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Scenic Chembra trek with splendid WOW group

“Good bye everyone , take care !! … “ said Anusha as she got down from the tempo traveller van. We all bid her goodbye and I actually woke up from my day dreaming about how wonderful wayanad trip went so far. It still felt like I have just now registered for this trek. But time passes quickly and so our trip to Waynad was about to end. Let me take you through a thrilling flashback of this exciting trek. The more you read about, I am sure, the more you feel like going on treks and trips with BTC and WOW groups.
If it was for Narasimha parvatha, we would have not gone for Chembra peak in Wayanad. The change in venue was due to ban on the Kigga trail of Narasimha parvatha. When I saw the mail about change in venue, I was slightly surprised but not disappointed, since the trek was not cancelled or postponed. Chembra peak in Wayanad was as new to me to explore as Narasimha parvatha in Agumbe ghats. 

We had a re-confirmation mail chain amongst those who were shortlisted and out of twelve, ten agreed for chembra. To my surprise, my previous WOW bike ride friend Raja-Laxmi and her daughter enrolled for this trip in place of the two drop outs. Amongst two co-ordinators, I knew Ritu, so apart from these three, I was going to make nine cool and lovely friends. 

My excitement about this trek started a week before and almost everyday I was mentioning about it to either my colleagues or friends or to my room-mate. And at last it was Friday 9th Jan, on which we all were suppose to gather at Majestic near Shantala silk house. I came along with Raja Laxmi and Vaishnavi (her daughter). At the same meeting point, BTC Nagala trip group had also gathered. So many new faces were assembling there. I meet Monisha (co-ordinator) and others. I was wondering whether Ritu would recognise me but she greeted me saying 'yea I remember you.’ Little Vaishnavi badly wanted to go for Nagala again and was almost ready to ditch us but when we told there is going to be waterfall bath, she agreed. Our travel van came on time. I guess by 10.15pm we started off. 

         The journey began with silence first, then small talks. I was quiet for some time as I was feeling terribly sleepy. But when actual introduction session started I was awake. We introduced ourselves with our hobbies etc, then Monisha and Ritu briefed us about iternary till next day. We reached Bandipur by 3 am and waited there till the gates open at 6 am. I was completely awake till we halted at Bandipur.

         A small pat on my head woke me up. I looked at the time it was 7 am. I might have slept off early morning and I was struggling to open my eyes. I still don’t remember who woke me but I could guess that we had reached our stay destination. Hidden in bushes and tress, a small green bungalow was waiting for our arrival. It was a home-stay arrangement for us. The cool breeze made my sleep go away. While the co-ordinators were having talks with the owner, other girls and me went inside the warm house. It had a cute little sitting area outside, usually called as ‘varandha’ in my mother tongue and three bed-rooms with a kitchen. All the girls, especially Vaishnavi was running from one room to another discovering the house. But the first thing I did was putting my smartphone on charging - very important right ! :P
      “I love this group yaar ! “ said Monisha, when we all told that we can leave off immediately and can have our baths later in the evening. So quickly we all just brushed and washed our face, changed and were ready for our chembra exploration. On the way we saw a place called ‘ 1980’s A Nostalgic Restaurant’ were we had our breakfast. I tried puttu for the first time and I loved it. By this time we all were familiar and comfortable with each other. So it was breakfast with lots of chitchats and teasings. Finally around 11 we were at the chembra ticket house were our co-ordinators took care of tickets. Around 8km kachha road was waiting for us ahead of this point, so our driver did some tantrums, but we didn’t budge. On the way we placed a lunch order, so when we are back, hot food would be waiting for us. 

     “What a scenery”, “ Mind-blowing greenery!! “ , “Click my pic here” along with others I was also praising the nature over there. There was parking area after which the trail starts. The scenery was worth praising. Though the sun had started scorching earth, the tress and plantations were compensating the parch. Though Ritu asked us the click pics while descending down, many of us couldn’t resist the temptation of capturing the beauty in our cams. Me too asked Jita to click few of my pics. A local guide accompanied us, so after a while girls started trekking with Ritu and the guide leading the trail, while Monisha preceding to check no one is left behind. I was much ahead with Ritu accompanied by Anusha, Shilpa and Sushie. The climb was not that steep but we were getting exhausted due to the burning heat. Like a spring after winter, a small stream after climbing in heat was soothing for us. Nothing is so relaxing than a splash of cold water on our dusty sweaty face. So we continued our climb until finally we reached chembra lake also called as ‘heart shaped lake’. Comparatively, water was less but the we could make out the heart shape. Vaishnavi noticed a tortoise sitting on a rock near the lake. 

      We relaxed there for sometime, had snacks, took photos and when we were about to descend, our guide spotted a wild elephant very far away from us. It was barely visible with naked eyes, but Ritu and Sushie did capture it in there cams. Climbing down was much quicker. Around 3 we were at our lunch stop. Delicious food was waiting for us. All were too hungry to speak. Hot Sambar and rasam along with rice and chicken .. yumm !! 

      The day ended with a visit to sun set point which we couldn't see because of fog and cloudy sky, but view was eye catching. After having tea in near by dhaba, we parcelled dinner for us and were back to our cozy home-stay. After a day’s adventure and exploration on chembra, a nice bath and food can give a nice deep sleep. Chit-chatting, teasing each other, cracking jokes and laughing , slowly one by one we all were fast asleep. 
     Next day morning, I woke up again with a pat on my head. But this time I realised it was Ritu who was asking me to get up. As decided on previous day, we all we set to go for Eddekal  caves. Unfortunately we couldn’t go for Soochipara waterfalls due to road construction. But c’on nobody scribed about it much. Rajalaxmi had brought bread and cheese which we all had as our quick breakfast. We all were glad to reach the caves on time since the crowd increased after 10 am. The climb to caves was slightly steep but kerala tourism has made railings and steps, which makes it easy. The place is a bit commercialised but I liked the way discipline was maintained about littering and not carrying food stuff etc to caves. Eddekal means a rock stuck between three giant rocks. So this cave is a formation of three huge rocks on sides and a big circular rock stuck on top of these three. A local guide explained about the carving made on those rocks. There were human figures, peacock, elephant and a fox carving along with some script. We could identify few letters as it was in brahmi sanskrit and tamil. While returning back towards parking, some of us did shopping of local stuffs. I purchased couple of soft cushions, for which Monisha helped in bargaining. Post lunch we left for bangalore since all of us had to be back by 9 pm to Bangalore and also the Bandipur road gets closed from 9 pm to 6 am. We had good food at much cheaper rate at the restaurant named ‘Prince’ since they had their inauguration on the same day. A small tragedy happened where I dropped my cell phone in van and in panic I returned back to van searching it without informing others who went ahead for lunch. My absence for few minutes may have made others worried, but girls did find me and I finally I found my phone.
        Wow!, two days passed away so fast, the awaited trip to chembra was about to end. “Girls how many of you are getting down at majestic” Ritu was asking us. I came out of the sweet memorable flash back and raised my hand. We reached majestic on scheduled time. Saying goodbyes was slightly emotional. Hoping to meet these girls again for future trips with BTC or WOW, four of us, going to koramangala and btm side left by cab. 

         This was the one of the amazing treks with WOW group and ones again I was refreshed for coming Monday.

Written By        : Neha Pathak
Organized By    : Ritu & Monisha
Date of event   : 10th & 11th Jan 2015
Members Count: 12
Place                : Wayand
Pictures            : BTC FB Page

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