Nope, it wasn’t a trip to hillstation. Have halted those kind of trips since quite sometime for the fear of the most wild animals – Human crowd. Lest I digress, let me start with the account of our wonderful trek from Bababudangiri to Kemmangundi.
Original plan was to start on Friday night(30th Dec 2011) and begin trek early in the next morning (31st Dec 2011). But due to some changes, my trek planmaker aka S decided that we can start early in the morning from Bangalore and still achieve what we wanted. Since it was a two day trek, there were no worries.
A friend stayed at our home on the night before and since it was a working day (Friday) we came back from office, packed for trek, cooked and had dinner and by the time we hit bed it was pretty late. The morning dawned too early, or thats how I felt. I actually feel that every day 😛 And the three of got ready and waited for another friend who was to join us after completing his night shift. No, he’s not a watchman. Thanks.
Our driver was pretty prompt and had arrived on time. With all our trek bags we got in the TT. Had packed 2 tents and 2 sleeping bags. We had to pick up others on the way. By 6:30 we had picked them up from old airport road, Yeshwantpura, Jalahalli. It was already light when the last pickup happened. Still our spirits were soaring high. Trek after a gap of week does that to you.
We stopped at Hotel Mayura near Bellur cross and had awesome breakfast. Wadas here are to die for. The next stop was Chikkamagaluru where we had to pick our lunch and a friend (who was bringing in another tent). We reached there by 10:30. Our friend’s mother insisted that we have the puri usuli that she had prepared accompanied by the famous Chikmaglur coffee. We picked the lunch and the friend and headed towards Mullayyanagiri/Kemmangundi checkpost. Here we have to buy a ticket. If there is police there will be more enquiry. Last time me and hubs went to Mullayyanagiri, we were questioned a lot by them. Learnt the real reason was that couples go there and do illegal stuff. Though enquiry is fair, its not efficient.
After buying a ticket we proceeded toward Bababudangiri. Reached there by 1:00 pm. Due to road construction, we had to stop a km or two away from the actual spot and from there started the trek. If you have been there you know how beautiful it is. Hills all around and add to it the chill in the air made me wrap my arms around myself. We donned our caps and wore the heavy bags and off we went marching. I was carrying a heavy bag during trekking for the first time and I should say I was more enthusiastic than others which had me at the front walking faster than the others. We reached a spot called GaaLikere after an hours walk. The place couldn’t have been named more aptly for there was a kere (lake) and plenty of gaaLi (windy) which threatened to take me with it. I thanked my heavy bag which kept me in place. We had our lunch here. Chapatis with pickles, jam and ketchup. I rolled up my piece and ate, not because it was easy, but because my other hand was busy holding the cap on my head. Some others followed suit. Fresh water was flowing from a hole to which a pipe was attached. We had sumptuous amounts of chilling cold fresh mountain water and proceeded towards our camping spot which I was excited to know was at 4hrs distance from here. It was already 2:30 and 4 hrs meant it would already be 6 when we would reach our camp site and it starts getting dark by 5:30. This is what excited me, that we had a mission.
As we walked up and down the hills, we didn’t find a soul. No others trekkers. We went through bushes where we couldn’t see our feet. I wore a jacket and hence missed getting scratched by the unforgiving thorns and rough stems. We had invaded their place, we had to endure the punishment. We got used to it though. We crossed a few streams on our way, so we could fill our bottles often and didn’t bother carrying a lot of water. After walking for around 3 hrs we spotted a tower, a mobile signal tower kind of a tower. And our navigator aka hubs said that is near to the campsite. That looked near enough, but was far on feet. After reaching a flat ground, which we found good for pitching a tent, the husband offered to cross another bush and stream to check the ground on the other side. And I wanted to go with him, just because I wanted to be done with crossing the thick bush and man, was it tough, the flexible twigs got tangled around my legs and I almost fell down when I noticed how steep it was just beside that small bush trail.
Ah what a sight awaited me at the other end. A flat ground having bushes and streams on both sides and a huge mountain behind. The beautiful stream which flowed into a shallow pool and the setting sun behind the mountain with a lone tree at the top. Words really can’t express how beautiful everything was. Me and S climbed the mountain with the lone tree to get some shots. I wanted to stay there and see the stars but we had more important things at hand like pitching tents and collecting firewood. Others had already started so we joined them. But not before getting some lovely shots with S’s Canon SX30. He has soon to graduate to an SLR.
Tents were pitched and our fire king (because he is incharge of lighting fire during treks) got the fire going and we started settling around it. We had planned for a barbeque and carried two barbeque skewers to see how it goes. I had carried veggies from home and put them to barbeque.