Another Awesome monsoon experience.
Monsoon mesmerizes nature lovers. Forest becomes lively after dry days of summer. trees turn green, streams over flows, water falls brims with the beauty and grass lands become like well maintained golf course. Over all its a treat to our eyes. But there is a rider ! we can experience all this beauty only if we over come leechophobia !!! :p.
After many years of our association with our jungle friends (!!!), we have researched best repellent which will keep t
hese intelligent parasites at bay!. Though we have many solutions like lime paste, tobacco, salt etc to avoid leech, best solution is to apply some pain balms like amruthanjan, zandu balm vicks etc., These pain balms have strong odour and also they are very oily,
so when its raining the solution we apply wont get washed away easily and lasts long.Coming back to our monsoon mania, As usual we wait for the monsoon to see the glory of the forest every year. This year luckily monsoon has set in at right time without delay. For the last few years monsoon had been elusive in the June and even in July. But this time we have bountiful rain in June itself. Many requests us to plan for monsoon trekking. So this time too there were some requests.
Then started planning for a monsoon trek. Thought of doing some exclusive trek. For quite sometime we had not trekked to meghane peak. This is because forest department was not permiting. Few years back some hunters from bhatkal had hunted GAUR for meat and then thet were transporting the meat. At Nagavalli forest checkpost they were stopped for checking. Then suddenly hunters whipped out weapons and attacked forest guards. There were serious injury to the guards but there was no casualty. After this they had stoped permitting stran
gers to enter the peak and surrounding.
This time i managed to get permission and started off the preparation. When announced in the forum, got lot of response, but final count was 9 in the gang. We booked the ticket in Linganamakki bus. All of us met at mejestic bus stand. There was one goof up i had done, when i was sending out mail i had typed a wrong mobile num ! . So everyone were struggling to reach me. Trekmate Deepak had almost hope of catching up with us...! some how all us met. But there was bad news one of the girl dropped off in the last moment!. Still managed to sell the ticket reservation though lost little amount in the bargain. Bus started off at 9:45pm from mejestic. There was one foreigner in the gang. Mr.Mamoun is from comoros island. He was very adoptive and talkative. Soon we all became friends and chatted for a while. Mamoun sat with me and we chatted for a long about culture , politics etc all about our nations. But could not tolerate sleep any more ...
Rain god showed no mercy and intensified further. By the time we reached
Nagavalli forest checkpost , ran had given break for a while. We quickly distributed the grocery among all trekkers to be carry it in their
backpack and submitted the permission letter to the guard there and started off trek. Rain just started pouring again. As mentioned earlier, meghane hill is one of the highest in the valley. The peak assent is really challenging to any seasoned trekkers. Moreover, now the condition was most in hospitable as it was raining heavily over top and leaches were having feast down on the legs. As advised by me trekkers had applied amruthangen, so though leeches were coming on shoes they did not bite most of them. But fellow trekkers were so scared of them and started removing religiously. The assent got tough as we progressed. Couple of trekkers were lagging behind and i had to be with them.
Reached kargal by morning 6:30 AM. Had a nice sleep and was fresh. I had requested for a jeep to drop us to the trek starting point a day prior. So jeep came in 10 minutes without delay. All of us got in to jeep. We reached muppane nature camp where breakfast was ready. As there were other groups for trek and water sports, break fast was ready for all. We were the first group to reach camp. Trekkers got busy with morning ablution.. By then Breakfast was ready and everyone had sumptuous breakfast. Got ready and were all packed to jeep. Then the rain god started showing up and as the time progressed, it was just hell broke loose.. ! It just rained like hell. We stopped at kogar forest office and submitted letter of permit and moved towards Nagavalli.
Rain started pouring with more intensity. As rain has muddied the water, some trekkers fell short of drinking water. for sometime it caused a problem. Luckily there was a small pond
constructed for wild animals. We found a streak coming out under a stone. it was crystal clear water. We collected some water and moved on. After a while were able to see the sky !!!.. Till now from the bottom of the hill we were never able to see the sky as the thick canopy of tree were blocking it. There we found a beautiful green patch filled with budding grass. But we were barely see anything as thick fog formation covered us. The visibility was nil !!!. So though it was disappointing as we were not able view the entire valley, but it was a nice feeling to be in cloud, feeling like floating along with the cloud.
Soon rain started pouring. As we were open area we could not tolerate the pour. So we thought of trekking down. But there was a hitch. We could not make out the way down!. Though i had done this trek many times long before, with the thick fog i was totally confused. But we started searching for the way. We took almost an hour to come to conclusion for the way. There was one more problem, we had not had lunch!!. All of were getting hungry. Rain was not letting us to cook and eat. Finally we found a way out to down and started going down.
Many were tired to the core. It was very steep way while going down. Knees were aching like hell. And the problem of leech just got worse
while going down. Our ways was filled with knee deep water. It was skidding. Some how we managed to reach ONTI MANE (single house). Our cook sridhar went and asked landlord to permit us to stay put for the night. He happily agreed. It was a big relief and every one got in to house and changed the dress. By then Our cook sridhar prepared the hot tea. It was a amrutha at that time for all us. Within no time our cook prepared lunch (at 5pm) and it was yummy. All of had nice lunch. The sambar was just amazing. We thought we will continue the trek to next onti mane, but we decided against it as it was raining still. Our cook was preparing for the dinner, so we sat and had a chat session. And outside it was pouring without break. By 10pm , dinner was ready. Sridhar had prepared nice dinner.
Though there was a problem with the bisi bele baath, other things were very yummy specially payasa. We finished dinner and we had no patience to sit anymore as we were damn tired and slept off.
Next morning woke up and had a morning cuppa. Got freshen up. by then breakfast was ready. It was a raagi and rice dosas along with the brinjal chutney. It was yummy breakfast. We thanked the land lord and moved towards our next destination. The pouring continued without break. We had to change our plan to reach the new falls as the streams were all full and brimming. So we trekked towards basavana baayi. Reached the falls and had fun time. It was time to pack off. Our cook was preparing lunch at a house near by. We reached the house and had nice lunch. Called a taxi and reached Kargal. It got delayed a bit and some had to miss the reserved bus. All buses were full, luckily we got some bus with last row of seat. Reached bangalore with great memories of mother natures hues and colors in the monsoon. All the time we were there in the valley, it just poured like anything. Linganamakki dam got almost 5ft of water in 3-4 days. its a record of sort.
Link for photos of the trek:-
NOTE:- As few more Trekkers want to trek in this route, We have it again on 16/17th July 2011. So if anybody wants to do this route, please mail back asap.