I dreamt about steep hills, thorny trees and slipping rocks last night. ‘Keep moving guys. Watch your step!’, echoed loudly in my ears. And I sat up suddenly. My entire body ached and my swollen ankle made me wince, giving me the realisation that it was just a dream. Such was the effect of my first trek on me. This amazing adventure-packed experience left more impeccable memories than I had ever imagined it would.
So we booked the trek to Channagiri hills, 70 kms away from the city, through Bangalore Mountaineering Club. We were so excited that we went for trek shopping the previous evening to get chocolate bars and energy drinks. With our bags stocked up and sport shoes, caps and sunglasses on, we left in the wee hours of Sunday morning for our first ever trek. The bus journey reminded me of school picnics when we used to be too excited to reach the destination. As we neared the trek base, tall wide mountains towered us, giving me chills!
Our athletic looking and funny trek guide explained us the rules. All of us introduced ourselves to our trekking group. Everyone looked excited and determined. That done, we started walking through the muddy, weedy paths. Gradually the paths started becoming narrower and steeper. In no more than 15 minutes, I was out of breath. The climb was becoming tougher with each step.
And our surroundings suddenly started becoming denser with a lot of wild trees, tall boulders and weed grasses. Unique insects were crawling around. I literally started doubting myself whether I would be able to complete the trek or not. Ours being the girl gang, we took selfies every 5 minutes or slumped down on the boulders, all exhausted and breathless. Sips of water and pieces of chocolates felt like the most heavenly things on earth! Our guide had to shout ‘Keep moving guys. We can do this!’ and we had to force ourselves to get up. As we started ascending the peak, the weather started becoming colder.
We huffed and puffed, sweated and crawled, but in 2 hours, after 4 kms, we could almost see the flag on the peak. It was so near! I literally felt I could just lie down on the way, it was that tiring. But the most amazing part was that all of us kept encouraging each other. ‘Bas thoda aur, come on Arya Stark!’, shouted someone, and I had this newly found energy.
With the last heave on the tallest and steepest boulder, I made myself stable and caught my breath. I turned around. And my hearth skipped a beat. The view was worth everything, worth all the strain, all the exhaustion. The land was far beyond, stretched to infinity. Full of trees, small lakes, tiny houses and brown land patches, the valley looked utterly beautiful. I was so proud of myself that I made it to the peak, was literally feeling like on the top of the world!
We had a break of an hour on the peak where we all ate a bit, drank energy drinks and then lied down, watching the big, blue sky, the wind hitting our faces. It was the moment in which I could have lived in forever! We took amazing group photos, talked and laughed and prepped ourselves for the trek downhill.
I was of the notion that trekking down would be very easy and not at all tiresome. So I confidently started walking down, putting steps on the stones. And a rock beneath my left foot suddenly slipped. I twisted my ankle and for a few seconds, the pain was horrible. The guide explained that we will have to take a grip before putting the foot down, because stones could be loose and slippery. With a little decreased pain, I continued walking more carefully.
The trek downhill by a new route turned out to be totally unexpected. We had to make a single line and pass through intensely dense thorny trees and itchy weeds. The ground could have invisible holes, huge stones or slippery roots anytime. We were all great friends by then and the first person in the line gave constant commentary, warning the people back of the coming threats. We gave each other hand, helping them through the scary paths. We slipped, we got scratched by the thorns and got hurt by boulders. But after a couple of hours, the land came closer.
We all hooted as our bus became visible. The ear-piercing scream, as we touched the ground, was so satisfactory and filled with happiness. I did it:D My first trek!! It was an amazing experience. By the time we reached home, my twisted ankle had swollen and it pained a lot. We were dusty and covered with thorns and wild flowers. But you know what? I am ready to get my other ankle twisted, ready to get more body aches and scratches, but I would love to do this more. 🙂 The experience and thrill is worth every single pain and more.
Bangalore has given me many firsts. But this one, it was something so different and so thrilling. Let me find my pain-relieving spray now. Lots to say still, laters! 🙂