Sunday, January 4, 2009

A Happy Full Stop to the Year contd...

Masinagudi Day II

Sunday morning, even when it was yet pitch dark, I decided to venture out of the resort. As I reached the gate, I found myself staring at 2 deer which were hardly 6 feet away from me. It seems they weren’t expecting me just like how I didn’t expect them. They scurried their way back into the forest as I walked back to the room to share my experience with others. At 6:30 we were all set to go on a trek. We were a group of 11 people and 2 guides. The initial phase was the same trail that Karthik and I had discovered the previous day. We crossed the waterfront and moved on to the other side. The guide said he could hear elephants on our path and hence we had to change our route a bit. The trail was getting tougher and the forest, denser. There were thorny shrubs at eye level, trees had marks of leopard claws, the ground cluttered from place to place with animal bones. But the best was yet to come. As we cautiously inched ahead, we saw this HUGE skull of a bison. I wished so much to bring back atleast a small bone but I didn’t want to against the wish of the guide.

As the slopes got steeper, my fear was getting the better of me. I needed help every few minutes. I started cursing myself on having started on this expedition despite knowing that I am scared of slopes. But just as I felt it was thankless to be there, we reached a waterfall. There was still water below as the waterfall was diverted by huge rocks. Our tour guide encouraged us to wade through the water to the rocks ahead saying the water was only knee-deep. Karthik and I were the first 2 to yield. We jubilantly pulled up our jeans upto our knees lest they get wet, and set foot into the water. The water was ice-cold and soon my legs went numb. As we moved forward, the water grew deeper. The water reached a little above my knees and I tried to balance myself on a wooden log under the water. And suddenly, Splash!! I fell from the log right into the water, drenched upto my waist. Thankfully Karthik was within reach and I gripped him for support. Our enthusiasm propelled Kishore and Hamsa who joined us into the water soon. We spent about quarter of an hour sitting on the rocks below the fall and then returned. After a short photo session, we moved on.

We continued further up to the peak of the hill. At one point the guide said that the climb would get steeper on ahead and people who were doubtful of their capabilities should stay back there. 10 out of 11 wanted to go further. Yes, you guessed right... I was the only one who wanted to stay behind. But again, Karthik wouldn’t let me stay. He persisted that I join them up and ensured that he would help me all the way up and down. The sight from above was lovely. We had a view of the entire ranges of Mudumalai. After a short halt on top, we returned back to the resort.

After a quick wash, we checked out of the resort and moved on to Bandipur. Post lunch, we went for another Safari. Here we weren’t any luckier, we only saw deer, deer and deer again. Some little mongoose and eagle here and there were like an incentive for having come so far. After the safari, our glorious trip was coming to a close; we were on our way back to Bangalore. Mostly everyone fell asleep in the car except for Karthik and me who didn’t waste a single minute. We went on and on and on talking non-stop such that we weren’t even bothered where we had reached.

Our chatter only ended when we reached Karthik’s house at 9:30. By the time I was home, it was past 10. No energy left in me, I directly hit the bed only to wake up to the alarm next morning. It was a trip that I didn’t look forward to before I went coz I didn’t know too many people who joined us. But it is definitely one of my most memorable ones after I returned.

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