5. Two day trek from Bodi to Topstation(Munnar) on May 7th and 8th
This was my fifth trek. It was organized by Gurumoorthi. In this trek too at the last moment drama happened like Guru’s last trek to Venkatagiri. He called us one day before and said that he is not getting leave for the weekend and so he cannot come. We were way past the point of cancelling the trek. We had got the advance money from all the participants, paid bus advances and even bought the food too. After some discussion it was decided that Vikram(Viki), Arun, Raj and myself can manage the group. Guru gave us a GPS so that we dont have a problem with the trail.
On Friday night 27 of us left Chennai. We reached our base station, a village named Kurangini around 8 in the morning. After distributing the food for next 2 days we started walking. Our starting altitude was 700m and we were supposed to reach the top station which was at 2200 m. I knew that it will be a moderate trek, testing mostly our stamina. Viki lead the group with GPS in his hand. But it was the first time we were using GPS, so we went off trail in the beginning itself. But we had a jeep trail so we just kept following it assuming that its correct way. Apart from the awesome weather, the trail wasnt much special. I could feel myself going out of breath pretty fast because of the relative high altitude.
After few hours walking, or hiking we realized that we are way out of our proposed trail. So we decided to regroup somewhere and proceed together. After taking rest, we joined back to the trail. We took our lunch under a large Banyan tree.
From here on, the climb through hill started. There was a grassy hill which looked beautiful. The chill breeze was helping us to forget our tiredness. That was the first time I trekked in western ghats and I really enjoyed it. There wasn’t much shade in that grassy hill apart from some big rocks. Whenever we stopped for a shade, I felt so overwhelmed with the chillness of the wind. It takes away all the tiredness in your body.
With the direction of top station in mind, we kept walking through trail. There were many small hills which gave nice views of the surroundings. After some time we reached a place with a hut. It was the entrance of an estate. The watchman over there didnt allow us to go forward saying that others are not allowed inside. He said that there is another trail going up. We filled our water bottles and walked back little bit to get that trail. In some time we reached a good trail which was taking zigzag routes to go up. After lot of walking we reached the Top station. Everyone was so hungry and we started ordering Bhajji’s in the first tea shop we saw.
Top station is a tourist place, there were many people, hotels and we were like back to civilization. We went to the view point over there and took some pics. After some discussion we hired a place to camp. Yeah, I meant hiring a place. We were not allowed to sleep anywhere because it was said that wild animals come at night. I think that was the first time in CTC(Chennai trekking club) where we had to hire a place for camping at night.
For night, we cooked noodles and soup. We were camping at 2000m altitude and it was getting really cold. I tried to sleep, but even with my sleeping bag I couldn’t sleep. There were few others who couldn’t stand the cold, and they were sitting near the camp fire. I too joined them hoping to survive the night.
I was checking time every 5 mins hoping to see the sun fast. When it was 5am in the morning we went up to see the morning views from the view point. After having breakfast we were so bored, so we decided to have a fun competition. Many people in the group were above 30 age group. So we thought we will have a push-up competition between below-30 and above-30 people. The lower age group won of course..:)
We had a full day ahead. We asked few people and they said that there is another easy way to reach the Kurangini village. Later we realized that this was the original path which we were supposed to take. But it was a normal jeep track with less views. Even though we took the wrong route we were happy that we did. Me and Arun came down till the stream with a villager who was going to village. We reached there in one hour. Others came slowly taking pics and chit chatting. While taking a jumping pic, one co-trekker, Nafis, got a sprain in his leg. So it took some time for them to come.
While waiting for others we made our lunch, took bath in the waterfall. By around 7 pm we reached the village. The bus was waiting for us there. Next day morning we reached back Chennai.