Sometimes you just need to leave the cacophony of the city life to enjoy the pristine beauty and bounty of Mother Earth… The Kumbakkarai to Kodai trek via Vellagavi on Feb 18 &19 was one such occasion..!! It was CTC’s 4th birthday and I felt I had to be part of the celebration!! And hence after a lot of contemplation (obviously with so many treks to choose from) & work issues it was decided that Kodai trek it will be..

So much of checking and cross checking happened on things to be taken, weather forecast, food to be taken & timings.. And finally Kaushi (my partner in crime) & me were at Koyambedu by 9 only to find the bus being late by an hour.. So much for punctuality.. Uff.. but yeah we know things sometimes doesn’t go as planned.. so we literally waited out the whole time & was happy to get into the bus which had smiling faces welcoming us!! It was amazing to be a part of a group where people of various work backgrounds join together just to enjoy one thing that had us bound.. The journey started with us becoming friends with one another as our bus weaved out of Chennai.. After some time of talking, snacking, singing and sleeping..Dindigul was our first stop.. It was our pick-up point for the trekkers joining from Bangalore (which included my bro & Sudhir) as well as our breakfast & lunch!! So once everything was in place we set off to Kumbakkarai which we reached by 10.30 or so..

The food packets were distributed to all.. Our breakfast was idli, vada.. Once our tummies were filled we started towards the sliding pool of the Kumbakarai waterfalls with Chikki bars, Corn, oranges, chocolates jostling for space in our bags.. The sliding pool was in a different direction from the path that we had to take.. It looked quite calm and the guys were all set for the fun.. Somersaults, gentle dips and slides were happening simultaneously while few of us chose to be the spectators alone!! As much as I enjoy water, I was just too worried about trekking in wet clothes.. so just skipped the tempting slide!!

At one point when we realized that we might be too late.. we started towards the trek path.. It was nearly around 12 when we started the hike.. Not a happy thought I accept as the sun was merciless..!! We trudged happily with lots of talk.. At some point I really started wondering how bad my fitness was!! Thanks to my knapsack which was adding to the agony ..!! Luckily for me, Shiv & Sudhir took the burden (Thank you soooo much guys!!).. We kept on trudging and I was seriously wondering whether we will really reach somewhere or not..

Around an hour or two later we decided to lunch.. by when most of us were split in groups depending on our pace.. I skipped the biryani knowing well that my walk would be worse than what it was.. We came across a small temple on the way where we re-energized ourselves with Chikki bars and water.. Then again we started our walk.. we even saw some of the Vellagavi villagers walking in complete ease with so much load (Gosh!! So much for the sophistication in the city, I was literally worn out.. Embarrassing indeed!!) Thanks to Jayanthan who kept on convincing me that we were almost near the village!! Alas!! the whole group reached the village by 4:30 in the evening.. I was truly amazed at the way the people lived there with no mode of transportation..!!  Either people walk all the way up to Kodai or all the way down to Kumbakarai..!!  

 

After a brief rest and a lovely coffee (courtesy of the villagers), the guys were ready to have a game of Volleyball with the villagers.. You got to give it to them.. the villagers were exceptional in the game and got our guys hands down!! The volleyball court was located in a picturesque place where it was just surrounded by the view of the mountains.. The trek had just two other ladies other than Kaush and me.. All four of us played the role of a spectator while the guys got pummeled.. Then it was soup time.. The chillness started to envelope us.. The guys were trying to make use of so many physics concept before they got the soup done.. Thanks to the villagers the vegetable rice was ready by then!! After a lovely dinner, it was time to sleep.. Eventually day 1 came to an end!!

 

DAY 2:

I was happy to wake up around eight because the much needed sleep seemed to have done the magic of rejuvenating the tired muscles.. and I was looking forward to the hike again.. Had a lovely warm bath, the villagers way.. and it was time for some warm milk & chocos along with protein mix… Wonderful I say.. Whereas some folks were literally early and enjoyed the sunrise along with a game of volleyball.. Again we were all split in groups as some decided to hang around in the village for some more time while some wanted to hit it early before the heat started scorching us!! So few of us started around 10..

 

The walk was pretty ok.. We were literally traversing from one hillock to the other.. and we were also picking up altitude.. The sun was literally on us.. Trust me, even at that height, the weather was at its worst.. It was tiring us quickly.. but thanks to the spirit that prevailed amongst us.. we kept on joking about something or other and pushed ourselves.. By the time we reached Dolphin Nose we were just too happy tired I would say..!! We all reached the road by 2… and a sense of accomplishment was felt (still a guilty thought reminded me that the Vellagavi villagers did this as their routine!!).. Then to add to it we found that we had to walk further down the road as the bus couldn’t make it to the point…. (Arghhh!!!)

 

We strolled all the way till the main road then and were just happy to settle in the bus.. All of us were looking forward to the yummy lunch in Kodai.. Once near the lake, everybody took to the food joint of their choice.. It was one happy meal I would say.. after which we set off in search of yummy snacks from Pastry Corner…but to our dismay, the stocks were sold long time ago.. Bad!! Then after getting some local chocolates.. it was time to hit back to Chennai.. We bid adieu to the Bangaloreans and started the descent.. We were talking happily about the trek and it was fun to watch the pics!!

We had dinner somewhere on the bye-pass road since we did not want to waste time by entering Dindigul.. Once the dinner was done, all of us were pretty quiet as we wanted to rest well before the hectic workday… We reached Chennai by 6.30 with happy memories and good friends.. knowing well that the road towards reality beckons!!

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