A memorable trek with a unique group
In our country there are so many problems, issues, crisis etc., Though Most of them are solvable easily, we make them complex and live with them !. In the olden days nature of problems were different, like mostly it used to be related to eking out livelihood. But now we must say we have almost come out of this problem atleast in urban areas today with economy booming. Especially after IT/BT and other export related economy boom, we have almost solved the livelihood problems. But in this process there are many issues which have come up. Among these new type of problems are disappearing of joint family living concept is a serious one as it creates emotional problems. With this problem seriously affected are our elderly people. Though many of our elderly people have no problem financially, problem is activity less, loneliness life disturbs them a lot emotionally.
Many of us sheds crocodile tears for them but ultimately only few come forward to help them. "Ananda Balaga" is one such informal group, is doing great service by involving elderly people in activities like Trekking, Camping and trips to many interesting places in all over country.The group has covered many himalayan trek routes like Manasa sarovar, aadhi kailas, pindari glacier etc., and also they have explored many routes in our own wetsern ghats. This group was started by Anand sir, who has retired from Government services. He is a nature lover himself and he is the motivational force behind this group. As i have trek organizing experience, i must say its toughest job to put people together...!. Still anand sir does mind going through this process.
In the month of April "Ananda Balaga" approached me for the camping/water sports in sharavathi backwater. I happily agreed and we had a great camping time for 3 days. It was most memorable association for 3 days with great minds assembling in one place. For our luck we had a cultural fest also. Gubbagodu , near by village to our camipng place, had a annual utsava and cultural evening. The group had a chance to enjoy the cultural programs.
After the camping program, Anand sir was planning for a trek from ling time in sharavathi valley. Finally they decided to trek and fixed the dates for 29/30th August and as suggested by me we planned to trek in our ace route Basavana baayi-->belligundi -->goodanagundi falls route. After all yes-no-yes group size became 20 people. I requested him to organize private vehicle to reach the trek starting point as going by bus will waste precious morning time. Accordingly TT was arranged. I requested group to leave bangalore as easrly as possible, so that we can reach trek starting point early and start off trek. It was anounced that departure time is 9:00pm but as usual we left by 10:00 pm by 1 hour lag. We reached Kattinakar by 7:30. On the way from sagar itself, it was raining heavily...indicating whats there in store for us for next 2 days. We were lucky, by the time we reach kattikanakar, rain had taken a break and allowed us to finish daily routines and freshen up. After we freshened up , hot masala idlis were ready for the breakfast. Dharma as usual had prepared nice masala idli and sambar with chutney. All of us had breakfast n as usual kashaya and tea. Took a drop till hogevaddi and started off the trek to the basavana baayi which was our first destination without wasting time. Trekkers were so scared of leeches..!! couple of yards trek, red zone for many started !!.. leeches started having a great feeding fest !. Some did not bother much for the leech but many started removing them... But i must say leeches are the most intelligent parasites on earth ! :). By the time they remove in one part they used climb in other part...in the end they never escaped the sting !. With blood stained legs, finally we made it to the Bsavana baayi. First thing everybody did is to remove the shoes and deleech the legs..!. After a while we decided to move to the falls. As it had rained heavily, stream which we had to cross to reach the falls was full and brimming. With our guides help everyone crossed and reached the falls. As usual it was amazing scene, everyone just plunged in to the falls and pulled everyone who were scared in to it. Everybody enjoyed for quite some time and had to return as everyone was hungry. By then Dharmanna had prepared a nice lunch, wasted no time and had lunch nicely.
After the lunch, we split the group in to two based on individuals interested and capability to trek. One will take tougher route to reach our night halt tribal house and other will take easy route. I went with a tougher route. We usually dont trek on trails..we just barge in and make our own trails. So we started off the trek in the dense forest towards kendollare peak. Trekkers were all fine on trek front but many were scared of leeches. After seeing their plight, i directed manju, our guide to change the course and make to the plain land instead of the thick jungle. So we avoided kendollare peak and came to plain of nakkalu village. As there was still time we decided to climb a small peak and then descent to the kanchigadde majnanna's house where we were supposed to halt. in the plain there were no leech so every one were thrilled but rain started pouring. Trekkers did not bother for the rain and we climbed the "hoovina bare"peak. After spending couple of minutes on the peak, we started the descent as it was getting dark. It was about half an hour trek and we were there in the house where we had to camp. it was so chill. Narayana had sensed the situation and had put up a small camp fire. All of us had a small warm up session and by then hot tea / kashaya along with Hot Mirchi bajji were served. It was a great relief to warm like in this fashion. After little relaxation there came call for dinner. Menu was nice pulav, chapti and payasa...everyone enjoyed the food. As we were tired, went to the sleep early and opened eyes only in the morning!. By then bed tea was ready and we hall had tea.Rain god was kind enough and had taken a break..so we all ran in different direction in the forest behind the house to get freshen up...! we wasted no time and started off the trek.
Looks like rain god finished the break and started pouring heavily..but we did not bother for him much and we trekked towards padubeedu, where we supposed to have breakfast.The trek trail from kanchi gadde and padubeedu has a beautiful grass lands. These grass lands are treat to the nature lovers. They look like well maintained golf course !!!. By the time we reach padubeedu Dharma had prepared akki rotti and badane kaayi chatney...all of us had stomach full rotti. Again we wasted no time and started off trek to our next trek point, goodananagundi falls. It was again trail in the thick jungle. People found it tough to wade through. Leeches had a feast day in this trail..!.But everyone made it to the falls. As it had rained heavily, falls can be seen from far only. It was mejestic falls, i call it as Nayagara of our state. Specially the background and stream way and the rock formation around the falls is amazing. Everyone enjoyed the falls view and started the trek back. On the way we took deviation and went to the stream just above falls and some swam for some time there.
After this falls view we started trek to the belligundi falls. coming back was bit easy, everybody trekked well. We reached belligundi view point and we were lucky, the valley was clear. otherwise many times in rainy season, valley gets covered and will not get cleared for hours. Belligundi view is just amazing, its very artistic background attracts a lot. we spent lot of time over there. after photo shoot we decided to trek back to padubeedu. By the time we were back, yummy lunch was ready. We hogged like anything. Rain god did not show any mercy, he was at his fierce as possible. After the lunch we trekked back to kattinakar. As it was chill weather, we decided to have a hot tea and kashaya. After the tea party, we said bye to narayana and co...started off journey back to bangalore.
It was memorable trek in many ways..It was nice group of various background and different age group. All thanks to anand sir for putting together such a nice people.
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