This trek came in as a gift from the heaven above, after months of trying and failing to register for a trek with BASC. All this adds to the memories I have carried back with me after this trek. :) Almost a week's long wait for the trek was itself a challenging part of the trek I would say :P My buddies Jahnavi ,Roopa and Jahnavi’s colleague Rashmi agreed for the trek and seeing all our names in the confirmed list was such a happy moment. Though Jahnavi and I have been friends for more than five years, this was our first trip together and also this trek has been my first two day trek which I swore to myself that I would do this year, so this trek has been all the more special. Thanks Vinay :) And thanks to the rest of the team for making the treknic so amazing :)
Packing and unpacking on Friday night, we didn’t know how time flew, but we still managed to reach on time at majestic in front of Shantala house . It was almost an hour's long wait for the bus to arrive. Ram joining us for the trip was a pleasant surprise, another familiar BASC member apart from Vinay. There were other BASC teams waiting for the buses. We were the last one to leave. I remember the scene how when all of us boarded the bus for the first time, how everyone just kept to themselves, excitement in the air, but still so composed. It was such a contrast to how we all at the end of this journey had parted. Trying to catch up on sleep which never really happened during the bus journey and somewhere midway our bus had come to a halt because the radiator had overheated. The time spent near the toll gate waiting for the bus to get fixed was a mini introduction round among the team members. Ah! :) the joy of being around like minded people, all for the love of trekking! :)
Around 6 am in the morning we reached Chikmagalur. Got refreshed up, had hot and tasty breakfast, further down the road packed lunch for the noon & were all ready for the trek. Reached the starting point, Sarpadhaari. Vinay addressed the whole team about the trek. All of us took preventive measures against leech attacks, luckily we encountered none. The day was warm and sunny, perfect for a trek. There was another team from BMC trekking the same route. As the hike up the mountain started, the initial moments went in just trying to capture every bit of the view surrounding us and realizing the fact that it was a pretty steep climb. With all the deep breathe exercises being practiced while climbing up, that even a yoga master cannot teach you, to keep up with the team. With frequent breaks we managed to climb this steep mountain. Every time we thought we had reached the peak, the nature would elude us by showing another mesmerizing part of the mountain yet to be conquered. And finally enjoying every moment, we reached the Mullayanagiri peak.
Spent some time up there, half explored a cave, offered our prayers in the temple on top of the mountain. We heard the organizer say, ”This is not even 20% of the trek, come on lets go”. we headed to the next phase of our trek. Further the path was slightly downhill and later flat land. I lost track of time and my mind was completely focused on the trek route. And at times when we look back at the path we trekked through, it would take us by surprise, wondering if we really walked all the way :) As we descended down the mountain, we reached the road and from there like wild animals we crossed the road only to disappear in to the wilderness again. This time we were hiking on the ridge of the mountains, to reach the greener pastures were we had stopped for lunch. Rested and energized for the second part of the trek. The goal was to reach the BSNL tower on Bababudangiri. We don’t know how many mountains we crossed, look back and there is no sight of the place where we had started our journey. And finally we made it to the tower. The happiness on everyone’s face after a successful trek was evident. From there ,there was another 20 mins walk to the entrance of manikyadhara falls, where we could find shops for refreshments. While the bus driver was doubtful whether his bus would make it to the top, we decided to hire a jeep and head towards where he had halted to camp. To our surprise, our bus driver had taken a chance to ride to the top of the mountain. The initial plan was to camp at Galikere, but we soon dropped it as nature had her own plans for the evening.
Excited that we would be camping near a pond, out came the tents and the firewood collected for the evening bonfire and an intro round. While putting up the tents, it would drizzle in every few mins and like an army drill we would all take shelter under the tarpaulin sheet also trying to keep the firewood dry. Every event of the evening was done with so much enthusiasm by every member of the team, it wouldn’t have occurred to the passer by that we had trekked 12kms through the mountains. Also a big thanks to Ram, the ladies man, who so courteously offered to take the backpacks on our behalf while trekking all the way, and not to forget our Organizer Vinay too.
Bonfire moments was filled with leg pulling sessions, acting and singing. Then finally the mat was laid for a community dinner. With the ladies taking their seats in distributing food for the hungry souls. Time was now nearing midnight, all of us given our respective tents, settled in for the night with still giggles here and there, we managed to survive a chilling night. Some slept well and some waited for the break of dawn. Morning mist so beautiful, we had no words to explain. Three cheers to the boys as they did all the hard work of removing the tents. We headed to the shops below to have some breakfast and from there we headed back to Chikmagalur town to have brunch.
Due to the cyclone effect the trek to Kemmanagundi was canceled and visit to the Belur temple and halebidu was proposed as an alternative. At the temple we hired a guide to throw light on the history of the magnificent temple and the kings and artisans who help build this wonder out of stone. A dream project I would say. Time seemed to have slowed down, enjoying a slow paced evening with more snacks and with our very own BASC musicians . We headed from this place. We missed out on Halebidu as we ran out of time according to our bus driver. We stopped by at Kamat restaurant for evening snack . While heading back to Bangalore, the time was spent playing anthakshari of hindi and kannada songs, a unique experience:) None of us really wanted to head back home, everyone enjoyed every bit of it. Finally on request and being the birthday boy, Pritesh did the lungi dance for us using his scarf, and how he did it I leave it to your imagination.
We met, we conquered, we laughed, and now it was time for us to part. Another memory added to the trek dairies, and not mentioning on how it really ended, for the journey still continues, until we meet again. I wish you all many more happy treks with fond memories.
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Written by: Shruthi Venugopal
Date: November 16th and 17th, 2013
Composed by: Sana
Event organized by: Vinay
The Crew: Vinay,Vijay Raghava, Varun, Nithin G, Pritish Nandanwar, Swati Nandanwar, Sandeep, Naveen Kumar, Ankitha Hegde, Shubhashree, Shruthi Venugopal, Roopashri, Jahnavi, Arun Kumar, Pradeep H.K, Satyanki basu, Rashmi Ashok, Shiva Kumar, Nagaraja