Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The Trek

Well, I did it. 26 km of trekking through forest, scrubland and up almost vertical bits. And Im home in one piece and functioning except for aching knees. Well, no mercy to them as I've been trying to write this and have been interrupted at least twenty times. Grown kids can be just as bad young ones when it comes to depending on you.

After a 2 hour journey over very bad road in a rickety jeep, we reached the forest hut and stayed there last night.Hut is a misnomer because it has all facilities except power.

Early this morning we started off with a guide. The first hour was through the forest which meant ducking under fallen branches and leaping over others and fording little streams. Then came wide open grassland till we forded the stream. Everyone was happily enthusiastic. After that were 3 hills with the path going almost vertically up across the hill. Then we were walking at our own pace inspite of the guide hurrying us up. He hardly let us sit or drink water.

Mukurthi peak is one of the highest peaks in the Nilgiris.It sits in a National Sanctuary of its own and the Forest department is doing its best to preserve it that way. We did see some deer and a wild boar and bison, but not a glimpse of a tiger though there were fresh pug marks at the water. At the peak, is a little temple.

Midway I was wondering why we needed to do this. To prove something?

If anyone is wondering why I am wearing some crazy clothes, it was because I forgot to take mine there. I really don't blame myself because I was in a real tizzy when we left. Coordinating the jeep driver and the guide, getting more and more clearances from the various officials, putting together the ingredients for three meals and all that might be needed for an overnight stay, warm clothes for all inbetween picking and dropping the kids at the lake and answering unrelated phone calls, while of course battling all my worries in the background - will it rain, will it be slippery, will the jeep driver turn up, will we make it, will I be able to walk....?
Sindhu, who elected to get onto a bus and join us suddenly, said' ma you've organised so many things, why are you stressed out?'A remark that really doesn't help when you are falling apart.

But the Gods were kind. And it was a great trip



Nice post and lovely photographs.

Maddy said...

26km? well that was a tough one..hope it was enjoyable..

kallu said...

Thanks Raji and Maddy.

We did enjoy it a lot though we were all puffing and panting by the end, even the youngsters.

But it did something more for me. Removed some mental blocks. Once I'd clambered over and under branches and leapt across rivers I don't have that momentary hesitation anymore when stepping into high buses and trains and cars, that females develop after 45. And inside, I have this acceptance Im pretty fit which is a very good feel.

Happy Kitten said...

Wow! that was too good.. reminds me of smaller versions that we used to have while growing up in the high ranges.. the final reach is usually the best moment. We also did one in Coonoor and we saw a few "abodes" of the wild animals on the way.

Wonder if I can take even a few steps now, but I liked the way you ended ur narration too..

kallu said...

Greetings to a fellow hill-person. Though I came to the hills only after marriage. As you say, the thought of reaching the peak is what keeps me on even when its just getting home - that is one little trek by the way.

I Had all those doubts too. I guess you can if you really want to.

Come here and we'll do it one day.