Header Ads

Treknic first

Treknic, as the name stands, is a small trek with picnic! And our picnic menu was to climb a rocky hill, traverse through a dark and slippery cave filled with bats, learn a few kinds of rappelling, obstacle training and a delicious meal at the Guru Freddy's Nature Awareness & Adventure Academy near Somanahalli, at the outskirts of Bangalore. The first of its kind event for BTC, Ajita and Mr. Kirani (the wife n husband organizer) were apprehensive about the 30 trekkers on the morning of 19th Oct 2014. It was a cloudy Sunday in Bangalore. We all woke up before the sun, prepared ourselves briefly and started for a long day with unknown people and unanticipated excitements. After short pick ups, we all met at the Khodays Breweries, Kanakapura Road. It was 6:30 am already and few people were yet to turn up. As always, the earliest person, Srinath, were the farthest to live! We had a brief hi-hello session to know each other's name. After a head count we started for our destination with a convoy of 6 cars and 7 bikes. It was at another stop down the route, where we collected the last few late comers and finally reached Gurukul at 7:30 am. We were warmly received by Mala and Srinivas in military costumes and soon directed towards the spread of breakfast. We discovered our youngest member of the group, Anshuman (6), radiating with energy right from the beginning. Anshuman found company in Vaisnavi (11), the other youngster in the group, and they walked holding each other's hand, and often leading everyone else. While it was first for Anshu, it was Vaisnavi's 5th trek with BTC with her mother.

After a heavy breakfast, we started walking towards the hill, leaving Bannerghata National Park at far left. We crossed paddy fields, small villagers' huts, mining areas and reached the foothill to start our ascend. The sun was shy and we all kept thinking about the rain, the clouds were generous and protected us from burns and slips all day. After a almost vertical ascend, which we climbed with our hands and toes, we reached the mouth of a cave, which resembled the crater of a volcano. It took me a while to realize that we were about to descend into the cave and crawl/slide down all the way. Srinivas showed the technique to make a successful descend and as he warned people not to jump, 2-3 guys immediately made a heroic attempt! When I could make my way towards the cave, the sight was of a bunch of hand eagerly waiting to pull people's leg! In order to protect my overly grown legs from an insane pull, I refused to surrender and rather attempted to calculate the geometry of the cave for an independent descend. And that became the memorable incident of the day! Oh wait, if you are thinking otherwise, I did made a successful descend! What I should tell you is that after a point I stopped calculating the number of times I was teased for that half-done calculation! 

Within a few minutes, we were all inside the crater and about to enter the cave, it was slippery with previous day's rain, with sheet of green moss growing at the entrance. As we were entering the dark cave, we were warned not to use torch as the fruit bats would be distracted. Shree uttered Ebola and at that moment we were surely wishing that we had the bliss of ignorance! According to the instruction we all sat down in a line as we started sliding down. It was wet, dark, slippery and my mind was occupied with the bats..an uncanny sensation started traversing around my ears, eyes became blind, I screamed for light! Light was denied for the fear of the bats. We descended further down, we had to lie down completely on our back, with the backpack by our side, and then our feet suddenly touched the base of the cave, we had to slide on our left from that point and after a narrow escape, saving our nose, we could see a light. It was another steep descent on our right and finally we could stand up! The view outside the cave was splendid, the sun was blissful after the darkness of the cave, sheet of elephant grasses were in full bloom, surpassing the hill and dancing with the wind like a playful girl. We had some more photo session there, Vishal P bravely carried his camera bag through the cave and his lens wanted some lights too. 
As we descended and entered the village at the foothill, Srinivas distracted us towards a gooseberry tree and we all started filling our hands and pockets with the wild fruit. Two houses away, we discovered a shy lady extending a plate of salt from her door. You rarely meet such good Samaritan in the everyday city life. Walking on the village mud road with mouth full of salted gooseberries, loved by the villagers, accompanied by friendly trekkers and cared by Srinivas and Mala, it was a blissful and healing experience altogether. As we reached Gurukul, we discovered a passion fruit and a stone apple lying around and we started feasting on that until our lunch was ready. It was a delicious meal, with home-grown vegetables and deserts made from pure cow milk! As we started introducing each other after satisfying our tummy,  the rain appeared like a chirpy girl, as if she was missed, and soon disappeared when we were about to curse! There were gossips that Ajita had an agreement with the rain and the sun that day! She will surely win the best coordinator award from BTC this year.
After lunch, it was time for rappelling! As per the instruction, we collected the equipment and headed towards a steep rock. When Mala and Srinivas gave us a demo, it looked very simple, thrilling and exciting from below. Then it was our turn to climb the hill from the back and descend with the rope. While most of the people, including Anshuman and Vaishnavi, bravely descended down, it was the time when I discovered the heights of my alto-phobia! 
With several attempts, midst of the cheers and encouragement of fellow trekkers, it was impossible for me to look down and step ahead! When Srinivas lost the last hope, he agreed to pack up and we headed towards obstacle training. Quite a few fun games; elbow crawling, 8 ft wall crossing, somersaulting and pseudo river crossing, we all enjoyed spoiling our clothes and nose with wet mud! Soon it was time for snacks and tea. We had our feedback session and bid bye to Mala, Srinivas and team, fellow trekkers. Then we slowly disappeared in the darkness, in the shelter of our car or bike. The headlights were shining bright making the surroundings even more dark and we started heading towards the din and bustles of our daily life. The cave, the hills, the people kept flashing in our mind as we looked over the heavy traffic of the busy city. Our body and mind started travelling in opposite direction. There we all wished for the time to synchronize these directions again!

Written By     : Sumita Chakraborty
Organized By : Ajita Madan
Date of event: 19th Oct 2014
Place             : Bangalore
Pictures        : BTC FB Page

No comments

Bangalore Trekking Club©. Powered by Blogger.