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A two-day “life-changing” experience and treknic to Jog Falls

A 12-member group went through a “life-changing” experience, thanks to a two-day treknic to Jog Falls organised on June 24-25 by Bangalore Trekking Club. Vikram was the organiser of this BTC event. 
A unique intro session: 
The event kick started at 10pm on June 23 (Friday night) when the 12 members, including Vikram, assembled at Majestic Bus Station to embark on a “life-changing” experience. The introduction round was a slight departure from BTC trend. Instead of enacting one’s name, each member was given another member’s name to enact as the 12 trekkers had already introduced and shared hi, hello before they had boarded the 12-seater TT. 
The introduction round was followed by a few “life-changing” questions from Dr Darshan, a member of the gang. The group was quite a mix, with software engineers, media professional, doctor, chartered accountant, filling up the numbers. The night was spent sleeping or twisting and turning in the compact seats. But fatigue was far off from the minds of the trekkers anticipating two full days of fun and frolic.
Day 1:
A km trek for breakfast:
We reached our camp at Sagara early in the morning with our guide Ganapati welcoming us with open arms. He gave us a few instructions ahead of the long day. He surprised us by saying we are going to trek for one km through the forest for a breakfast. We were too hungry to mind the trekking. It was a great way to start the day as we trekked through dense forest to reach a small cosy little house in the middle of the jungle where hot idlis, sambar,chutney waited for us. We were too famished to mind to clean our hands and nosedived into the breakfast after an energising one-km trek through the forest.

 Swimming in Sharavati backwaters:
Our guide Ganapati advised us three instructions before we dived into the Shravati backwaters. He said, “Safety, Safety and Safety”. He personally surveyed that all the members had tightly tied up the safety jacket. He even showed us to how make friends with water. He first asked us to make a circle and have a holy dip a few times to make friends with water. We then swam or floated towards the other end. 
As we walked around the valley, we feasted on ripe black grapes that were tasty, sour and bitter to give us a unique experience. Some of the members took the opportunity to make the white T-shirts won by others blue, purple and black by throwing the black grapes on them.
Swimming back was the toughest challenge:
After a round of the valley, we were prepared to swim back. But to our surprise and horror, we found that we chose the longest route to swim back which never seemed to end. For non-swimmers, it was a quite a task to keep moving their hands and push their body. But the safety jacket came to the rescue as it allowed you to float and take rest and then resume swimming again. A member Priyadarshini has to be literally pulled back to the shore with organiser Vikram and Ambrish providing the helping hands. Bharti, who said she feared water, managed to swim back all the way alone without much help. It was a relief to see the shore after close to an hour of swimming. But once back, we never felt leaving the water as we had finally became friends with it.
Hot lunch: Our Ganapti sir had made arrangements for lunch and we were served delicious beet ki sabzi, chapatti and rice sambar. We had more than stomach full and went to take a nap before a 5-km nature walk.
Nature walk: After a brief rest, we were all charged up for a mini-trek despite threat of rain. We climbed wall, bushes, broken trees, went through a paddy field, thwarted thorns and bushes to reach the top of the Sharavati Hills where we were bowled over by the enchanting view. Trees and only trees outlined the horizon and made for a spectacular view. We stopped and rested to savour the view and take a few memorable snaps.
Camp fire, games, dinner, tent and snoring: No treknic is possible without camp fire and few games to liven up the mood. We played three to four rounds of ‘Mafia” where villagers have to debate and find out who is the mafia who has been killing the innocent civilians. Post that, we were served another delicious food for dinner that comprised chappati, sabzi, pulao, and payasam. Tired and down with sleepy heads, we dozed off quickly in the spacious tents only to snore and disturb others who were still awake or had woken up by the loud slumber. 

Day 2: 
This was our last day of the trek and we wanted to make the best use of it. We got ready and took many pics at the camp site and even posed a few with our guide Ganapati who played a wonderful host. We wrote great reviews and feedback in his record book.
Trek after another delicious breakfast: This was the last meal at the campsite and we savoured the tasty breakfast. We boarded our TT to reach the destination where we were set begin our 20-km trekking to Jog falls. On the way, we played a game where used Dr Darshan’s pulse reader to catch a member’s lies. As a member lied, the pulse reader showed higher numbers and the victim was caught red-handed.
Trek begins amid rains: As we waited for the trek to begin, we took few snaps in the greenish background. And following the BTC trend, we took the snap where everyone jumps and is in the air. But even as we were going through our photoshoot, light to heavy rains greeted us and we quickly wore our raincoats to begin our long journey to Jog falls.
Rain...sun, breeze, rain...breeze...sun and rain again: We trekked through the Western Ghats and we were greeted through a range of climate. We began the trek in rain...but then soon the sky lit up with bright sun. And then a cool breeze followed only to be greeted with heavy rains again. Heavy rains kept pounding for half an hour as we walked and trekked through the Western Ghats enjoying the weather. 
A brief halt for lunch: After close to three hours of trekking, we stopped for breakfast and had a stomach full as another 10 kms and the most strenuous trekking awaited us. But we were ready for it.
Ganapti’s energy booster: Realising we were a bit tired after the trekking and the stomach-full lunch, guide Ganapati boosted our energy in his own unique way. He made us do a series of exercises – elbow in, elbow out, bum out, more out....aaaah.....relax....It left us in splits though.
Leeches: Yes, leeches welcomed us with both hands during the 20-km trekking. And it held on to the most who feared it the most. Priyadarshini was the worst affected and leeches seemed to have developed a liking for her. She screamed in fear even when one said leech pointing at her. The more she waited to take a leech down, another caught up soon with her. Leeches and Priya went hand in hand. They were inseparable, literally. 
The toughest part of trekking: This was our last stretch of trekking and the most difficult part of it. We had to go through dense forest and find our way down. The ground was slippery due to rain even as bushes and thorns left us bleeding and scratched. We kept falling down, but our spirit was always up...Slowly and steadily we made our way down through the thick forest area. We reached a plain land where we gasped for breath and took a breather. After another few kms of walk through a muddy stretch, we reached the concrete road where our TT was waiting for us to take us to Jog Falls.
Finally, Jog falls: Luckily, we managed to reach Jog Falls before sunset. We were able to catch its beauty in full flow. We took enough pics and selfies to take a lot of memories back home. We even paid a photographer to give us a hard copy of our group pics. Indeed, it was one “life-changing” experience.
Cast and crew: 
Vikram: Organiser, he held the group together. He made sure everyone had fun and one life-changing experience.
Radha: The selfie-queen. She posed for a selfie at every given opportunity. None of the space during the whole trekking was spared for a selfie or a groupie.
A 12-member group went through a “life-changing” experience, thanks to a two-day treknic to Jog Falls organised on June 24-25 by Bangalore Trekking Club. Vikram was the organiser of this BTC event.
A unique intro session:
The event kickstarted at 10pm on June 23 (Friday night) when the 12 members, including Vikram, assembled at Majestic Bus Station to embark on a “life-changing” experience. The introduction round was a slight departure from BTC trend. Instead of enacting one’s name, each member was given another member’s name to enact as the 12 trekkers had already introduced and shared hi, hello before they had boarded the 12-seater TT.
The introduction round was followed by a few “life-changing” questions from Dr Darshan, a member of the gang. The group was quite a mix, with software engineers, media professional, doctor, chartered accountant, filling up the numbers. The night was spent sleeping or twisting and turning in the compact seats. But fatigue was far off from the minds of the trekkers anticipating two full days of fun and frolic.
Day 1:
A km trek for breakfast:
We reached our camp at Sagara early in the morning with our guide Ganapati welcoming us with open arms. He gave us a few instructions ahead of the long day. He surprised us by saying we are going to trek for one km through the forest for a breakfast. We were too hungry to mind the trekking. It was a great way to start the day as we trekked through dense forest to reach a small cosy little house in the middle of the jungle where hot idlis, sambar,chutney waited for us. We were too famished to mind to clean our hands and nosedived into the breakfast after an energising one-km trek through the forest.
Swimming in Sharavati backwaters:
Out guide Ganapati advised us three instructions before we dived into the Shravati backwaters. He said, “Safety, Safety and Safety”. He personally surveyed that all the members had tightly tied up the safety jacket. He even showed us to how make friends with water. He first asked us to make a circle and have a holy dip a few times to make friends with water. We then swam or floated towards the other end.
As we walked around the valley, we feasted on ripe black grapes that were tasty, sour and bitter to give us a unique experience. Some of the members took the opportunity to make the white T-shirts won by others blue, purple and black by throwing the black grapes on them.
Swimming back was the toughest challenge:
After a round of the valley, we were prepared to swim back. But to our surprise and horror, we found that we chose the longest route to swim back which never seemed to end. For non-swimmers, it was a quite a task to keep moving their hands and push their body. But the safety jacket came to the rescue as it allowed you to float and take rest and then resume swimming again. A member Priyadarshini has to be literally pulled back to the shore with organiser Vikram and Ambrish providing the helping hands. Bharti, who said she feared water, managed to swim back all the way alone without much help. It was a relief to see the shore after close to an hour of swimming. But once back, we never felt leaving the water as we had finally became friends with it.
Hot lunch: Our Ganapti sir had made arrangements for lunch and we were served delicious beet ki sabzi, chapatti and rice sambar. We had more than stomach full and went to take a nap before a 5-km nature walk.
Nature walk: After a brief rest, we were all charged up for a mini-trek despite threat of rain. We climbed wall, bushes, broken trees, went through a paddy field, thwarted thorns and bushes to reach the top of the Sharavati Hills where we were bowled over by the enchanting view. Trees and only trees outlined the horizon and made for a spectacular view. We stopped and rested to savour the view and take a few memorable snaps.
Camp fire, games, dinner, tent and snoring: No treknic is possible without camp fire and few games to liven up the mood. We played three to four rounds of ‘Mafia” where villagers have to debate and find out who is the mafia who has been killing the innocent civilians. Post that, we were served another delicious food for dinner that comprised chappati, sabzi, pulao, and payasam. Tired and down with sleepy heads, we dozed off quickly in the spacious tents only to snore and disturb others who were still awake or had woken up by the loud slumber.
Day 2:
This was our last day of the trek and we wanted to make the best use of it. We got ready and took many pics at the camp site and even posed a few with our guide Ganapati who played a wonderful host. We wrote great reviews and feedback in his record book.

Trek after another delicious breakfast: This was the last meal at the campsite and we savoured the tasty breakfast. We boarded our TT to reach the destination where we were set begin our 20-km trekking to Jog falls. On the way, we played a game where used Dr Darshan’s pulse reader to catch a member’s lies. As a member lied, the pulse reader showed higher numbers and the victim was caught red-handed.

Trek begins amid rains: As we waited for the trek to begin, we took few snaps in the greenish background. And following the BTC trend, we took the snap where everyone jumps and is in the air. But even as we were going through our photoshoot, light to heavy rains greeted us and we quickly wore our raincoats to begin our long journey to Jog falls.

Rain...sun, breeze, rain...breeze...sun and rain again: We trekked through the Western Ghats and we were greeted through a range of climate. We began the trek in rain...but then soon the sky lit up with bright sun. And then a cool breeze followed only to be greeted with heavy rains again. Heavy rains kept pounding for half an hour as we walked and trekked through the Western Ghats enjoying the weather.

A brief halt for lunch: After close to three hours of trekking, we stopped for breakfast and had a stomach full as another 10 kms and the most strenuous trekking awaited us. But we were ready for it.

Ganapti’s energy booster: Realising we were a bit tired after the trekking and the stomach-full lunch, guide Ganapati boosted our energy in his own unique way. He made us do a series of exercises – elbow in, elbow out, bum out, more out....aaaah.....relax....It left us in splits though.

Leeches: Yes, leeches welcomed us with both hands during the 20-km trekking. And it held on to the most who feared it the most. Priyadarshini was the worst affected and leeches seemed to have developed a liking for her. She screamed in fear even when one said leech pointing at her. The more she waited to take a leech down, another caught up soon with her. Leeches and Priya went hand in hand. They were inseparable, literally.

The toughest part of trekking: This was our last stretch of trekking and the most difficult part of it. We had to go through dense forest and find our way down. The ground was slippery due to rain even as bushes and thorns left us bleeding and scratched. We kept falling down, but our spirit was always up...Slowly and steadily we made our way down through the thick forest area. We reached a plain land where we gasped for breath and took a breather. After another few kms of walk through a muddy stretch, we reached the concrete road where our TT was waiting for us to take us to Jog Falls.
Finally, Jog falls: Luckily, we managed to reach Jog Falls before sunset. We were able to catch its beauty in full flow. We took enough pics and selfies to take a lot of memories back home. We even paid a photographer to give us a hard copy of our group pics. Indeed, it was one “life-changing” experience.

Cast and crew:
Vikram: Organiser, he held the group together. He made sure everyone had fun and one life-changing experience.
Radha: The selfie-queen. She posed for a selfie at every given opportunity. None of the space during the whole trekking was spared for a selfie or a groupie.
Dr Darshan: He held everyone’s attention with his “life-changing” and various other questions. His pulse reader was a great source of entertainment.
Chandrasekhar: He finally opened up singing Kannada songs during the return journey.
Priyadarshini: She had enough leeches to make up a breakfast. Leeches and Priya were two friends who could not separated, literally.
Bharti: She spoke a lot, took a lot of pics. She feared water, but made water her dear friend in the end. She ate as little as possible and that explains her thin figure.
Praveen: He was so passionate playing ‘Mafia’ that he took it personally at times if he was wrongly voted out. Helped out crew members swim to safety.
Rahul: He snored like anything J. It was his first BTC trek and undoubtedly his most life-changing experience.
Nisha: The lady who spoke only truth on oath while on a pulse reader. It was her first BTC trekking as well.
Ambrish: The advocate who dished out one interesting criminal story after another.
Ashok: He was so hot that smoke came out from his body during the long trekking. He proudly declared, “I’m a Superhero. I’m ‘Smoke Man’”.
Hemanth: He was the go-to man for the pics. He carried a DSLR and took some amazing pics. He also spoke only truth on pulse reader. He held everyone’s attention with his “life-changing” and various other questions. His pulse reader was a great source of entertainment.


Written By          : Ashok Kumar
Original Blog       :two-day treknic to Jog falls
Organised By       :Vikram
Date of Event      :June 24th & 25th, 2017
Place                  : Shimoga


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