light house. A night swim to remember . Amazing fenighteling . After spending some tym there and warming oursleves up near the fire, it was the end of the day/.
Started with the makeup session with the charcoals, everyone resembled the war commandoes and the tribes :P . Clicked lots of pictures there and at the waterfall, and started our way down. It was a very steep climb down, where one of our mates got injured (Damn u rock ) so we had to take a detour and take another route. Ensuring there were no other hiccups (though we had couple of extremely scary moments while climbing down or sliding down with Iron But** :P) we finally reached the bottom and then it was just jumping big big rocks after being very tired and hungry. Finally we reached one of the most beautiful places I have seen. The bottom of the Ice falls. For people who have not seen it. This is the place to go. One of the besssssst Places you will see, almost 200 250 mts or more height white waterfall. And as the name suggests the water was extremely cold. We had our lunch at around 4. 6 of us went into the big big pool under the ice falls. Also discovered the cave at the other end which was filled with woods ( Ideal Campsite for next visit, but need to cross deep water) so after pondering if we want to camp near the ice falls or go to the cave pool we decided that it was time to move. So packed the bags and after a night trek we reached the temple where we supposed to camp. Had our Maggie with Pichkoo and it marked the end of the day for many. But again at night as at the first campsite 4 people decided to enjoy the pool :) so it was repeat and was awesome. The best part came after that. People who were awake decided to make Payasam with jaggery, dry fruits, milk and what not. and trust me, that was one of the best payasam I had :) unfortunately for the people who were asleep, were not able to enjoy the hot payasam :) and the day ended there.
Distribution of food to the monkeys ,and the way to the cave pool, Lots of diving and swimming happened there, everyone enjoyed it thoroughly. Never seen so many fishes and so much big ones. So it was a fishing time :P . So after almost 4 hours of swimming, It was Oats tIme for us. so hot Oats were prepared, and for the nonveggies it was fish with gobi manchurian tym :P. on the way we met Johny the dog who was thrown in the water to swim. While coming back we saw another cave which had a first floor to it :P ( a possible campsite) After that it was a familiar terrain for many, the kodur exit. The sun god eventually made it more beautifull by hiding himself behind the clouds and it rained too :) Couple of them spotted a deer and snake. We had to walk at night, but it wasn’t that tiring though it was a long long stretch. The jeep driver was contacted and it was made sure that he is present at the exit :) and he was after walking a few minutes. The jeep driver thought we were crazy and was asking us if we saw any ghosts inside :P and said that he wouldn’t go in even if someone offered him lakhs of ruppees :P He thought we were totally crazy ( agree with that) on the way back we invaded the Punjabi Dhaba and had hot food filled our bellies reached at the bus stand and it was bye bye tym :)
An unforgettable Trek with the 13, each one unique, and no one lazy. Will like to make another trek with you guys once more :) Carrying some unforgettable memories here.
The fun started right from the beginning with the collecting of food items from Nithyan's house which is quite far from my place and had to catch call taxi to reach Nithyan's house. On the way picked up Koushik who also happens to be my best pal in treks as we have done at least half a dozen treks together. On the way got a call from one of the participant that the train tickets was booked for the next day (Saturday) instead of Friday. After pondering for a while we decided we will reach Koyambedu and go from there. Meanwhile Koushik and Murali called the participants from chennai to join at Koyambedu instead of Central station. Reachine Koyambedu we were waiting for all the folks to join and soo found that we had only 8 participants from Chennai. Boarded the bus to Sri Kalahasthi and reached Tirupathi by 3:30 AM, much faster than train. :) and as usual was waiting for Bangalore party to join. Soon Ramzan arrived with 3 others and after exchanging hugs and hand shakes we hired 2 jeep to take us to Talakona where we were supposed to start the trek.
On reaching Talakona, we grabbed the food and we had so much food that we could have stayed inside forest for 4-5 days. Packed the bags with food and with not an inch of space left we started the trek from Talakona. A steep climb from Talakona set a great prelude and after huffing and puffing reached top of Talakon to find all our fellow trekkers reached the top without problems. Mind you we had a bunch of folks who are first timers. It was a pleasant surpise everyone made it and had buns for breakfast and started pulling Purush who was christened as Mr.Bun....We started walking briskly and we were covering pretty good distance without break and reached Blue pool. This turned out to be Black pool to be precise, but howerver jumped and enjoyed till we were hungry and had chappathis and picke for lunch. The picke was tasting the best in the whole life. :). Everyone settled for a power nap and Ramzan started pushing us. We then started the long walk to the Day 1 campsite which is on top of Ice Falls. we reached there in pretty quick time and one of the rare days wher we reached the campsite by broad day light. Dropping our bags in the campsite and went further to the top of ice falls and it was the site to behold. Wondered is there any better architect in the world than GOD himself..It was a great site with towering hills on all the sides and falls in belligerent mood...Went back to campsite and made Bise Bela bath, Pulav which was just enough to have one bite each for the camp. As usual Maggi was ready, hogged it and went to rock, sorry bed..the clear sky, broad moon light and deadly silence, no matter how many soft beds and AC's cannot equal that experience..
Day 2 started with tea and more buns...:)...Started climbing down the ice falls only to see Murali got injured by a rolling rock. Thankfully we had Praveen who was a physio helped Murali to dress the wound and were delayed by 1 hr. Murali was sportive and tough enough to walk and continue the trek. The climb down was very steep and had to slide in many a places and dangerous in certain places. Reached the bottom of the hill by the stroke of noon and started the long walk towards Ice falls. Small boulders gave way to massive ones and was no more able to hop and jump on them rather climb and slide..on the way saw a beatiful Rat snake under a rock only it to disappear in a jiffy. Reached the Ice falls by 4:00 PM. Had late lunch and the place was just a sight i will never forget. Water pouring from 200 m height into a big pool which was almost 50 m in dia...The water was just too cold and we could barely get our feet wet. Mustered courage and splash went into water and there was fun and frolic...It was hard to believe we had to swim at least 100 m to reach the falls. After a good bath under the falls we started to the Day campsite..Shiva temple near cave falls. By the time we were in jeep trail it was dark and started pulling out torches and reached the destination around 7 PM. Again some yummy maggi noodles and deadly shoe smell of Koushik's had kept all insects and snakes away from us.
Woke up early next day to find swarmed by monkeys. Everyone had at least 3-4 cream buns to spare of each monkey and i am sure the monkeys would not require food for the next 1 month. Started towards cave pool. Reached cave pool in no time and jumped and reached the claudron and we spending hell a lot of time there. Meanwhile few folks started catching fishes to make BBQ. After settling the accounts and finishing the lunch started towards Kodur (exit point) and was walking in terrific pace and thought we could reach exit by 5:00- 6:00 PM. Meanwhile Murali's injury got worse had to slow down our pace a bit. By that time the rain gods seem to have got back to work from vacation and it started pouring albeit not heavy. Continued walking in the rain and reached the spot where the jeeps were wiating to pick us up. Meanwhile called back home to inform everyone is safe and Ramzan started enquiring about the other treks. By this time rats were running havoc in stomach and we stopped in a roadside Dhaba. Garma garam Rotis, jeera pulavs etc melted into the mouth and vanished in tummy in no time. After good dinner reached Tirupathi by 10:30 PM and got the bus to Chennai by 12:00...Waved good byes to Bangalore trekkers and slept peacefully only to wake up in Chennai..
It was wonderful experience with wonderful people with terrific energy and boundless enthusiasm. As usual it is a pleasure to trek with Ramzan, Koushik, Imran Tushar and Abhishek and made good friends Purush, Praveen, Ram, Murali, Dinesh and Nandita.
See in some other trek....
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