Sunday, August 26, 2007

Been there, done that, what next ?

If I ever go on to write a 'trekologue', this would definitely qualify as one of the most eventful treks that i have undertaken. For one, most of us were not prepared mentally for Siddhagad. Secondly, none of us had bothered looking up the details about Siddhagad. Been there and done that, as i googled for more information about Siddhagad, this was one piece of advice that almost every website had to offer, 'It is very dangerous to go during monsoons as the route is very slipppery and there are thorn bearing trees along the route'. We did exactly opposite to what the doctor prescribed.

But fortune favoured the brave. And you are getting to read a trekking account full of gore and accidents that could have turned out to be fatal. The group comprised, as one passerby aptly summed up, "Typical IIT crowd. 1 girl for 8 guys". The best part was that, belying my own expectations, i did better than a few other group members. A very promising early morning start ensured that we got to the base camp pretty quickly. Breakfast comprised some Maharashtra special bhajias which for reasons beyond my normal human comprehension, most people tend to savour a lot. I had to make do with Parle G which tastes only delta better.

If i go into all the details, i might as well end up writing a travelogue which hardly anyone would bother reading . So i would talk about a few inci-dents that stand out.

Death trap1: Gawande, freshly out of a BMC (Basic Mountaineering Course), was itching to prove his superior trekking skills to the lesser mortals . And it didn't take long before an opportunity presented itself before him. There was a rivulet, not a river, flowing which had to be crossed. The villager on the other side of the rivulet warned us not to enter the waters at the point where the flow was relatively strong. Still high on heavy doses of BMC and dying to prove his mettle, Gawande entered the waters exactly where the flow was the strongest. Within a matter of few seconds, he was down in the water and the water carried him along for the next 12 to 15 feet of vertical descent . His arms were flailing wildly and there was a look of terror on his face. For a moment, we all thought that our trekking group would now be depleted of one member. Finally he managed to wriggle out of the water where the flow wasn't strong. Ego bruised but physically intact. The champion had been humbled and this showed for the rest of the trip :P This was our first encounter with death in a region full of 'death traps'. For the rest of the trek, we used the term 'maneater river' to refer to Gawande's nemesis

For the next hour, the trek couldn't have been more enjoyable. It was raining incessantly which helped to spruce up things further. Out of nowhere, waterfalls sprang up all over the place making it very slippery to tread on the rocks. But the party went on unabated, stopping every now and then at some waterfall . Getting soaked in the flowing water of the falls was pure bliss!
If you are reading this account and not getting jealous, trekking isn't your cup o' tea!

Death Trap2: Towards the summit, there was a vertical climb which was entirely made up of rocks. Monsoons had ensured that the rocks were as slippery as it gets. To do or not to do - that was the question. The heart egged us on while the head advised us against going for the kill. The two sensible ones in the group - Ameya and Shiksha backed off. Rest of the group inched forward. Time passed - minute after slow minute.Finally we were almost there. The view from the summit was awe inspiring. I have never seen something more beautiful than this. This was even better than walking in the clouds. It was a brilliant mix of red earth, the pouring rains and the ghostly clouds. We drank in all that like a heady wine

But for time, we could have stayed on forever. The mere thought of the descent gave us goosebumps. With lots of trepidation, we started the descent. And this turned out to be worse than what we had imagined. One wrong step and you would be plumetting into the valley leaving behind no trace. We maintained enough gap between each other to ensure that if one person takes a dive, he doesn't take the entire gang along with him. Sai led the descent. When we finally reached the spot where Shiksha and Ameya awaited us, we were simply euphoric. More Parle Gs followed. Strangely enough, they tasted relatively better. The last part of the descent was easily accomplished and we reached our base camp where the villagers were outrageously helpful. Few photosessions at the village followed. The remainder of the journey was not uneventful though. The group got split up into two. And the two subgroups followed two different routes. As it turned out, neither of the groups had taken the right path. Another misfortune befell our group when we were suddenly attacked by a pack of buffaloes who apparently got pissed off when i wanted to click their photographs. What ensued was a 'charge' where a few buffaloes took a special liking for Shiksha and went for her. She darted for cover and outran the buffaloes holding onto her dear life.
After following various false trails, we finally managed to hit the right track. Walking in knee deep dirty water full of excreta of all possible organisms (including humans), we finally managed to reach the base camp. The other group had not made it to the base as yet. The next few minutes were minutes full of anxiety for us. Meanwhile the news of Gawande's heroic stunt had spread like wild fire in the village. While we waited nervously for the other group, Gawande regaled the audience with stories about how he had 'deliberately' committed that act of bravery.

The arrival of the other group ended the trek on a happy note. Incredibly tasty (anything tastes incredibly tasty when you survive 12 hours on Parle G) non-veg dinner followed.

Now that i am a veteran of three treks, i would definitely dub this as the most eventful, the toughest but the most enjoyable trek of my life. Now the question is.. been there, done that, what next?

Trek Details
Date: 25th August (Saturday)
Venue : Siddhagad
Team: Sai, Shiksha,Das,Ameya,B Dot,Kris,Gawande,Mittal and I(Arunabh)


SaIk said...

well written is the least i can say .... btw gawande had fallen more than 12, 15 feet down ...... and we came the right was the other group that lost the way :P....

Anonymous said...

Hey arunabh
Whats been happening? I wasn't checking your blog for sometime and you dint even tell me about the updates.. i am just so damn angry .. phooh phooh phooh ~!!!
That aside, you have been writing just too bloody too good these days.
Gore was something tht i missed altho ya got me high when ya so started off :P
keep trekkin, keep bloggin, keep informin also! .. phooh phooh


Anonymous said...

What the bloody..?!?(m angry#@!#) What! it seems as if you gain so much confidence by outperforming "some members" of the gang.
written very well though. hail u and the buffaloes.

arunabh said...

I stand corrected. Have also corrected my mistake in the post :)
Waah.. yes we sure came the right way. And thts why it took us ages to finally reach the base camp :P
Keep visiting :)

abbe i am so sorry.. it just slipped out of my mind.
Well how bloody do i thank u for those bloody praises? There was just so much gore involved that i decided to abstain from mentioning it lest it shud scare off the faint hearted readers.
Keep visitin and keep commentin :)

@shiksha ( i assume its shiksha mantri)
Arre u got me wrong! Do this.. next time we go for a trek, u also bring along someone who is even worse at trekking thn you are ( though i am not sure if its possible to find such a person :P)
Then you will experience for yourself the feeling ;)
Fir bhi sorry.. unintentional tha:(
Keep visiting:)

RainMan said...
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Anonymous said...

okay this is for your ego boost: other gurls are WORSE. trust me.
and it hurts even more it wasnt intentional . [:P]
yeah yeah u guessed it right,

SaIk said...

how sick u dont even realise we came the right way... man u shudnt be ever left alone then :P ... if u were a bit faster we would have reached hours earlier :P ... and yeah the second pic looks like a happy couple with its small family !!

Anonymous said...

Since eeryone says so.. dis must b quite wow i guess ;)
So i rain the wows upon ya.. tht shd do ?

~vardaan was here

Anonymous said...

Well thtz a pretty cutez narrative
u lovez getting sarcaztic naa?
But how on this bloody fucked up earth (delhi doeznt gimme a chance to trek ya :( )do u manage to go on zo many trekz?
But the dezcription zurely rocked:)
Keep movin around n keeb bloggingz
and take good care of yourzelf delicate guy:)


kritzmat said...

hah! great read!! love your descriptions man... theyre realistic n witty. n yes sarcastic which helps lol. wasnt too difficult to visualize... ppl bein carried away by rivulets, being chased by buffaloes... nice! :D

arunabh said...

Ohh thanks for tht wonderful piece of info... more girls next time :P
keep visiting :)

I ws deliberately walking slowly to enable the 'slower' members of the group to catch up and nt get under undue pressure;)And voila! it worked :D
yeah i know the kind of kick u get out of observing and commenthing upon things when they are actually are straight
keep visiting :)

arunabh said...

yups .. done
u can consider a revisit ;)

Thts why this is mumbai. We have the western ghats. Wht do you have ?
Try out the lotus temple may be ;)
Or may be.. you can walk the entire preimeter of pragati maidan to get a trek like feeling :P
keep vizitingz :P

Ohh thanks and thanks.
But when u go on a trek there is bound to be so much fun... i just try to do justice to wht actually happened.
But believe me, it was much more fun
keep visiting :)

kritzmat said...

lol wil do...n u dun forget to do the same! :)

Yashika Totlani said...
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Yashika Totlani said...

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha =))

Hilarious account of your third trek! My favourite picks(two this time!)-
1) "Breakfast comprised some Maharashtra special bhajias which for reasons beyond my normal human comprehension, most people tend to savour a lot. I had to make do with Parle G which tastes only delta better."

2)"a few buffaloes took a special liking for Shiksha and went for her. She darted for cover and outran the buffaloes holding onto her dear life."


Okay laughing aside... made for an incredibly enjoyable read!! Although you kept mentioning how slippery and dicey the whole trek was, your way of writing is so light-hearted and smooth that its difficult to take it all seriously, at times!! Anyway... i AM jealous of all your expeditions and now craving to go on MY first trek soon :( You fortunate pig... already have 3 treks to your account :((

Hmmm... also glad that your 'near death experience' proved to be this eventful and entertaining :)

P.S. See I keep my promises :D

Just for the record:
-5th sept 2007