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Hope the aches and sprains are all gone and everyone is doing good!!!. It was an amazing trek and I believe you all had best experience from this trek. 19 Brave souls reached 800M peak.
I would like to THANK you all for your co-operation in making this trek a memorable one.
I believe all pushed your body and mind to complete this trek. Really it was best effort from you and all that we survived with two 5-star bars, Biscuits and drinking the water from the stream and going back in time to live like our ancestors who carried no food to hit the western Nagala 800 mts peak. Braving the scorching sun, dense bushes, loose rocks, steep climbs we made to the peak to witness the mind-blowing view of the entire western nagala valley. With the pride of completing the 20 odd kms difficult trek in just 10 hours time.See the list of 20 brave souls below:
Oinam romesh meitei
Our Trek Expense Details
1) Breakfast @Udhukottai-600Rs
2) Orange, Biscuits, Banana, Glucose n Chocolates-1210Rs
3) Parking Entrance fee @ village-200Rs
4) Toll gate fee-230Rs
5) Car fuel Expenses-4400Rs
Total Expense:6640Rs. so expense/head(6640/20):332Rs.
I believe this was the cheapest 1 day trek so far for me and all.
I had a good time with u all. I’m looking forward for more treks with you all.
Clicks from Murthy's cam:
Clicks from Durai's cam:
"A wonderful trek, with some amazing people".. by an amateur trekker.!
After doing a few treks with CTC, this was the one I was looking forward to very eagerly, as it had a lot of thrill and exciting factors filled in. First one which crossed my mind was the fact that this is usually a 2-day trek, which we dared to complete in 1 day. The second was the 'no-food' factor. I don't eat much during treks, and usually prefer just to survive with just chocolates and glucose, so this part didn't bother me a lot, although I knew it would test my endurance at the closing stage. But I sure wanted to give my best.
I've done a few one-day treks to Nagala West with CTC and know the trail to a certain distance, 3rd pool to be precise. This made me a little more confident to do this trek.
So it began when the group of enthusiasts assembled at CMBT. It was around 5 when we started from there after a cup of tea. As usual the road en route Periyapalayam was shattered and we had to drive slow. The sunrise was perfect that morning, unfortunately we could not take a break for a photo shoot as it was getting late and we still had to complete breakfast before reaching the base. Luckily breakfast did not take much time and we started towards the base camp, where we reached around 8.
After distributing the 'lunch', we started our ascent towards, what would be, the ultimate experience of my life. We gathered for a group pic, as we were not sure if we would find time for this later in the day as we usually do on relaxed pace treks. I wanted to assess my stamina and pace, as I was trekking with some big guns of CTC this time and would have to definitely keep up with their pace. It was 9 AM here.
It took just 20 mins to reach the welcome stream and without any break it took another 20 mins to reach the 2nd pool. WOW. This is quite a good pace for me. I had to take a break now, for sure, but not for long. Vadi and Muthu had already started to prepare themselves for a quick shower, which would irresistible even for people who don't know to swim. Jesu and myself decided to skip pool2 and reach the 3rd to freshen up for thw rest of the trek. But I could not keep up the pace, as I had a little too much breakfast, I guess. So I had to rest for a while. In the meantime, Vadi n co had started and both of us reached pool 3 at the same time.
By 10 AM, we had all started towards mini kutralam. From this point onward, the trail was completely new to me and had a lot of expectation in my mind about the 4th and the 5th pools. I wanted to see it for myself, hence did not ask how the pools would like. After reaching mini kutralam, I could not hold myself from getting drenched and wash away the sweat. After a 10 minutes break, we started for the steep cliffs, and there started the real test for me. This is a place I'd have to be really thankful to a many, Durai especially. Unfortunately 4 of our fellow trekkers fell behind before we reached the 4th pool. It was quite fortunate that our mobile still was within reach. Vadi managed to get hold of Senthil, who had reach mini kutralam. He decided to get back there and regroup. So we decided to wait at the 4th pool till they arrived,which gave us some time to spend in the pool.
We still had a lot more ground to cover after the bottles were filled at the last water source, the 5th pool. Durai kept pushing a few of us encouraging we are just a few minutes away from destination, though it never was. As the day progressed we were starting to feel the sun draining our energy.
Our target was to reach the 800m peak by 2PM. After some tiring effort, we were quite successful in getting there well before time. MAN! The view was inexplicable. Though the sun was at its peak, the cool breeze was so soothing, it made a few fall asleep, including me.
We rested for about 30 minutes and gathered for a group pic with the breathtaking view in the background. It was indeed one amazing view of the dam below and that of the entire Nagala range.
By the time we started the return trek, most of us were completely out of water. Things went smooth, until we lost the trail to the 5th pool. Thank god to Vadi, who came to the rescue, as always. Soon after he sensed the trail we reached the pool and quenched our thirst. At a steady pace, we continued the descend and managed to the reach the welcome pool and took a break for a last dip of the trek.
Just about dusk, we reached the base camp and settled the accounts and ended the trek with spicy Andhra briyani.
I'd like to thank everyone who made this trek so lively, especially Vadi and Durai for organizing it. I'd definitely have to mention both Muthus, Jesu, Gokul, Vasanth, Sivavarthanan, Rajkumar, Goutham, Satish, Rohith - I so enjoyed your company. Hoping to meet you all in the forthcoming treks.
WE DID IT GUYS!!!
In reply to this post by Vadivel.k
This is my second trek in ctc When the invite came without any second thought i registered immediately. I knew the abilities of Vadivel and Duraimurugan In my first trek vadivel lead the team in a great manner and ii read a lot of post trek write ups by Durai which motivates me a lot to take part in moderate+ treks
When i saw my name in the confirmed list i got so much excited then on i have been eagarly waiting for the day I am happy to see omi senthil ponpandi in the list who were my fellow trekkers in the past trek
On 20 we started from koyambedu around 5 am we reached uthokottai and had break fast and reached the base came around 8 30am and people distributed fruits and energy bars we started our trek around 8 45 we took a group photo Vadi instructed he would be going in maximum pace as this trek has to be finished in a day with out food and he added if anybody find difficult he got alternate plane for that
we started marching towards the mountain everyone moving fast to some distance i could maintain my pace with them after that there was a big gap senthil was accompanying me in the middle we got confused and lost the trail then we came back and went ahead there durai was waiting for us at the welcome stream we started moving
Again i slowed down my speed senthil was slow because of me then we reached 1st pool we saw no sign of our group but still we are moving towards second pool after some time moorthy and vasanth came to rescue from there we four started moving towads second pool after some time we reached 3rd pool
From there we have to move towards minikutralam when i see the rock which has to be claimbed i was not sure weather i could claim or not but senthil and moorthy motivated me to claim up and then we reached minikutralam that time luckily vadi got through vasanth mobile vadi came down to take us
As i am slow i dont want to drag the other people so after the discussion with vadi i decided to stay back at minikutralam until they return . I felt bad that i could not maintain my pace with the group and i envy about them then i sat for sometime lots of thoughts going through my mind finally a thought came that let me be in a let go state then on i felt afresh
I took bath in falls and rest in the rocks whatever the movement urge me to do i just followed that sometimes i sat silently ,sometimes watching my thoughts blabbering in my mind, took bath in the chill falls,lying on the rock , enjoying the sun , so i was in complete let go.
Suddenly a group of 7 people came there . They are not from ctc they or on their own they took bath in the falls Here i saw the difference between ctc and other groups . This group after their bath they eat their snack which they carried and left the remaining s their itself . But in ctc treks people collect every piece of waste materials and carry with them in order to not polluting the place
It is around 5 pm vadi return back and others are following . We started climbing down as usual vadi helped us in difficult places to safely claim down always he is a energy booster . some people took their final dip in the welcome stream then around 8 pm we reached the base camp
we started our journey to chennai on the way we had spicy biriyani at a small hotel . I was told that usually it is a 2 day trek but our group(except me)able to finish in one day hats off to u guys
A lot more thanks too Vadi and Durai for organizing such a wonderful trek . Thanks to my fellow trekkers senthil,moorthy,omi,ponpondy and each one of u. looking forward to trek with u guys
It was defnitely the trek of our lifetime Srini.. in fact it made me realise how "the journey > destination".. so don't worry for not having completed the trek, as the journey is what matters and there would be a lot many treks in the future.
Write up by Muthu:
Hope normalcy is back and everyone is doing fine. Sorry to join the party very late. It was a wonderful trek, truly. Braving the hot sun and giving a miss to lunch should sure boost the mental strength of many souls to scale greater heights. It had all the elements of a typical CTC trek. The right,joyous bunch - mostly ppl from software field, few men with an eye for photography, the able group of leaders, a group that went astray in the wilderness, missed trail and the fitting final touch, a trek under the moon. You got to love it.
I trekked, with my personal circle of friends, till the scenic third pool a few times but never went beyond that. So I took up this opportunity to go beyond the known heaven. My friends from good old school days, Rajasekar and Vasanthan V., joined me. After the third pool I expected a better scene than that and mini kourtalam just provided me that. The fourth pool and the deep ascend after that gave the right food for my body&mind. I expected nothing lesser than that. If the body was aching after that steep climb and a stroll in shoulder-high bushes, the gentle breeze on top of the hill was kind enough to soothe our body and nerves. But still we had that towering 800 meter high peak infront of us to climb and the group was fit enough to surmount the final test with flying colors.
Now, a few complaints about the trek/group. Sorry to mention it after all the good things we have done. I noticed a considerable number of the people in the group didn't carry torches thus making life harder for the ones who were carrying it. CTC trek is all about enjoying nature and helping out others, I agree. But even after all the template mails we get asking us to carry torches we have not just done that. Kindly carry torches guys. That helps a lot in harder circumstances. That was my one big complaint about it and thats all.
Omi , thanks for the great write-up.
Spl thanks to Durai, Muthukumaran (the other one with the third eye), Vasanthan,Romesh, senthil for capturing the cherishable moments.
Wish we had a night stay so we all could have known each other a tad better. Hoping our paths(errrr. Do we have them in CTC?) soon will cross in yet another CTC trek.
Till then take care all.
Write-up by Rohit:
These are the adjectives which come to my mind when I think of this trek. It was one of the best days of my life so far. Earlier I used to only fantasies about Jungles, water streams etcetera, but this trek gave me an opportunity to live them in real. I am very pleased that CTC gave me this chance. Being a fresher, I was very much excited when I heard of CTC. Lucky I was to get an opportunity so quickly and that too in a medium + trek. Thanks to Vadi and Durai and the entire team for making this trek a wonderful experience.
So, this all started when I got transferred from Mumbai to Chennai. Thanks to the web world I quickly got to know about CTC. And thence my excitement level shot up. I applied in couple of treks but dint get through. This was the third trek to which I applied and luck knocked at my door. I embraced it with open arms.
On the day of trek, I reached Koyambedu at 4.00 am in the morning and was waiting for the people whom I never met before. Isn’t it exciting? This is one very interesting part of CTC treks. One meets new people and spends entire day or two with them in the woods, helping each other without any wants in return. These are some very fine life lessons we learn on such treks.
Entire gang kicked off from koyambedu at 5.00 am in the morning only to halt for breakfast. We reached base camp at around 8.15 am (Courtesy to the road condition. It took 3.5 hrs to drive 100 kms). We quickly distributed the chocolates and biscuits brought by volunteers and marched towards our destination, the 800 mts. Peak.
Right after ten steps I was amazed with the scenic beauty of the lake surrounded by mountains. It was my first moment of awe. We quickly got the group in the lens with the lake in the backdrop.
We started following the trails and dint stop till we reach the third pool. Some fellow trekkers could not resist and jumped into the pool. 5 minutes of rest and we move to our next stop, the 4th pool. Here, even I joined others in the pool. Earlier I only swam in swimming pools; this was a real good experience. People were diving, posing. There was fun all around. Some even showed their gymnastic skills on a branch of a tree. Once everybody is satiated we packed up and moved to the fifth pool. This was the last water body on our way up. We filled all the water bottles and headed to the 800 mts. peak which would bring fore the dense bushes, rocky boulders. It was a tough terrain (given the time constraint), but we reached to the top by 2.00 pm.
I must appreciate Durai, he was constantly pushing up the spirits of the entire group.
At peak, the valley looked so beautiful. Some even took a power nap on the rocks. Later, we posed for the group pic and started our return journey.
Medium + trek crossed its level when we lost the trail on our way back. There were some very steep ascents and descents terrains which we fought over. We were running out of water and food and on top of it we lost the trail. It was getting dark. At one point, we thought we might have to camp for the night. But, thanks to vadi we found the trail without losing much time. I was so thirsty and out of water, desperately waiting for the 5th pool to show up. We could hear the noise of waterfall, it was such a relief. I filled the bottle and dude that was so satisfying, waited so patiently for this moment. Till the time we reached the fourth pool it was completely dark. Torches are out of bags now and we are trekking in dark. So much fun in one single day trek. We trekked 2.5 hrs in dark to reach to the base camp.
Accounts settled and we bid farewell to that amazing place at 8.30 in the night. Now, our next target would be the CHicken Biryani. Unfortunataley, we got the the biryani without chicken in it. But, at that point had they served anything we would have surely loved it. After dinner, we bid farewell to the fellow trekkers and marched towards chennai with sweet memories.
It was a great group to trek with. Hope to see them again in future treks.
I would like to thank the organizers, Mr. Vadi and Mr. Durai. They have executed this trek perfectly. We enjoyed thoroughly.
In the end, I must say words describe not even half of the experience. To feel it, you have to be there.
Thanks and regards,
Write-UP by Jesu:
First of all sorry for not responding all these time. my laptop is down, i had to use mobile only for checking mail. Hope everybody are doing fine, this time also i got lot of good friend. only thing i miss is Gokul and shiva dint find time to teach me dance. Plan for one more trek like that, now water also will be too cold also.
Most important is this is the very very low cost trek whatever i have done. normally for one day trek it will cost around Rs. 800/- and for two days trek it will be Rs.1500/- Most important part is trek expense break up was provided after the trek. Normally this also does not happen during our normal trek. From next time onwards we have to ask cost breakup of trek expense.
Hope we'll meet u guys in the next trek.
Write-UP by Maria Sekar:
First sorry for the very very late response,
I thank each one of you for an excited opportunity.
I have never ever explored the places within the low amount of money. If I came alone then it will take me to some 500 to 600.
I think all the 20 enjoyed a lot. We have done everything as a group. Thanks guys.
20 people is a manageable and surly its good. It is difficult to handle more than this. Thanks Vadivel.
The night trek in a rocky area was awesome....!!!!!!!! :) I enjoyed that. That was my second night trek.
One more thing guys, while trekking we should not harm any nature things. But some of them thrown the shoes, bottles, chocolate & biscuit wrappers....so on.
We should/could avoid such things..
Finally once again thanks to all of them for the wonderful journey. .....!!!!!!!!!!
Thanks for your Time,
Write up by Satish:
I know i'm REALLY late and I'm sooooooooooooooooooo sorry about this. No excuses really.... I have become extremely lazy. And I can see some of you have completed a cpl of treks after our adventure :P, but here's my write up.... I just couldn't let this go... better late than never..
I had an awesome time and it was one of the best days of my life, all thanks to you guys... especially Vadi and Durai for organizing this...
One day ‘no food’ trek, scaling Nagala’s western peak of 800 meters.
The Night before…
I couldn’t sleep the night before the trek. The plan was to go to bed by 10 PM, so that I could wake up by 3:30 AM to make it to Koyambedu for the 4:45 AM pick up. After a couple of easy / social treks, this was my big day. I was put on shortlist, but thankfully a few of the participants dropped out and I got the call. This was my first difficult trek with CTC. How would I fare with the big guns was something that kept me awake. I ended up sleeping at 12:30 and after a restless sleep, got up at 3:30 AM.
I met up with Rohit and Gautam at Koyambedu. The rest of the gang arrived in four cars and we set off on our mission. Five of us piled on each car, making it a total of twenty trekkers for one of the most challenging trek of our lives.
We stopped in Uthukotai for breakfast. Most of the restaurants were closed but we managed to find a place that served hot Idlis and Vada curry. A few had an extra Pongal to compensate for the lack of food during the trek. I stuck to a light breakfast of 3 idles and 1 vada. It was a pleasant surprise to bump into Thilak, who was on his way to Nagala’s eastern entry to lead a ladies trek. I also knew that a group had left for a night trek the day before. Just went to show how Nagala had truly become the home ground of CTC.
We reached base camp at around 8 AM and distributed the rations that we were to survive on for the trek. With two ‘5 star’ bars, one orange, one banana, a biscuit packet and two bottles of water, we set out to scale the peak. Before we got started, Vadi gave out a warning that this was generally a two day trek that we were attempting to complete in one day. This was going to be a tough trek and anyone with any medical condition or difficulty during the trek should immediately inform the trek organizers. The group could then be split into two to account for any dropouts, but the trek will be completed at all costs by those who were capable. I realized that this was by no means going to be easy and prayed that I don’t screw it up and be a burden to anyone
We took a group photo against the wonderful backdrop of the lake and set out on our journey. We set a steady pace with Vadi leading and Durai as sweeper. We reached the welcome stream in twenty minutes. I quickly wet my hair and took a sip of the sweet Nagala water and again quickly set off with the group. It took us just another twenty minutes to reach the second pool. This was pretty good pace. The group had split a bit by now and a few of us reached first. Again, it was a pleasant surprise to find a few more familiar faces from CTC who had camped there for a night trek. We said our hellos to Brijesh and Sabish who were busy cooking Maggie noodles. Vadi decided to take a quick dip in the pool. Meanwhile Jesu, Omi, Romesh, Ponpandi and a few of us decided to be on our way because we knew Vadi would anyway catch up with us. This was new territory for me; the furthest I’ve come till date was the second pool.
We tried to set a brisk pace to the third pool. The plan was to take a quick dip while the rest of the group caught up. Omi seemed to be visibly slowing down a bit. I think the extra Pongal and Idli that he had for breakfast to compensate for lack of food during the trek was weighing him down a bit. Jesu, Romesh and I reached the third pool and were eager to take a dip before the rest of the group showed up. This is probably my favourite pool of the lot. Wide open space with sunlight streaming down, this was one pool that didn’t have much of tree cover but was just too beautiful. Jesu and I quickly stripped down to our swimming trunks and dived into the cold and crystal clear water. The quick swim and some time under the mini falls invigorated both the mind and body. Although I wanted to spend more time here, the rest of the group had caught up and were ready to push on. I had to force myself to part with the cool waters and resume on the trek.
We reached Mini Kutralam (our next stop) in pretty quick time. I decided to just sit for a bit and have a ‘5 star’ bar and relax. A few who hadn’t taken a dip in the previous pools decided to take a shower under the waterfall. We were told this was the camping spot during a two day trek. I could see why, it was a beautiful spot to rest, amid the spray of water and coolness of the waterfall. We were even blessed to see a beautiful mini rainbow under Mini Kutralam . Vadi advised us to fill our bottles as it would be a while till we reached the next water source and the climb was going to get tough from here on.
There was no trail whatsoever from here, and the climb was steep. We had to overcome rough terrain to get to the fourth pool. Once we reached the fourth pool, it was pretty clear that nothing was going to stop any of us from completely giving ourselves to the waters here. We also realised that four members had fallen behind and we weren’t sure where they were at that point of time. Thankfully, Vadi was able to reach them over the phone and zeroed in on their location. After some deliberation, he decided to go back to get them. I was just amazed by this guy’s physical ability and leadership quality to help every single member to make it to the summit. Meanwhile, Durai took charge of the group and all of us decided to make the most of our time in the fourth pool while we waited for the lost souls to catch up with us. And what a time we had!!! We spent a good 20-30 minutes in the fourth pool, diving, jumping and hanging (mad lawyers ;) with Muthu capturing some great moments with his camera.
After our much needed time in the water, we got started again. This was it. The next leg of the trek was to be the toughest. After filling up our bottles at the 5th pool (the last water source), we set off for the summit. It was tough terrain. It was a combination of steep rocks and crevices which we had to climb using our hands and legs, and stretches of land which had tall chest high grass that cut into our skins. This was generally accompanied by loose rocks beneath the dense grass and bush that was invisible because of the overgrowth. Most of us who had worn shorts got to know first-hand what grass/thorns and dense bushes can do to our exposed skin. But after a point it didn’t matter, you just had to ignore the pain, the cuts, and the burns and just move on.
I tried to keep up with Vadi and the ones who were leading in the front. The group had spread out quite a bit by now because of the pace set by Vadi. Durai was doing his best to encourage the ones lagging behind to keep going. Every now and then we would stop to wait for the rest of the group to catch up. Vadi’s idea of a rest was to play a thappan kuthu song (popular demand being Osthe songs) in his phone and the mad lawyers would dance to the tune. I thought to myself, these guys are nuts!! Here I was trying to rest my legs every possible chance I got and these guys were dancing during the break! Jesu was enthusiastic to learn some of the brilliant dance moves of the mad lawyers. Gokul took it upon himself to teach the moves, which went something like this…. First raise your hand and emulate the motion of changing the bulb 10 times (unscrewing/screwing motion), then use the opposite leg to stub out a cigarette, then some weird move in between like milking a cow or something :P. Finally combine everything together, and voila!! You had the moves!! It reminded me of Wilbur Sargunaraj teaching Canadians to do the Bhangra. All of us had a good laugh thanks to the entertainment provided by the mad lawyers and resumed hiking once the music stopped. By now our leg muscles were burning from the exhaustion. Every step was painful. The sun was beating down on us and the dry terrain combined with minimum water and lack of food was beginning to take its effect. Some of the guys started experiencing cramps and had to do some stretches to avoid aggravating the problem. I ate the second ‘5 star’ bar that I was saving up. As we closed in on the summit, all of us were determined to ignore the pain and make it to the top no matter what.
We finally reached the 800 meter summit before the stipulated time of 2 PM. Twenty brave souls had set out to conquer the peak, without food and nineteen of us had made it! The view was breathtakingly beautiful. Although it was afternoon and the sun was out in all its glory, there was a cool breeze blowing across the mountains. We had a clear view of the dam and the lake from where we had started earlier in the day and we were very proud of what we had accomplished. While a few of us sat and took in the scenery, some decided to take a power nap, sleeping at odd angles on the rock precipice. I decided to eat my orange in peace and finish off a bottle of water. Never have I cherished an orange the way I did at that moment. After about twenty minutes of rest, out came the cameras and all of us proudly posed for the group snaps at the summit. I think only a couple of us from the group had scaled the summit, and for most of us this was a first. This was definitely a moment to cherish for me.
At about half past two, Vadi and Durai decided it was time to move on and start our descent. We had to make it back on time to avoid trekking in the dark. As in any other trek, the decent was much harder. Gaining a secure foothold on the loose rocks that were covered by grass was proving to be tricky. Every now and then, I would see someone lose his balance and those around him come to the rescue. Om especially had accidently slipped his footing between some boulders and got some nasty cuts in his legs. Someone suggested hand sanitizers for the cuts. It was alcohol based after all. And I thought to myself, who the hell brings hand sanitizers to a ‘no food’ trek?! Anyways, there was a serious chance of dislocating an ankle by one small misstep in this terrain, and I was beginning to regret wearing sandals instead of proper trekking shoes.
After about an hour or so into our descent, we came across a particular stretch of terrain that was even more steep and rugged than usual. Looking back, this was probably the toughest phase of the trek because we realized we had missed the trail and we were lost. There was disbelief on the faces of those around me, and I’m sure they saw the same look on my face. We were not so much worried about losing the trail but the thought of retracing our steps through what was the nastiest terrain of the trek so far was daunting to most of us and one that would test our will. Immediately Vadi took the lead and set out to find the trail. The rest of us gathered and decided to stay put till we heard from him. Most of us welcomed the break. I even managed to get in a three minute power nap during the wait. After about five minutes or so, a message was relayed back that Vadi had found the trail and so we got up to the feeling of creaking bones and sore muscles to resume the descent.
We set a quick pace for the rest of the descent. We even avoided stopping in any of the pools, unless it was absolutely necessary to fill our water bottles. Most of us were craving to take a dip in the pool to cool our skin from the burns and cuts to our body. But we had to skip that luxury because we had to cover maximum distance before it got dark.
Night fell early in Nagala and it started to get dark by 6 PM. This is where CTC’s sense of team work came to the fore. A few had not brought along an LED torch as stipulated in the mail. Those of us who had, made them walk in between two people with torches. We ended up walking in small groups of 4-5. The ones in front would warn the person behind to mind his step if there was any loose rock and the message would be relayed till the end.
On numerous occasions, the person in front of me, would get a cut or a nasty gash from thorn creepers and would immediately warn me so that I could avoid them. After a point, somewhere after the third pool, we were lost again. Although Jesu was confident of finding the way, it was not a risk worth taking in the dark and we took a collective decision to stay together and wait. I decided to switch off my torch for a second to truly see what the night felt like. It was pitch black. When I raised my hand to a few inches away from my face, I couldn’t see it. The worst thing that could happen to a trekker was to be lost in this place in the night, without a torch. We soon heard the usual CTC calling sounds and managed to regroup with the rest of the gang. Durai was doing a remarkable job pushing those behind to catch up with the rest of the group, and as usual Vadi came out of nowhere to lead us again. From there on, I stuck to Vadi and the few who were up front. His normal pace was express to most of us. After we crossed the second pool, we all relaxed a bit because we knew the trail was relatively easy from here and there was no chance of losing the trail. I had always wanted to do a night trek and to actually get to do it was a surreal experience was me. The sounds and feel of a jungle at night time is something which is completely different and one which needs to be experienced. We reached the welcome stream and there was no way I was going ahead without a dip. A few of us decided to take a dip. For those few minutes, all cuts, burns and the pains were forgotten and our bodies were rejuvenated. It felt like heaven. I also changed to a spare set of dry clothes that I had brought along.
Reaching Base camp…
Gokul and I got talking on our way back to the base camp. This time, all of us decided to take it a bit easy and set a more casual pace. A chance glance to the sky provided a breath taking sight. It was a moonless night and the sky was studded with a million stars!! I just wanted to gaze at the sky forever. Maybe it was the clear air, or the lack of any other light source, I was not sure…. I’ve only seen the sky as brilliant as this a handful of times in my life. Gokul and I tried to identify some of the constellations while we walked back to base camp. It looked like we had somehow ended up being the last in the group. I suggested we switch off our light for a moment to soak in the setting. Again pitch black darkness all around us. We stared at the sky for a few seconds, but what seemed to be an eternity. When I was about the switch on the light, I sensed many pairs of eyes glaring at us from the bushes that surrounded us. I was not sure if they were from birds or animals, but whatever it was, it sent a chill went up my spine. I hastily switched my torch back on and told Gokul that it was time we quickened our pace
We reached base camp to congratulatory handshakes and back-slaps that can only come through a tough trek taken together with a great bunch of guys. Durai and Vadi wasted no time in calculating the expenses for the trek and accounts were settled down to the last rupee. The individual cost per person for the trek came to just Rs. 332! This was by far the cheapest trek I have ever taken part in. While the accounts of others were being settled, I decided to lie down on the grass and gaze at the beautiful stars glowing bright like LED bulbs in the sky. Rohit did the same a few feet away as he was talking to someone on the phone recounting the day’s incredible experience… further away, the mad lawyers started dancing again, this time I think to the tune of Kolaveri from someone’s car stereo… and I thought to myself, did this day just happen or was it all a dream….
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