Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Talakona Trek

I alight at the ‘IN’ gate at Koyembedu looking for souls with portly backpacks waiting to escape the urban madness and head into blissful wilderness. I spot this petite lady with a backpack half her size and shout out: Me: Chennai Trekkers Club? - Her: Yeah! /  Me: Where’s every one else? Its close to departure time! Her:  No clue ..  looking for them!

After the regulation head counts, enthusiastic introductions and distribution of our dinner packs we start out on our way. It takes quite a long time to beat the Ambattur traffic and after a few snarls, we are finally on National Highway 205 en route to Talakona. The journey has begun.

Our first pit stop was on the T.N – A.P border where we stopped for the toll tax. It was here that our CTC member Arul Kelvin spotted an Indian Krait. Alas, it was run overL. Irony that CTC had organized a Snake walks earlier that day. Arul dutifully shifted the snake to the edge of the highway. Good work mate.

We continued with our drive. After Tirupati, the real fun starts! For those of us who know ‘Sai’ – he kept our group rolling in laughter and everybody indulged in wholesome leg pulling sessions! Every few kilometers were punctuated with calls to our guide asking ‘Talakoa ekkada?’ Given the fact that our destination was deep routed it was indeed an arduous task finding our reserve forest destination. But like everything else, CTC pulled it off and found its way to the base camp at Talakona at 2.00 A.M Saturday morning. After a tiring journey, our sprits were no way tired and we chatted till about 2.45 A.M deciding whose gonna sleep where before we finally retired for the day..err.. previous day.

The next morning, post Idly, Vada, Pongal and some tea, we started the trek.

A 1 k.m. pathway leads to the base from where you start the actual ascent. Once the ascent started, the entire group split into 3-4 groups and of course everybody fell silent, conserving energy to the stepped climb. The climb was an all in all a good one, except for may be a few paces, but still moderate by CTC standards. Mid why through our ascent, the sounds of water fall greet us and pepped up our sprits. A few moments later, we are greeted by a small stream that joins the bigger water fall down under. For many of us, we were tasting water from a running stream out in the open for the first time and everyone sweared that they had’nt tasted water better than this! It was yummy. After drinking to our tummies content and some photo ops we headed to the first water fall.

'Wow' is the word. Picture post card perfect may be an alternative word. 

A pool of magnificent turquoise water with a beautiful water fall greeted us. Surrounding it from three sides were 100 M high rise and sharp edged cliffs. Of course, the next had to happen. All the 28 of us jumped into the pool and waded like a bunch of happy water buffaloes. Such bliss! The little dose of tiredness that any of our group members might have had vanished. The water was freaking cold and people seemed forget this in the wave of infectious solitude that the group experienced. Poor Arun had a cut from one of the sharp under water rocks dotting the entire pool. A good one hour plus later we managed to pull our selves out of the water and head higher up into the small hills. Post lunch, we walked close to 2 km up there to visit a colonial bunglow, but a passing forest official played spoilsport. Anyway, we began our journey downwards. It was a stepped descent and a bit steep at places.

The water fall that greeted us now was the mother fall! Yeah! Again, we wasted no time in getting our skin under the mighty fall.

Now folks, you have to take every word that I say now literally. The forceful water chunks hitting our backs from over 100 feet felt like some one walloping you with a blunt pieces of iron! We screamed our lungs out and held on to each other. We were drenched to the bone. And further more. It was exhilarating. It was a moment that bowled everyone over. The expression of child like enthusiasm and sheer gusto upon being in all watery wilderness had to be seen on the faces of out CTC members to be believed! Added to this were gusty winds that sprayed water all over you like no other. I am short of expressions at this moment. It was like facing a good thunderstorm in a radius of 20 feet! (Oh, there is where Shubha did a smart thing. She came under the water falls wearing a rain coat. Not that it made a difference, but beat that I say J )

We started our downward ascent now and headed back to our base camp to start our onward journey to Chennai. We caught dinner at Tirupati and after a few pit stops on NH 205 reached Chennai at around 2.00 A.M  (I didn’t notice a single remotely tired soul. The water sure is therapeutic and fools your muscle into believing they did nothing all day)   

We were hit and drenched to the bone. And did we enjoy it! 

Trek pics:


Ram said...

After reading ur piece..i guess i missed a fabulous trekkin experience..anyways..thx for the heads-up you gave me for this..couldn make it owing to my own trek into the spiritual world of reiki !...cant wait for the next trekkin experience !!

Sleepy said...

nice pic

Deepak G said...

hey dude wr is this place gonna be in vijayawada from 21st dec if its somewr closeby probably i can go..and next time do tell me in advance of such trips...wl try to make it...

sansmerci said...

great pics! i cheked them out yday itself.. i thought i left a comment :) looks like u had a loada fun eh

i dono wat all u do... all-rounder i c .. and u say ur blog isnt readworthy uh ...;)

Archana said...

Hey Baidik....if u like guys like to trek again i would suggest one more place...........Its called sreally wonderful place to go.....try it out some time....and yeah nice writeup abt Talakona....its really a wornderful place to trek and u made me a bit nostalgic...