"One hell of a crazy trek this one. The views were just splendid, and the organisers had it all charted out, and were extremely helpful. \n\nAn initial route through the forest is what we go through which is not that tiring, but after this stretch we move on to the most difficult part of the trek, where we come across the Hidlumane falls and we need to trek in quite a difficult terrain. Post all this stressful climbing, whatever the view you get is unmatched, all that pain, even though there physically, would have vanished mentally.\n\nBest to trek during monsoon or after the monsoon has receded to an extent as the hills are completely covered in green until the eyes can see. It's a treat for the eyes to feast on watching the western ghats in full glory."
My first ever trekking experience and I could not have asked for a better one. Booked for this trek just 2 days before, solely based on other trekkers' reviews and amazing pics they have posted on Thrillophilia website. Moreover, it was going to be a solo trek for me and quite obviously, I had so many questions and apprehensions but after experiencing one hell of an trekking expedition, what I could say is 'If you want to go for a trek, just go for it, don't think too much and you won't regret later'.
Firstly, the tempo traveller which picked us up from Bangalore was quite comfortable and clean. Colin, who was our host for the trek initiated some ice breaking sessions at the beginning of the travel itself so that we all become familiar to our co-trekkers. Once we reached homestay at the destination point, I would say the arrangements were quite decent. Of course, we could not expect lavish facilities in an economical trip but must say, it had all that we truly required, good food, hot water shower, spacious balcony for all fun activities and amazing view outside. We were literally in the middle of the forest. Only thing that was a little turn-off for me was that the bedsheets were giving foul smell and 8 of us were sharing a single room so that one had to be patient to allow fellow trekkers for the use of washroom. However, please note there were separate rooms for guys and girls.
Starting at around 10pm from Bangalore, we reached the homestay at around 5am on Saturday. We rested for few hours, had our breakfast at around 7.30 and kicked off our trekking at 8.00. To begin with, it was just a normal road with forest on either sides but soon comes the path literally through the dense forest and since it was the time of monsoon, it was drizzling a bit and the forest was full of leeches clinging onto us at every step and trying their level best to suck our blood. We were quite vigilant to get rid of them and once they were being difficult to be removed, we were using salt. Just sprinkle a little salt on them and they will detach from you instantly. After an intriguing forest journey battling those leeches, we found ourselves on a grassy open field. We then scanned our body and shoes for any more leeches and once we were clear, marched ahead through the paddy fields to the rocky terrains with water flowing by your side. Soon, we reached a small water fall area. We took some pictures at that spot and when I was thinking that we would probably go back and resume our journey from some other point, I felt quite adventurous when I came to know that we were actually going to cross the water canal and climb up to the top through the super slippery rocks by the side of the fall, all the way to the top where actually the main water fall lies. My advice is not to step on the green patches on the rocks covered with mosses, those are damn slippery and since there was nothing where you can take the support or cling onto, one have to be really careful that they don't slip through these rocks. After some uphill climbing, we finally reached to the, so far the most amazing spot, right at the main waterfall area. Without thinking twice, we rushed under the fall and trust me it felt so damn good and relaxing. It became even more thrilling when our host guided us to the small cave formed right behind the fall. It was definitely not easier to get inside with the water hitting you so hard that you could not see or breathe properly for few seconds but I felt victorious when I reached inside the cave finally and to witness the waterfall from inside the cave was a different experience altogether.
Once we were done with the waterfall, came the part of journey which involves a lot of steep climbing through the forest and mostly the trails were on the edge of the hills, where we had to be careful not to slip not unless if you want to experience a free fall :-) And soon we were out on the open area again but this time it was on the steep slope of the hill and it was quite tiring to reach to the peak of the hill fighting with the muscle cramps. Nonetheless, each part of journey was fun and even more pleasing when we got to see diverse landscapes. Once we reached the peak, rested for a while, had our lunch and then started our descent downwards. The lunch box which included tomato rice was provided at the homestay in the morning itself. Soon, we were again under the attack of leeches but must say we fought bravely one more time. We then resumed our trek through a much easier lane to reach to a tea point and had a tea break. Then, came the last part of our trek, which was 1.5 kms uphill climbing to reach to Sarvajna Peetha, a small shrine dedicated to Adi Shankara. This part was even more fun as it rained heavily and the entire area was covered with fog that we could hardly see few yards ahead. Moreover, the wind was blowing so strong that sometimes I felt that it would carry me away with it. Since that spot was where our itinerary ended, we all felt so jubilant, took some pictures and then again descended back to the tea point, where a jeep took us all the way down, back to our homestay. Not to forget, the jeep ride was so damn fun that it sure would give you some chills and adrenaline rush, the reason being there's no proper road and the way the jeep's driven through the rocky, muddy and bumpy surface, it would be a memorable ride.
Once we reached homestay, took bath in hot water shower and got rid of our wet clothes. We then played no. of group games like Mafia and Uno, had the dinner and called it a day. Woke up next day (Sunday) with few body aches, cramps and leech bite marks but eh! nothing could ever beat the amazing experience we had the earlier day. Wounds and pain will heal but the memories will last forever. We then had a breakfast at around 7.30 and departed back to Bangalore at 8.00. We stopped at Nagara Fort at around 30 kms from homestay, took some pics and resumed our journey.
So all in all, it was a great experience getting close to the mother nature and far from these modern gadgets for a day. Besides the amazing trek we had, I would always cherish the camaraderie I shared with my co-trekkers in such a short span of time and I would really like to thank Colin, our host for organising such a wonderful trek and making us so comfortable throughout the entire trip. Colin was associated with the vendor team and as a satisfied customer, I will definitely look forward to more of such trips with the same vendor for sure. With all this, I would happily recommend my all trekking enthusiasts to go for this trek and I can vouch that you will come back with nothing but all smiles and tons of fascinating memories with you.