Thursday, September 5, 2013

My greatest adventure so far - Part 1

This was my last trek before marriage. I knew that trekking would take the backseat after marriage so I wanted to do one last memorable trek. I wanted to know my extreme limits and push myself as much as I could. Therefore I signed up for Peter’s Nagala east triple loop which had a very interesting agenda and a great trail. Also I hadn’t done a difficult trek so far due to various unfortunate reasons ranging from last minute office assignments to school alumni meets, so I was more than looking forward to this trek. Thankfully no hurdles this time and I was able to go for this trek.
Day 1:
We all assembled at koyambedu. Usual introductions, meeting old buddies, sharing few light moments, tea, I finally got into a car with Karmu, Maya, Aishwarya and Vetri. I hadn’t met any of them before so the onward journey was mostly silent except for some questions like “How many treks have you done before”, “Where are you working” and stuff like that. We finally reached T P kotta, the base camp for Nagala East at around 9 AM.
Common items were distributed and we started trekking towards the magic pool and the sun started beating down already. It is quite a climb to the magic pool and by the time I reached magic pool, I was sweating profusely and was thinking if I should really do the advanced trail.

Into the sliding pool
I thought I’d first take a dip and then decide. The moment I slid into the sliding pool, all instances of tiredness vanished. Sometime later few of us did the highest jump possible into the magic pool and now it was time to move, time to make the decision. Peter called out to the advanced trekkers and I promptly buckled up with no doubts at all. I was on a mission. I had to do the advanced trail. I had already etched that into my mind. There was no looking back.
We followed the stream for some time and started climbing on the left towards the ridge, when Peter told us “Oops, Sorry guys, the last water point was 10 minutes behind. I forgot to tell you as I was very excited”.Hmph !!Fewpoor fellows volunteered to get our bottles refilled.  After that we started climbing, climbing and climbing.

At the top
  We took decent breaks as there were few people who couldn’t keep up with the pace. We had bread with cheese and jam for lunch somewhere in the middle and finally started descending towards the picnic pool. If the ascent was tough, the descent was madness. With lots of loose rocks, nothing to hold on to and tall grass covering the boulders on the way, it really was a marathon task to descend into the picnic pool. Few bruises here and there and we finally got into the picnic pool, much ahead of the basic trail guys… (*Pat on the back*)
Picnic pool
Ahhh ! Good old picnic pool!!! It’s really a treat to be in this after a strenuous climb. After a while Peter got bored and decided “Guys, let’s go to a view point – It’s a 30 minute climb up and 30 minute climb down”. Having known Peter for a while, I was not to be fooled. I took my torch got ready. We started climbing. Again, loose rocks, steep climbs and by the time we reached the top, it was already dark we had a great time at the top sharing few light moments and teasing people (especially the last 2 who were trying to climb up to the view point). The descent to picnic pool was a night mare. ! Pitch dark all around, we had to endure lots of falls, thorns, loose rocks, slippery boulders to reach the picnic pool. We were generously welcomed with nothing. The soup was over and mysteriously 5 packets of soup went missing. After a while, we had maggi and I went to sleep in my usual cozy spot!
Day 2
Woke up early morning took a holy dip and the advanced trekkers soon got ready for the grueling day that was on the cards!
We took the route towards the 50 mtr falls and enroute we met Jack and team who were on their West to East mission! Met some of my old buddies there and we all kept moving along the stream and reached the 50 mtr falls in a while.  Took a dip there as well and continued on our mission. After a while Peter cautioned us to fill our bottles as the stream started getting dry. We filled our bottles and kept moving along the stream which was dry at places. Further along the stream, to our surprise, we saw water flowing and close to that, there was a beautiful pool which was quite deep and oval in shape. Peter was also surprised and said he had never seen this before. It was unexpected. Well, we named the pool as the unexpected pool! Being true CTCians, we immediately dived into the pool and recharged ourselves.

Unexpected pool
After that, we kept continuing along the stream and now the boulders were increasing in size.  We kept boulder hopping for a long time and finally rested for a while and all of us had apples to replenish the lost energy as we had a very steep climb ahead. We then reached the spot where we had to climb steeply to reach the ridge that would take us to the central peak. That was the last time anyone saw me with my glasses and backpack!!!! None of us had any insight as to what lay ahead of us.

The climb was definitely difficult. It was almost vertical. We had to catch hold of cracks in the rock, cling on to roots and trees. At one place, it was difficult to climb with our back packs so we passed on the backpacks to people above us. Few minutes later, I thought I heard someone above asking us to come silently as there were bees. I moved silently for some time and then a while later I asked Peter, where the hive was. He dint know there was one and asked me “what hive”. I kept climbing with Subha and then I saw it. Huge and Black!!! It scared the shit out of me. 

Read part 2 here

1 comment:

  1. Oh Gid !!!! Ajay It gives me the shivers to read further after all that I heard from you over the phone and the nightmare your created...... Well still as I toooooo love alll this I am continuing to read......... Part II.... so far GOOOOOOOOOD here comes the ???????? :(