Our journey began with a group of 30 members, starting at 5.00 am from Chennai by 2 Mini Vans. Pick up points were scheduled for everyone. This time Volunteers of Bhumi Lakshya had organised a trek to Nagala West , (150 km from Chennai )on the 15th of December 2013, Sunday. Before reaching the trek start point, we had our breakfast at amma’s shop. Dosas, idlys, vada curry, pooris, vada and pongal – name it and they have it. The lady in that shop fed us all like we were her house members.
One among us was an experienced trekker, Major Yogesh, who guided us throughout our journey. Surprisingly we had another guide “A watch dog” that accompanied us throughout the journey showing the right path. We shared eatables and started to trek around 8. We first climbed up a mount and found a beautiful blue lake with hillocks behind. Seemed just like scenic painting with no mistakes amazed the eyes of photographers Santhosh , Gnanambigai , Krithiga Parvathy and Prestha while this made others wonder what’s in store for us further. Our first hurdle was to discover POOL1. The walk to the first pool was quite a experience as it had walk ways starting from sandy slippery areas to slushy soils, thorny branches that covered the paths like caves to plain low lands. Few were struggling to move forward and a few were faster than the guide. Fari kept me company. The first pool discovery delighted everyone with a pure source of water far away from a polluted city. A natural mineral that quenched our thirst, regained the energy to discover more pools.
A real trekking experience started after the POOL1. We had to jump and climb huge rocks, criss-cross walk from one side of the bank to another side. A few slipped and were hurt, some hurt their legs, some with scratches on their legs and hands by thorny bushes and some as tired as dead but through out a tough journey everyone kept their spirits high to reach the destination. Pool2 was another truly mesmerizing pool. A gentle fall of water down the rocks with sun rays scattered around the greens, a shallow pond of chilled water below the fall just ready for all of them to relax and play but that wasn’t the end. There were more pools ahead. We were all hungry and tired but the thirst to discover the next pool continued our journey.
Steep up the hill, trek with narrow slippery rocks ahead to climb with sloppy areas where we can hardly step. If we one slip, we are down to the stream dead. With great fear, all of us successfully crossed these hurdles. Now comes the last pool- POOL3. Water rapidly rushing through the deep waters. As soon as we reached this pool few of them jumped into the pool without thinking twice and then I dive, Oh my! That experience really felt like there is no world beyond. Some swam around relaxed with air tubes while others swam like sharks in the ocean. Most of them spent their time playing in the cool water were temperature was atleast 11C. Few others like Ramkumar , Raghu and few others responsibly got out of the pool, started collecting dry sticks to light the stove and cooked. Noodles, hot and sour soup, kakra, biscuits and fruits were a lot more to fill our stomach in hunger. Yog Anand, Sukash and Arwindh were of great help for everyone to pass through the tough journey.
Around 4 in the evening all tired and strained thinking of the long way to return, we started climbing down the hill. Fearing darkness would make us lose the path, we had hurried to the start point just before sunset. Surprisingly we did not find any wild animals, I was hoping to at least see a snake but there was no clue of animals except a few rare birds and insects. All returned safe and van was right outside. On the way all of us had a good treat in a dhaba. Van dropped us all back and we all returned to the polluted city back to our monotonous daily routine work when everyone faced turned pale.
~ Brinda, Chennai