After spending about 8 months at my home in Calcutta, largely doing nothing of note except for being overfed on home food, I decided to move to the city of Bangalore to pursue my interest in biking slightly more seriously. While I have spent most of my weekends cycling since getting a bike in Bangalore, I have also done the odd trek now and then. I had attempted the 300 Km brevet on Aug 31st and decided not to ride much the next weekend (and in the process give my sore legs some well deserved rest).I was desperate for a trek so I called my friend Sanju Baba.Well-networked Sanju baba soon found out that BASC was organizing a day trek on Sunday.
I, having spent most of the Saturday wandering aimlessly (and largely unsuccessfully) all over the city in search of good food, was itching for some useful action the next day. The plan was to start early (at 6 am) from home and reach Majestic by 7 am. I knew it would be difficult to get up so early especially with Mom living a good 2000 kms away and having slept at 1:30am the night before. All the same, I somehow did manage to wake up on time (at 5:30 am) and then called Sanju to wake him up. Surprisingly Sanju had decided not to sleep at all! I started at 6 from my home and met Sanju near Indiranagar Metro station at 6:30am. And then I pillion rode with him to Majestic. By the time we reached most of our partners in crime had reached. Big Boss and chief organizer, Patrick, announced that we are going to start with a quick round of introductions. I was standing next to him and was chosen to be the one who had to start it off. Sleepy and caught unaware, I mumbled a few meaningless words! Once the introductions were done, we all boarded our van and I settled down on the last seat of the vehicle. Someone soon got the brilliant idea of playing Charades.Patrick started calling all one by one to come to the front to play dumb and enact while others try to guess the name of a film. I had once played Mr Dumb in a similar game and to be honest it had been an embarrassing experience for me and an even more frustrating one for my team-mates. Not willing to do an encore i.e. demonstrate my dazzling acting skills once again, I decided to close my eyes and pretend to be in deep slumber. I managed to pull it off pretty well and no one bothered to involve me in their game! In about an hour we reached a small town called Magadi. Even though I had some cereal and sprouts to eat in the morning, I was feeling famished by then as was everyone else in the group (as judged by the look on their faces when the work breakfast was mentioned by someone in the group). We took a pit stop at a breakfast joint. 3 fellow gang members joined us at the breakfast place. They were doing the trek with us, but were riding in their own car. It was decided that we are going to fuel ourselves with Idlys and Vadas with a choice of tea or coffee to wash down the food. I choose the latter and it turned out to be an excellent decision, the coffee truly was outstanding. Breakfast done, we yet again boarded our Air Force 1 aka Tempo traveler Van and sped off towards our first destination, Hill . In about half an hour we reached the base of Lakshettypura. Patrick spoke to the group about some dos and don'ts. Post briefing, we were given the permission to climb.
I was travelling light (not carrying my cam or food) and decided to jog to the top while others, depending, on their fitness levels and the weight they were carrying decided to either run or walk! Halfway through the climb, all of a sudden a hare jumped out of bush just in front of me and disappeared within couple of seconds. It is not often we city folks get to see animals in the wild and having spotted the hare made me chuckle.
I reached the top after about 15-20 mins of climb along with Patrick, Sanju and Deepak. Soon we were joined at the top by all members. It was decided that we were to spend about an hour on the top of the hill. People who were carrying photographic equipment started brandishing their weapons of choice and went on shooting sprees. Those not carrying cameras started striking poses hoping to attract the photographers.
Some also decided to climb trees while the experienced trekkers among us started recounting nuggets of wisdom to anyone willing to play the role of audience! I decided to find some solitude, plugged my ear and put on some music. Time flew and soon we had to climb down. me and Patrick were the first ones to reach the base of the hill and we jogged to the place where the van was parked. Both of us rode the van to the base of hill. Lunch, which was packed on the way, was distributed to all at the base of 2nd hill . Hungry once again, we decided to finish lunch and then start our climb. A few more group photos were clicked and then we went off to conquer the peak of Huliiyurdurga. I was expecting an easier and faster climb, since in terms of elevation Huliyurdurga is smaller than Lakshettypura . I was soon proven wrong, like I am on my most assumptions :). It had started raining and soon I found myself standing in front of a moderately steep, moss-covered, slippery rock to climb. I gathered that my chances of successfully climbing it with my trainers on will be as good as trying to hold a candle in cold November rain. I decided to let go of my shoes and climb barefoot. A few others went ahead on the climb while I undid my laces and reached the top of the rock before I started on my mission. I followed their instructions and managed to climb up the rock. In the meanwhile, Rajesh and Ravikiran found out an easier way to reach the top. Most others in the group decided to take the easier way. In about 20-25 mins we were at top.
At the top of the hill, I along with a few others found refuge under a tree and we dozed off. I woke up after an hour and loitered around till the time Patrick announced that the designated hour for descent had arrived. There were some temples and what looked like historical ruins at the foothill. As expected they were showered with lavish attention by the photographers and their cameras. Temple expedition, ruin inspection done, Mr Patrick instructed us to board the van. I once again sat at the back and put on some music. On the way back, we yet again stopped at Magadi for coffee and snacks. I ordered panipuries and got served the worst panipuries I have ever had in my life! Apparently I had violated the first principle of travel - When in Rome, do as Romans do (and as a corollary, when in South India avoid pani puries like corrupt cops). Lesson learnt for the nth time, I boarded the bus once again and reached Bangalore in about 90 more minutes of ride. I and Sanju bade people goodbye and got down at Majestic. Once again I pillion rode. To home. And crashed on my ever inviting bed. And slept. Like a dead man. Only to wake up the next morning. To start a familiar struggle for survival called life!
Last but not the least I must thank Patrick and BASC for organizing the trip. I read up a bit on BASC and the kind of work they do is top class. So if any of you are in Bangalore and are looking for company do look up BASC! And send me a cheque 1000 rupees only once you are floored by the super fun that I am sure you will have with the group. Special thanks to Sanju too for taking me along and introducing to a fantastic bunch of people, but wait that is what friends are meant to do i.e. help us find awesomeness in life!Written by: Shouryamoy
Organizer: Patrick Samuel
Date:8th sep 2013
Crew: Ravikiran, Rajesh R,Shree Devi,Deepak Agrawal,Akshata A ,Sanju Baba,Moy,Channappa Sajjanar,
Durga Charan,Ravindra Joisa,Chaitra V,nisha,chitra,shabir,akthray
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