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Exploration Trek - The COORG

MY 10TH BLOG :-) 
Spotting me on many treks of BTC and still not able to find my post trek write up? :-P Well guys! I was busy playing an organizer, and I can't blow my own trumpet! Can I? ;-) All said and done, I couldn't resist myself from penning this trek of mine - as an organizer cum member!

What trek to organize?? :
It was a random day that I was chatting with Abhishek and instantly we decide to plan a trek to Coorg! (Coorg was always jinxed for me; I hadn't been to Coorg till date) After receiving a green signal from Viru and Chaits we start planning up the event. Opening up registrations for a two day event with such short notice of 4 days, always puts the members on a hush to register quickly and pack quickly without giving much time for thought.
I open up registrations for the event wondering if we could get at least 6 or 7 members. For our surprise it was the opposite! Mails and registrations kept pouring, so we had to freeze the event! Now we had enough members to join us for our exploration trek to Coorg! Members in, now it was our turn to book bus tickets, plan the trek itinerary. Both of us sincerely sat working on it, mailing each other all possible info and resources about the places we going to trek. (despite our homework’s done, I still was apprehensive about the trek, will it go good? It just hit me, that organizing a two day event was hell of a task than mailing BTC members "Let’s unravel Coorg this weekend")

Wheretostart??: 
Days just rolled by and it was Friday 21st Feb! Damn we are leaving to Coorg, more so i'm organizing a two day event with Abhishek. Being the host for the event, i had to be there before everybody and left home at 7pm to reach Satellite bus stand even though our meet up time was 10pm. Bangalore traffic always needs a mention on our blogs! Either you reach too soon or face such a delay that you miss your bus or train. Well it was the former that I had to face! I reached there by 9, and walking along the platform hoping somebody would join me soon. Before I could even end that thought Divya was there, with Monica. As usual our girl talks went on & on. And then one by one, members reached the platform 1. We boarded the KSRTC Rajahamsa bus and took our seats quietly. Some of them fell asleep but Abhishek, Ashwin, Kaushik & myself kept talking as soft as whispering till we fell asleep. (We didn't wanted to disturb others you know:-P, too bad if some had super sensitive ears and complained the next day that our talks kept them up till morning:-D) We reached Madikeri by 5am, knowing that our next bus to Hattihole was at 6.30. We decided to loaf around for a while. Deepa & Monica continued their sleep in the bus stand on the chairs, others began their morning routine. By 6am we went to a hotel, had only idlis for breakfast, the strong cup of Coorg coffee really did kick in some energy into us.
The bus arrived on time; the bus had all its seats for us. The view outside the window was so captivating, dense trees and coffee plantations pass by continuously, and the cool breeze magnifying the view all the more! Almost half an hr drive and we reached Hattihole, there was a bridge underneath which a river flowed. 
   
Since we had to take lunch parcel and the local hotel guy asked us to wait for some time, we girls began our usual business!  Of course the photo shoots! Sonali, Deepa and me glued to each other like long lost friends over clicks :-P Well what can Kaushik ask more for, when we were already letting him liberally experiment his photography skills with his brand new DSLR camera on us :-D Anish and Sudesh who had volunteered to be our cook, were busy shopping at the corner store buying cucumbers, lemons, pickles etc. (They projected as if they were buying groceries, to cook us steaming hot biryani on the hill top, all they could cook was boil water for our cup noodles!)    
Our lunch parcel was done which was Parota, we started our trek. We started at a small lane which was half muddy and half tarred. Oh yeah! Forgot to mention, we had exclusive live BTC trek coverage for straight two days (48hrs) "This is Sonali reporting live with camera man Kaushik" :-D We passed many small houses and a school, kids were excited to see us walking with huge backpacks, tents and sleeping bags. We waved at them and passed by. Before continuing we stopped besides the river bed, for a short intro and then proceeded. Abhishek lead us while I stayed back to check that live coverage isn't turning into a movieshoot!
   
We spotted a yellow hanging bridge on the left; it looked like a perfect scenary from a wall hanged painting. We literally ran up there, pushing each other for solo pics! Abhishek had to shoo each one to leave the hanging bridge alone! Now the path got steeper, which was between coffee estates. We took breaks now and then. Passed across many small streams. We also came across a waterfall without water. We still posed in front of it! Come on you can always photo shop and get some water on to the pic right :-D Ashwin, Sandeep and Monica seemed like they were running a marathon, almost at cruising speed uphill.
Sulabh Souchalay at hill top:
We had two destinations, one the Shiva temple which heralds that we are done with 3/4th trek and then the final steep stretch from temple to reach the peak. We walked, walked and walked, but no sign of Shiva temple. It was past 1pm, lunch time and still no headway. For a moment we felt we are on a wrong peak, thank god we could hear Divya screaming Shiva temple does exist! With a big grin on our faces we reached the temple by 1.30pm. It was a flat land, a stone temple, and the entire area was full of dung! It was as if a toilet for the animals. Dried dung at one foot distances! I took a short 5 mins power nap, and then Abhishek and Sonali collected dungs for bonfire. 
The final stretch from the temple was real steep but we somehow climbed it off and we were on the top by 2.30pm! We were damn hungry & thirsty, we gulped whatever we had. We then started to pitch up tents, after that I fell asleep right away! When I woke up evening, guys were roaming around, waiting for sunset. The sunset was beautiful, watching the fiery red ball slip between the green mountain range. The winds got stronger and colder. We collected woods, dry grasses and made fire. Our cooking began, hot water & bread toast! We were interrupted by few local hunters who came up with head torches and big rifles! So we decided that it’s safe for any two to stay up and watch out, while others slept. 

Division of labour putforth by Abhishek and amended by me :-D :

11.30 pm to 12.30 am: Divya & Sandeep 
12.30 am to 01.30 am: Anish & Sonali 
01.30 am to 02.30 am: Ashwin & Monica 
02.30 am to 03.30 am: Purushotam & me
03.30 am to 04.30 am: Kaushik & Deepa 
04.30 am to 05.30 am: Abhishek & Sudesh 
( The smartest chose the earliest and the last slot :-D )

Can you believe that 6 of them totally dozed off by 8pm! Well the relatively nocturnal ones played dumb charades. We couldn't stay up for long and yeah the shift began, with divya & Sandeep- not just watching, but to keep the bonfire burning till morning. I could hear Ashwin calling me outside the tent, "Deepthy its 2.30, your turn"
Me: "Crap! Hey 5 mins ill be there
Ashwin again "Deepthy are you there"
Me: " Hey just a sec, will be there"
This went on for a while, I finally give up. I wake up Deepa who was sleeping next to me, “Hey Deepa, can you do my shift, I’ll do yours. We really slept late last night"
She was kind enough to agree and she gave me another hr of sleep. 
I couldn't play this game longer; I had to get out of my tent at 3.30. MAN! What was I thinking when I chose time for 3.30? It was freezing cold. And the bonfire needed more woods to keep up the flame. Kaushik arrived, and after few mins of post sleep inertia we got engrossed in talks. The bonfire wasn't helping us. We tried putting all possible stuff but fire wasn't good enough. Time was approaching 4.30! Good that our watch man job was getting over but on the flip side the fire was almost dying ( We blame the mist) and we can't hand over the job without fire! So we kept running around with torches collecting dung and managed to lit up fire, by then it was 5.15! We ended up doing double shift. We just woke up Abhishek and Sudesh and went off to sleep, as a consequence I missed sunrise, it wasn't that great though :-D We were back again around the fire, making hot water for noodles and we also made hot coffee!
It was a perfect way to unwind, pack and start our descent after some group clicks. We started descended by 9; most of them were on run mode! Taking very short breaks, we were back on those small road like lanes, we were back again on the hanging bridge! Never ever satisfied! And then rushed to the river bed, spent some time in the water, then headed to the same old store. We drank tender coconuts like we would never find water again in our lives! Some of them decided to have lunch over there. At 2.30 pm we caught a bus to Madikeri, the bus was so dusty, and we literally cleaned the seats with our butts:-P no tissue paper could wipe that thick dust off! By 3ish we reached Madikeri, while guys went enquiring for hiring vehicle to Mandalpatti, we girls were back on track- photo shoot! By 4 pm we left in two jeeps to Mandalpatti! One jeep was exclusively the WOW (World of women) with two camera men ( Sandeep & Kaushik) and in the other jeep the WOM ( World of monkeys not men) :-D!
   
Our jeep didn't require a music system, as we had Sonali doing her job just perfect as FMradio:-P After a bumpy jeep ride we reached Mandalpatti, we sat at the view point, completely surrendering ourselves to the nature and yes Sonali's nonstop talk :-)
   
After watching another beautiful sunset, we headed back to Madikeri. Our bus was at 10.30pm, we had lot of time to kill so we went roaming in the streets, shopped homemade chocolates, ate gol gappas and finally a restaurant for dinner. With stomachs full we walked back to the bus stand, had our feedback session and then started our journey back to Bangalore. And feedbacks were obviously totally positive, making me proud for having organised this one :-) 
MAMMOTH sized thanks to all the guys who made this event so much fun and effortless :-)

Written By       : Deepthy Jagadish
Organized By    : Deepthy Jagadish & Abhishek Biradar
Date of event   : 22nd Fe, 2014
Members Count : 12
Place               : Coorg
Pictures           : BTC FB Page
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