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Monday, April 19, 2010

Destination - Ombattu Gudda (OG), the reverse way (Lakshmi estate to Gundya village)
Gang - Mudassar, Sumon, Vishal, Karthik, Karthikeyan, Rajiv, Srinidhi & Mithun
Equipment - Food, water, sleeping bag/mat, toiletries

Highlights -
* Srinidhi almost ended up not coming for the trek. We had to plead with the bus driver to wait a while. We finally left Rajajinagar, Bangalore 20 mts late.DSC04557-1
* Reached Mudigere town around 5 am & ended up spending 90 mts in the bus stand looking for a loo - unsuccessfully.
* Because of no jeep availability, bargained with an auto chap for dropping us off at Lakshmi estate gate. The bumpy auto ride with 8 of us crammed inside along with our big rucksacks remains one of the memorable points of this trip.
* We got off at the gate itself & walked the remaining 2 kms to the estate. Negotiating the bumpy uneven 'road' in an overloaded auto was deemed way too risky - even for OG trekkers!
* Freshened up & had breakfast at the small waterfall inside Lakshmi estate & started the trek towards Saraswati estate on the jeep track around 11 am.
* Reached Saraswati estate aroun25603_426964504528_718749528_5305657_3804422_n-1d 1pm. The sun beat down hard & it was very hot. There is no water source between these 2 places. Recommend trekkers to carry 2 ltrs at the very minimum.
* Cooled off at Saraswati estate , finished lunch & had a short nap.Few took bath to cool the temperature.
* Re trekked around 1.5 kms for the diversion to OG. Had to literally squat our way through some thick brushwood.
* Finally reached the grasslands near OG around 4 pm.
* Scaled all peaks (I could count only 7 though) of OG. The view was good but nothing spectacular. In other words, not worth the trouble.
* Because of a darken ing sky & clouds drifting in, decided to abandon hopes of catching the sunset on peak. Started descending towards the smaller peaks & the campsite.
* Reached the campsite & could start a camp fire,which went down when it started raining.
* Lightning at first n then got steadily heavier. Light ning & thunderstorms followed.
* We were sitting under the tallest tree in the vicinity. Science told us to move to more open ground but the legs disagreed.
* Lightning struck three or four times somewhere very close to where we sat huddled. A few of us in fact felt some electricity!   trust me it wasn't funny, but was scary. This remains the high/low point of the trek depending on which way you look at it.DSC04124-1
* Darkness fell & the rain showed no signs of abating. The only sounds were raindrops on dry leaves, thunderclaps & Mudassar's vomiting.
* It finally reduced to a drizzle. We had the cold MTR packets n hit the sack. Only to be woken up in a couple of hours for another heavy drizzle. Add wet sleeping bags, wet forest floor & invisible insects & the misery seemed complete. The only good part then were the fireflies which were all over the place.
* Got up early next day to a bright sun shine. Started descending towards the rivulet by 7am. The ground was very slippery owing to the rain. The descent was very steep at places n we finally made it after many cuts, gashes n twisted ankles around 9 am.
* Mudassar continued vomiting :)
* Spent a good 1 hr by the stream. Refilled the water bottles & spirits & started off around 10 am.
* The next 4 hours were aDSC04647-1long the stream, over n around the rocks n partly through the f orest.
* Negotiating the for est path was a little tricky. To the naked eye, there appeared no path at all. All credit to Mudassar & Rajiv for spotting a beer can, a pair of shoes etc that they recalled from previous treks.
* The heat was brutal & the humidity was unforgiving. We took periodic breaks by the stream. We had to.
* Finally hit the jeep track around 3. Came across Kabbinale river crossing within an hour. Rested for a while.
* Post this final pit stop, it still took us almost 2 hours to negotiate our way to the village.
* First sighting of areca nut plantations breathed new life into our bodies. It was good seeing civilization after more than 28 hours.
* Jumped into Addahole river right beside the bridge n spent a good length of time scrubbing ourselves clean. This was the 3rd highlight of the trek. Changed into IMG_5413-1a fres h dry pair of clothes n went to the shack next to the bridge. Downed tea, omelets, dosas, biscuits n bananas n what not.
* Mudassar stopped vomiting.
* It started raining.
* Caught an auto to Gundya check-post & caught the 9 pm bus to Bangalore.
* The return leg was worse than the auto ride. The bus driver accelerated n braked like a maniac. Finally, it took a backseat guy to issue a death threat - 'bevarsi, saaysbidtini' to ensure an uneventful journey back to B’lore.

Wildlife sightings: Nothing more than a scorpion, a tortoise & lots of elephant dung.
Mobile coverage: Very good on/near the peak. Zilch inside the forest, by the river & in Gundya town.

Verdict: Mudassar said Reverse OG would be moderate n even first timers could join. Having gone through the grind, I can emphatically state that it wasn't moderate at all. It was as difficult n took as much time as the traditional route.

PS: Mudassar vomited whatever he ate & survived for the next 30 hours on half an apple, an orange, some glucose n lots of water. He still managed to be among the first few to finish the trek. How on earth???????

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Written by: Mithun hegde
Event organized by: Mudassar
Image Gallery:
Sumon, Srinidhi, Vishal, Karthik

4 comments :

  1. Does this trek warrant the use of GPS and maps n all? The way you guys put it, the punishment on the legs doesn't seem more than belted out by the Sinhgad trek.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Can gals also be a part of dis trek!!!!

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  3. Kudos to you guys for braving through the night with nature's monsoon fury.
    We were also the victims of Lightning n Thunder on Kumaraparvata and mind you it is not funny at all as you said ..
    We could feel the shock !!!

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  4. Hi guys,

    I want to trek ombattu gudda.
    Any group going there?

    Regards,
    sreenivasa

    ReplyDelete