Firstly, I would like to thank BASC and Jinu for organizing this trek and also all those who came for the trek,. I do not write a blog, but after this trip, I am even more motivated to start a blog of my own. I was super exited to go on the trek to Vellarimala, from the time I heard about it from a friend of mine last month. I met Jinu and a few other strangers who were going to be a part of the trek to Vellarimala at the Satellite bus stop on Mysore road. In the bus, I overheard a guy saying “ next two days we are all friends da” and that put a smile on my face and I was assured that just like on any other treks, I will have fun even on this one irrespective of the fact that I came without any friends of mine. I do not get sound sleep while travelling, so I got to see a lot of forest after crossing God’s own country’s check post. Once we got down at Thamarassery , we walked till the next bus depot , while it was drizzling. I hate getting wet in the rain. But that didn’t dampen my spirits. I was just thinking positive and hoping that it will be sunny when we trek, so it is ok if it drizzles now. Once we were on the bus to Muthappanpuzha, all of us were staring out the window with our eyes wide and our jaws dropping. The driver was zooming past villages on a narrow lane but none of us cared as the view was just superb. It was like the paintings which we used to make when we were kids with huts and the mountains in the background. Sushruth was busy shooting pics of the scenery. It was an hour’s journey and once we got down from the bus, we had tea at a tea stand and started off our trek via a village to the Vellarimala peak J Guess what!! It stopped drizzling by the time we passed the village.
We munched a little, filled our water bottles and entered the forest area. The trek till the Olichuchattam water falls was pretty easy. We met some people from ISRO who didn't make it to the peak due to rain , who were on their way back and I was amazed that a few elderly people had come too and one of the women there was soaked with her own blood due to leech bite and Chaya was startled and wanted to run back home with them, but we convinced her to continue the trek. We started off at 400mts altitude from the village and reached the Olichuchattam waterfalls which was around 1300mts altitude. The falls was very steep and the view was beautiful J The view of the mist covering the mountains opposite the falls was awesome J
According to Trek Wiki, an average climber will take 9 hours to reach the peak ( 13kms to ascend ) . So if I was below average(which I thought I was ) it would take me at least 4 more hours!! Oh god!! Thanks to the GPS Jinu had, he told us we will me there soon and Ashwin kept me motivated saying he will give me dark chocolate when we reach the peak! J We passed through bushes which were curved & made a cave like entrance towards the peak and opposite to it we could see only mist!! It was breadth taking!! I loved it!! J We reached the peak by 3:15 p.m (2050mts altitude)!! does that make us above average climbers!! Wow!! J Priyanka was like, is this the peak??!! It was just a flat land and had bushes around it and there was no view!! I was also equally surprised even though I had read the blogs. I expected some opening which had a view but there were none. But we were all overjoyed that we reached the peak and all of us relaxed and ate lunch in peace. Since there was no water source here, Ram suggested that we trek for an hour longer and then set up the camp. We all agreed and Ram led us. This was the first time I could see Ram in action and I watched him in awe as he cut through the bushes with his machete to make the trail and still kept his pace very high, as I had to literally jog to match his pace. He went off the trail a little, but knew in a minute that he was off, and then was back on track. I made a quick 360 degree turn and looked around to find no difference at all!! How the hell does he know where to go??!! Finally we came to a clearing in Kethanpara which gave us a breadth taking view, for which I have no words to describe!! It was heaven on earth!! J J
Only those of us who saw it will know what an amazing view it was!! It was incredible!! J J None of us wanted to leave this place and camp elsewhere. But we had to as there was no flat surface here nor was there any water L Reluctantly all of us continued our trek to a beautiful open space called REC PaaRa, where we camped.
Finally we started out descent at around 11:00 a.m. We stopped at Ketanpara for sometime. Ganesh asked me to sit at the edge, along with the rest, and I cautiously moved front and let my legs hang. It was just awesome!! The view was even better here and I felt so close to Mother Nature. Even though I may have scared some people after shouting my lungs out while singing yesterday night, most of them agreed when I said I want to sing and I sang one of my favorite songs “I’m on the top of the world” by Carpenters. For about quarter of the journey, I was doing pretty fine we kept ourselves motivated by shouting in a friendly way (like ”ooi summne higo” , “poda dei” ) at those ahead of us J I should have worn a knee cap L by the time we were half way down, I was walking like Jack Sparrow in the movie Pirates of Caribbean!! Thanks to Saiesh , Karthik , Bharath , Jinu and Raj I was able to descend . I absolutely took no break till we reached one of the streams after which Jinu said we will stop only at Ochattilum falls. No matter how long we descended, the falls never came and everytime I asked where the falls was, they were like can you hear the falls?? We are almost there. This kept happening and we never took the turn to the falls and nor did we get a break. I could barely keep a step by myself by now. When we finally reached the village, Saiesh, Jinu, karthik, Bharath and I got to eat mangoes and guava grown in the farm. It was very refreshing. Since they took turns in helping me walk, they all got to goto a nearby waterfalls and take a dip. When we were around a km from the village, Saiesh got a brilliant idea of walking backwards down the inclined road, so as to put less pressure on the knees. I did the same, with a helping hand for around a km and I was walking at my normal pace backwards and then we reached the tea stand finally!!
We took a bus and then an auto to Thamarassery, in-between which I finally got to eat the dark chocolate J The chocolate helped me as long as it stayed in my mouth as I didn’t think of the pain in my legs. After eating dinner, we boarded the bus to Bangalore and I got sleep for a few hours due to fatigue. It is Wednesday now, 3 days from when we came back & I am still walking backwards J It was one hell of a trek experience , very adventurous!! Thanks BASC J I loved it!! J Looking forward for more such treks J
Orginal post by,
Keerthana: CLICK HERE
Other write-ups from:
Aswin Anand CLICK HERE