So the evening of 19th April found a group of “not-complete-strangers” and “we-all-love-BASC” standing outside the KSRTC Mysore Satellite Bus Stand. Once we all had gathered, we started out for the trek without much ado. Midway, we decided to grab a bite and we stopped at the way-side restaurant. After much discussion over the dinner (read: I was discussing with my tummy whether a south meal or a north meal would be right), I chose the wrong one: the north meal, and realized this, the moment the south meals were served. Well no harm done. They say hunger is the best sauce, and it always is true.
Once the dinner was done, and I had tucked away my usual “Orbit – Lime flavored” strip in my arm pouch we were raring to go. In our car (piloted by Ravindra), we had a good time, discussing wildlife, cycling and Bangalore roads! And soon we had reached the village from where our trek was supposed to start.
After a couple and a bit more kilometers in the dark, a few wrong turns, and spotting black scorpions (the poisonous kind) we were on the right trail. For both me and Ravindra, the steep initial climb meant that we had to put our cameras back in our back packs. Then once the initial trail was covered, me and Akshatha fell behind, to stay a bit farther away from the torch lights. I tell you, darkness has its own light. The hills and the valleys in between looked so beautifully still in the light of the night. The sky was cloudy, hence all the stars were hidden above their generous cover. Slowly we climbed the trail, me making sure that I sweep the group (it was then that I realized that I take lead only when it is a completely unknown trail, the joy of finding untouched and un-trodden paths are a sheer joy).
Collecting some twigs for the fire, we started climbing up slowly. By the time we reached to the top, the folks had already settled down and were getting ready for the camp fire! And it was the sight at the top that always takes your breath away. On one side, were the city lights, and on the other, was the mask of perpetual darkness. Far on the eastern side, we could see small lights on the hills: signs of civilization. And on the west was the shades of dark. And amongst us were friends who shared the
same love: Nature and BASC.
After taking a couple of pictures of the city lights, we settled down around the fire for the round of introductions. And my-oh-my! Weren’t that colorful! What a mixed group of people we were! One who was an author of wildlife books, one a cyclist, one who had travelled Europe after “crowd sourcing” the money, most who had done Himalayan treks and more importantly: a hirer and a firer (the most important people of the group? Maybe)!
Once the introductions were done, the party had started. Oh WAIT! No party. We shared the cake, I got my favorite piece, and smeared a bit on Vinay’s face. It was such a joy to know that, what started of as a slight effort 5 years back has grown through leaps and bounds and has a turnover now of quite a few crores!
Then we took more than a while to get wrong and slightly mistimed high exposure shots of the group with the city lights as the back drop. While at that time it was a pain to hold still for 25 seconds (we were on high adrenaline) the pictures later were worth it! And soon we had tucked in our sleeping bags.
The morning found us watching a sullen sunrise and soon were on our way down the plains. On the way down, some of us stopped to “grab” some mangoes from low-hanging trees, hug a goat, cuddle a puppy, before we were on our way to our breakfast place. And the breakfast was so worth it! Yum! Even thinking of the delectable khichdi, upma, idli and akki roti makes my mouth water even now. And then it was time to part ways. Only hoping to meet soon again!
Written by – Atreya
Post 2This was a part of BASC birthday celebration trek and was organized by Vinay. I registered as soon as the event opened and made it to 20 shortlisted members. 20 enthusiastic trekkers assembled on Saturday evening at Mysore road satellite bus stand. Sky was overcast and it seemed like it might rain.
I parked my bike at the parking bay, near the bus stand. Most of the people in the group were new to me, except 3 or 4. Four cars were pooled in with five people each. We started from there around 7.30 pm. Next break was at Kengeri satellite bus stand where we had our dinner. Slowly we were getting to know each other.
For Aandi gundi, we have to take a deviation towards left, around 5 to 6 Kms before Ramnagara. We have to cross the railway track and go around 1 km on village road. We parked the cars near a temple and started walking towards the base of the hill. We had to cross through a village, where we were greeted by the incessant barking of the dogs.
After some searching for the path to the base of hill, we finally found the trail. From the base, it looked like a small hillock, but actually the main peak was not visible from base. On the way to the peak, everyone carried some firewood. We took few breaks in between to enjoy the sight of the city lights below and train passing through the tracks near the Mysore road highway.
Finally we reached the peak after about 1.5 hours of trekking. Top of the hill has a flat area where we all camped and had camp fire. Everyone assembled around the fire and we had an interesting round of introduction. It was nice to see so many talented people from different fields. That was followed by cake cutting (BASC birthday) and some photo sessions. It was already 1.30 AM by then. After that everyone retired for sleep.
Next morning I woke up around 6 AM and could get some beautiful view around the hill. The sunrise from the hills were very refreshing. After spending some time there and clicking photos, we all started to climb down. Climbing down was easier and we were at the base in about half and hour. Next stop was Kamat hotel around 7 to 8 Kms from there. We had a nice breakfast buffet there. After that we started our journey back to Bangalore. All assembled back at the Mysore road bus stand and departed in different directions after saying goodbye. This trek was a nice refreshing break from the hectic life of Bangalore. Thanks to Vinay for organizing it so well.
Written by – Ashutosh Patel
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Date: 19 April 2014
Expenses per head: Rs 300/- includes shared fuel expense of cars, breakfast on 20 April 2014. (Royal buffet breakfast @ Kamath Lokaruchi).
Composed by: Sandeep Kulkarni
Event organized by: Vinay KGS
The team: Abhishek, Pramod Rao, Atreya RC, Ashutosh Patel, Harsha, Abdul Wahid, Ashu, Mahesh Shetty, Priyanka, Vishwanath Joshi, Shanti Prasad, Ravindra Joisa, Varun, Tejaswi, Madhu Bagur, Akshatha, Azmi, Roopashri, Rashmi, Mamatha, Bharath, Vinay, Girish NL, Lavanya.
Image Gallery: Abdul, Ashutosh Patel, Girish NL, Ravindra Joisa, Varun, Lavanya
Video Gallery: Ravindra Joisa