Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Day 2 : Stretching the limits..

We got up early and started off to the mainland after dismantling the tent and other stuff. The early morning ride was really awesome. Weather was simply gorgeous with the sun shinning its golden rays through the clouds and giving it a fine blend of colors. Mist was there all over the place. In addition, the high rise mountains and it’s reflections in the placid water was like a perfect painting...

After a tasty breakfast of puttu and kadala it was time for the Ponmudi trek which was around 1100 mts high. I had my own apprehensions about it mainly coz of the story from Simanta about the leeches. Also I was not sure of my health and fitness level as I was on medication for quite sometime. Anyway everyone ignored my reasoning as lame excuses and so by 10.30 we started our trek (tho we were supposed to start at 6.30 am!!). The climb was not very difficult except for the leeches who gleefully welcomed us :(  The route was definitely interesting with dense forest, some stream crossing, interesting creatures, rare flowers etc. Our guides were giving us gyaan about the different trees, medicinal plants, it’s uses and all on the way.

 By around 1.30 we reached a clearing from where we could see the chimony dam. We then thought we have almost reached the top and slowed down a little. After a while thick fog surrounded the entire place and it was lovely… But only then we realized that we were no were near the top and had to hurry up. The climb further was becoming bit difficult also. Our guides asked us to be in a close group as well since the visibility was greatly reduced coz of the fog.

Once we reached near a stream we had packed lunch and continued our ascent. By around 3.30 we reached the summit. It seems on clear days we can see three dams from that point and that view was supposedly very breathtaking. But unfortunately for us it was little foggy (Although it had a beauty of its own). The mist was clearing fast but we couldn't stay there for long as it was quite late…

Soon we started our descent. We took a different route which was shorter but little steeper. All of us were tired and so the pace was not very fast. Our guide wanted us to cross two difficult parts before 5 and we were struggling to do that. Anyway we somehow managed that part and they said the difficult part was over (in terms of steepness) But for us it just began!! The route seemed never ending.. :(

It was getting dark and there were symptoms of a heavy rain. The ranger was getting anxious and was asking us to hurry up as there is a possibility for the elephants to charge us. But as JK rightly said “In that case you run and take care of yourself. None of us are going to run even if it happens. This is the max pace that we can walk in the current situation”. For me I was loosing my strength and was finding it difficult even to balance. Many a times I had to depend on JK. So was the state of Rashmi. Pint and Sid was helping her. Pint was saying “Even I’m tired and I can imagine the state of you ppl”. Sid was like “I’m stretching my limits”. Rash was continuously asking “Can I be tired” but KK’s diplomatic answer was “I have faith in you”. I really pity the state of boys. Although they themselves were tired, they had to take care of us also :( .

Soon night fell and it started pouring heavily and no umbrella (not that it would have made a difference). Since we never expected such a late return, we didn't have any torches and to make it worse - it was an “amavasya” night (new moon). The situation was abominable - pitch dark, dense forest, heavy rain, uneven ground and possible hidden dangers behind the bushes. Soon we had another hurdle to overcome – a stream crossing. Even before, we didn't have any idea where we were stepping. Now we don’t know what the depth is, whether the rocks are slippery and also how strong the current is!!! We somehow managed this also and soon I had the next set back. During the wayanad trip my leg was twisted and it was not completely cured. The same leg was twisted again and the cold made the pain worse :( .From there on I couldn't apply force on one leg and literally had to manage with one leg. After rambling in the dark like this for more than an hr we finally saw some light (of the jeep of-course  and a big crowd to receive us. The walkie-talkie was also not working and so they just couldn't contact us. They were clearly worried and were happy to see us back safe and sound (?). Anyway all of us were unanimous in saying that we stretched a little too much (tho KK won’t agree).

Anyway we soon reached IB, packed and bid adieu to the place taking with us some long lasting memories…

Info: Chimmony is 35 km. from Thrissur. There are buses from the North bus stand. If you are coming in your own vehicle, turn east at Amballur jn. Amballur is 11km. from Thrissur on the NH47 to Kochi. Chimmony is 24 km. from Amballur, the road end at Chimmony Dam.

PS: Far from the hustles and bustles of city, this place unleashes a whole new world of sunshine, fresh air, varieties of birds, trees, mountains, streams, flowers,… In short, Chimmony doesn't disappoint :)

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