Saturday, May 14, 2005

My Trekking and Kayaking Experience on River Varahi

This is long due. I havent blogged in quite a while now and as I was very busy at work and other social activities. This post is dedicated to my Trekking experience and Kayaking on river varahi during the last weekend of April. I am posting a friend(Vinu a.k.a coconut)'s version of the entire experience. Thanks Vinu for letting me use your trip diary, ofcourse with some editing. It goes something like this....
Let me take you all back in time on April 29th when a group of 30, many of whom havent seen each other before, on a trip which will bind them strongly in a strong bond of friendship.
Friday - 29th April, 2005
We boarded the bus after a long wait at JFWTC employee's gate, picked up a couple of people on the way and headed to a raodside dhaba outside the city for dinner. On the way we had an “introduction round”, where everybody introduced themselves revealing their embarrassing moments and previous trek experiences and all of us laughing at their expense. The intro round continued during dinner and afterwards in the bus
Saturday - 30th April, 2005
We stopped about seven in the morning for tea at a roadside hotel in Mangalore, on our way to Kollur. We entertained ourselves with a game of Antakshari with Tapori (Deepti) and Mr.Antakshri (Somansh) and a couple of others as lead singers till we reached Anejeri Nature Camp. Once at the camp we first gathered at the outhouse for a briefing session by Spider (SriRam -
Thats me!!!), and then headed for our tents. [Well lot of people ask me why I am called spider. Longtime back some of us, my colleagues and I, went to Spiderman-part2 and from that day onwards I have ben nicknamed spider for no reason. I didnt mind as it was a cool name and besides I get MaryJane :-o)]
After a rather quick freshen up of our sticky selves we all gathered for breakfast (chow-chow bhat and boiled eggs), of course yours truly(Coconut a.k.a Vinu) came late and was lucky to have boiled eggs at least for breakfast. We boarded the bus, with some of us carrying life jackets, and took the bus for 6 km and started out trek for another 5km to Arsinagudi Falls. The trek was quite tiring for most of us. But some from the group were pretty smart and trekked real fast and reached the falls and chilled in the cold water for eternity. The rest of us trudged along like zombies-all zonked out. After a jump into the Arsina water and enjoying the pressure of the water on our sore bodies, we had lunch (which was carried by Chandan our dentist guide). All of us famished souls ate the veg pulav to our heart's content. Looking at the trek back there was mixed emotions among the group. Some felt ecstatic and some, like me, felt like homicide. Nonetheless we all trudged back again to the bus. Life was good again when we all sat in the bus resting our worn-out bodies.
We decided to go to the famous Mookambika Temple on our wayback to the camp and saw the deity at the special darshan. We enjoyed watching the Kerala style Architecture of the temple, temple dancers, the more than 900 lamps structure, people, etc.A few of us (Somansh, Spider, Purnatha, Tushar, Thakur, and me) got held up and delayed going back to the bus because of some change in plans and the bus left us leaving behind two informers to tell us that it will return soon for a pickup(Ragavendra and Nataraj). The bus did come back for us and we reached the camp passing thru the “starry-starry night”. Spider was trying to figure out the constellations and teach me as well. Thanks dude I learnt "a lot". - I need to add my view on this. The sky was literally filled with stars that night and we could see it clearly, thanks to the pitch darkness in the camp owing to the non-availability of electricity.
After reaching the campsite we freshened up for the nth time in the day. During dinner, we had some performances from each of us. Tapori’s dance, Joshi’s “aanke wali”, Tushar’s pole dance, Hetal and Purnatha’s ghazals, Romit, Thakur and Kowshik’s Sholay dialogues, Somansh’s guitar, my mime of my boss, and so on. We hit the sleeping sacks at about 1am. Of course a few of us (Mr.Antakshri, Spider, Uncle & Aunty duo and yours truly) sneakily stayed awake till 2:30am singing songs.
Sunday - May 1st, 2005
The camp woke up by 5:30am and we were all ready by 6am (we shocked Spider as he thought we’d be late). Some from the group are indebted to Tapori, for it was her early morning cackle that woke them up and remained awake and I was unfortunate to have not heard her! We had breakfast and had some photo ops (making of Charlie's Angels). Sriram (alias Spider) finally managed to shepherd us all together into the bus and we headed straight for the kayaking spot. The thirty of us were divided into two groups. The plan was that while one group would be kayaking the other would be doing the rope activities and after lunch we'd switch. The group I was with, did the rope activity first and spider's group went for kayaking. It was fun with all the guys guarding their “family jewels” during the rope walking and the girls having a good laugh. Meanwhile Spider's group was having fun at kayaking on the river.
Spider's account of his kayaking experience - The whole group after our practice went for kayaking in rapids. We went through many rapids one by one and in one of them romit and his mate Scorpion King(a.k.a pradip) erred and their kayak capsized leaving romit behind in the water. Luckily we were all wearing life jackets and he was picked up from the river by one of the instructors. After that eventful episode we all returned back to camp for Lunch and ropeactivities.
Lunch was extremely yummy and by then the other half of the group had returned from their kayaking (not to forget that Pradeep and Romit’s kayak had capsized). Now it was our turn to go kayaking. After getting the necessary instructions from Dev, (Greek god for the women folk, and guardian angel for all), basically our instructor, we proceeded with a little bit of practice of kayaking and then we headed straight for the rapids. Somansh and I were the boat 1 and we went right ahead carving the path for the others. We were initially terrified (or at least I was) about how the whole thing went about. At every pit stop Somansh kept reminding me "kyun tension le rahi hai, enjoy nature" and I finally let go of the tension and enjoyed nature only after the fourth rapid. I would say we did equal paddling; maybe he did a few strokes more than me. We finished kayaking at about 4pm and were waiting for the bus and the rest of the group to come and join us. Few of us took a light shower under some sprinklers in some one's garden. They must have scared the owner off. We all had tea at a local shop near where the bus had been parked, changed into dry clothes, had the last few photos taken by Shyam and team and then we left to Bangalore via Mangalore.
On the way we had an awesome and breathtaking three-hour gaana-mela where everyone, except a few shy ones, danced on top of a red box (our improvised stage). Tapori and I kept frequenting the stage as fillers. the plus ones' danced too with their respective counter parts and the official couple (Bala and Anita) took the trophy away with their waltz. Gireesha stunned us again with an on stage performance. Life was good again when we stopped at Mangalore for some "pette puja" (dinner). The non-veggies and veggies chose their respective hotels for their dinner and we met back at the bus in an hour. Now, I think for the first time no one moved and went straight to sleep.
Monday 2nd May, 2005
Most of us woke up at about seven and realized that we've reached Bangalore. The awesome trip had come to and end. The bus dropped people off at points near to their homes and headed straight to JFWTC.
Conclusion and Moral of the Story:
The trip was freakin' hot, sweaty, exhausting - but what the hell we all lived our lives to the fullest during these days! Kudos to the Sponsors JFWTC for the transportation and the organizers and the entire group for making it a big success.
Due acknowledgements to Vinu Paul Manikathan, a.k.a Cononut, for this trip diary and also her involvement in creating our photo gallery of the trek. Please click on this link for photos of the trip http://photos.yahoo.com/trip2005may Pictures speak a thousand words

3 comments:

sathya said...

kool..so u had good fun eh...

vinu said...

nice.............nice..........enjoyed reading it again.........

Vinu a.k.a. coconut/avial/DVD

Freedom's my name... said...

Hey good yaar... You had a good number of people with you... am sure must have been great fun