Monday, 1 August 2016

A mythical trek of 'unearthy delights' it really was!

A memorable trek of awesome proportions... that will remain unfaded in our memories for a longgg longgg time to come!

Our trek team!
After we had narrowed down on our prospective trekkers, with only one prime condition – please assure yourself that you are medically fit for the arduous yet adventurous trek! – eighteen prospective trekkers had finalized their readiness to get into ‘trek-mode’, - and that includes one Research scholar from VIT- Vellore, two ladies - PhD research scholars from University of Madras, six MCCians, and four trek-enthusiasts each from Anna Nagar and Mogappair respectively, and last but not the least, this blogger – who is also the Asst Coordinator of the trekking expedition.

Ms. Deepa, the Coordinator of the trek, is a dynamic entrepreneur too! She has her own online Apparel Management Company and is an established multitasker of sorts! Her little daughter Phia was the cynosure of all eyes, and she instantly got into the best of vibes with me - her rufus uncle! (Well, by the time the trek was over, she called me over to her and said, you are my best uncle ever! Ha ha.. that’s a lovely compliment at that!)

this is waterfall-pool One!
Even as we started off exactly at six in the morning, and went around picking our trekkers at their allotted destinations, we could see – to our consternation - high above us, thick dark rain clouds hovering all over us, threatening to burst at the seams at any given point of time!

We were getting really worried!

All the more because, a trek with rain coats and umbrellas would be the last thing a trekker hopes for!

Even as we were crossing Pichatur town and entered Arai village, that borders the wonderful lush-green trekking mount, the sky was still overcast!

And to our sweet surprise, throughout the day it remained so, which made our trek all the more memorable!

The trek trail, winding through beautiful cascading waterfalls, sylvan and pristine jungles, crystal-clear streams etc etc etc… was literally an ‘unearthy sight’ for mortals like us to behold! At first sight, it looked like we had entered some mythical world of yore – with no pathways in sight – and yes! Your google maps or GPS navigation et al have no use whatsoever, here! No tower signals from base camp even! So literally you are cut off from the rest of the madding crowd before you embark on your once-in-a-life-time adventure of sorts!

Smooth, glistening, slimy, rounded pebbles of all hues n shades even at a depth of ten to fifteen feet within the pools, was clearly visible to the naked eyes in the crystal clear streams that flowed throughout the trek pathway!

Pool One, that came after an arduous yet adventurous trek, was for two youngsters to freak out - one was phiya n the other was rufus! And so did the others!

Since phia was an adept swimmer, she joined me in the deep waters – sometimes as deep as forty feet – and phia was literally freaking out amongst the watery cum slippery rocks that carried the waters down with such beautiful intensity n awe..!

the initial phase of our trek
Some who weren’t at ease with a swim, were comfortable enjoying themselves in the icey cold waters of five feet and below in depth, than cascaded down from the pristine waterfalls!!!

After a wonderful time freaking out thus at pool one, we started our upward trek towards Pool Two, which was, as we were warned earlier too, the riskier of the two!

One wrong step n you are with St. Peter n his adorable angels!!!

"I'm really scared of mom", Phiya says, after she crossed this phenomenal yet deadly rock, and adds, "hope she makes it"!

Trueeee.... that was indeed a deadly climb that catapulted us to the next arduous trek..!

Pool two was also a treat to the eyes... we all swam to our heart's merriment.

After crossing a dangerous depth and successfully holding on to a huge root of a tree that jutted out into the waterfall pool, Phiya’s dad saw spiders lined up on a huge tree branch that dropped near the waters down in the falls - and did an 'about turn' rightaway n so did this blogger!

Pool Three, which was yet another one-hour’s trek up above in a still steeper climb was the ‘daredevil type’… Oh! What an awesome solemnity it had up above on that steep climb to gaze and gaze at the wonders of nature hidden far far away in the lap of mother nature – the various ornithological specimens that you haven’t even heard of, the wonderful myriad-coloured butterflies, wild berries of different shades and sizes… and the list goes on…

oh yes! Camp cooking too!
More on the way...

Now for the awards...

Trekker of the day -  phiya

Swimmer of the day - phiya

Food of the day - red potatoes n lemon rice

Insects of the day - butterflies of multiple hues tat sat on us, surrounded us n went all over us...

Slide of the day - pool one slide by phiya

“Mom, these are curious stones.. they don’t find a place in my Encyclopedia on Rocks. I think I need to keep them safe. These are pretty awesome,” says Phiya, with a bright-eyed curiosity all over her eyes! I could immediately spot the ‘gene-connect’ and said, “Phiya, do you know that your grandpa is a famous geologist?”

“Yes, I do!”.

“No wonder you’ve got a penchant for beautiful little mineraloid fragments!”

“Oh yeah!” Phiya replied, and went on with single-minded devotion to her mineraloid collection.

I followed her on her mineral trail, and said, “Phiya, lemme take a snap of these precious little mineraloid fragments that you’ve got! Could be the rarest of rare stones that humans would’ve ever spotted!”

“Oh sure, rufus uncle!”

And here goes the snap for you, from a little geologist in the offing!

By the way, just have a look at her dad’s hand-gesture towards Phiya!

Well, the trekker in her came out like a giant fairy, and here she was, on top of the rocks where even her annans and akkas were seen clinging on to huge buoyant ‘life-support’ lifebuoys!!!

swainggggg – going down into the deeeeep waters below her, astonishing the annans and akkas who were on intense ‘life-support’ (lifebuoys) of comic proportions, - and who were wonder-amazed and dazed on seeing a little wonder making mincemeat of their ‘puffed up gallantry’ and ‘chivalry’!!!

But but but….. a cursory cardiac MRI to evaluate the lub tub n the heart’s anatomy of her dad, would have shown the fastest lub tubs of all time – with butterflies running up and down, in the sideways and the bye-ways all over his stomach!

Yes! He was more than scared to see Phiya doing ‘rock acrobatics’ and with astonishing timing! Well, just have a look at her dad’s hand-gestures towards Phiya!

No amount of shouts and gestures could make her say a farewell to her swimming session.

Finally I signaled them all to pretend as if they’re packing up and as if they’ve started moving

Then I waded deep inside, crossed the abyssy deepest part of the pool, reached out to her (cos no amount of shouting could outsmart the high-intensity decibels of more than 40,000Hz from the flowing waterfalls!!!) and shouted out to her in as much as i could yell out - 

Phiya, we’re all going… we’ve got to move on, ain’t we?!!!

No, we aren’ttttttttt!!!!!!

“But look thereeeee! Everyone has started out on their next leg of the trekkkkkk!”

Rufus uncle, pleaseeeeee! Could I have just one more last slide down the rocks! Pleaseee!

But phiya, you’ve got a better pool with far wider and better rocks and a bigger waterfall on the second part of our trek!”

But pleaseeee!!!! She continued on her irresistible lures!

“No please! We’ve still got a long way to go, kid”

Okay, then!!!

Ohhhh! Well, this is how we made her come off the water, and how!!!

To be contd…

the first steps on the trek trail... 
By the by, yes, our next trek is, as usual, on the last Saturday of this month - 27 August 2016. This time it’s on an equally exciting trek of sorts! If you’re interested, if you’re above 23 years of age, if you’ve got no medical condition that might be an obstacle for a steep yet memorable trek through crystal clear streams, brooks, and if you’ve got that indomitable 'ulyssian spirit of sorts', to walk and walk, climb and climb, jump and jump, swim and swim - through trails that are even difficult to spot, if you've got an 'observant eye' for the wild - to get through to a beautiful cascading waterfalls, some 90 kms off Chennai, then enroll yourself rightaway!

You’ve got to pack your own food! Other overall costs would come up to just around Rs.200 to Rs.300/- for your incidentals, as transportation is provided by our trekkers’ collective, free of cost for all ye selected trekkers! You may also prefer to come by your own vehicle (preferably four-wheelers!)

Till then, keep up the spirit!

PS: All clicks in this post by this blogger :-)

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