Wednesday, February 18, 2015

A day out to Nagala

Had heard about Nagalapuram from my friends many times and every time I heard about it, the craving to visit this place just kept increasing. I have a big appetite for adventures that brings me one step closer to the nature. And this wait was finally over on Valentine’s Day when I went for the Social trek. Its gona be a year now since I got associated with Chennai Trekking Club, thus I had a few familiar faces. But as usual, the beauty of these outings is the new faces we meet up. Many were pretty new to this trek and had the same conundrum in the head regarding the unfamiliar faces. Ah! Nostalgia. I still remember writing about the unfamiliar faces becoming good friends by the end of the day, and yesterday I was hearing the same for myself. 

The day began at 4:30am when I started from home. People get blind dates on Valentine’s Day. I got my blind date in the form of unknown new friends. Picked up food on the way and reached Nathan CafĂ©, Koyambedu by 5:00am. This trek was specially organized for kids from Bala Ashram. And we all were eagerly waiting for them. Finally our very own Pons arrived with them at 5:30am and we started off. After battling with the city traffic for some time we reached the quiet highways. Within no time I could see Telugu writings on the walls and hoardings. Happy realization that Andhra is too close to Chennai. After a few twists and turns I could see the mountains having big rock face. Those mountains stand majestic covered by mist. Beauty past compares. We suddenly made a halt. When I got out I came to know that we had to pay a toll for going beyond. We felt as if it’s for the road construction and stuff. But when we entered that road, one of the worst ‘Kachha’ roads you could ever get in. We all had an LOL moment. After some bumps we reached our base camp. By this time we all were super hungry. It was time for the home made breakfast from Rajasekaran. Awesome idlis and vadais. One of the best breakfasts ever. The kids were busy fishing the tadpoles from the stream nearby. Nambi was the smallest child among them. ;)

The kids were of varying ages. The little ones were of about 5 years old and the oldest was probably in his 10th or 11th standard. After refueling ourselves we started for the trek. When climbed the embankment we saw a lil dam. It had some water and some burnt trees. It looked like a place where these Bollywood romantic songs are shot. We crossed that and were treading n the trail. At first it looked like a path way. But slowly we were climbing the boulders. The biggest task was not only being careful of the steps we take but making sure the kids coming with us are fine and enjoying this trip as much as us. But it turned out as if they are leading the way for us. Amazingly energetic kids. Keeping up with their energy was a tough task but was super fun. After reaching the first pool we relaxed and it was snack happy time. Delicious apples filled our tummies. And we started the climbing again. Now the boulders were a bit bigger and little smooth. We were losing grip here and there. Some edges had spaces only enough to keep one foot. In no time we reached the spot marked X for us for the day.

A beautiful pool and a little water fall, nice shade. Superb spot for picnic. Within minutes we could see not 20 but 40 kids around. And ya we had our very own Scooby Doo around us all the time. No no. The headcount of kids didn’t increase, but we all were one among them as soon as we saw the water. There were rocks that seemed like slides and with life jackets we swam across to the falls. I drank the purest water ever. Slipped many times on the rocks, while trying to stand by the falls. We got free fish pedicure thanks to the little biting tadpoles. And our very own friend Kamal had a scorpion sitting on his head. He was the one giving shocks now and then to all of us. We lost the track of time. We all left the waters only after hunger pangs started. Puli Sadam or Tiger rice never tasted so awesome before. After a sumptuous meal we had the nanari sherbet.
Sindhu started with the antakshari and dumb charades. Saw myself in those kids. Reminded me of the trips my mother used to take me. As kids we don’t have any inhibitions. As that’s how we all were today.
We started back by 4:00pm and the return journey seemed much smaller than onwards journey. Groupies, selfies and photo time. Astonishing view. 
By the time we came down we could see the sunlight fading away. Numbers were exchanged. New friends were made.

It’s said that “a weekend well – spent brings a week of content.” And I am sure that all were content.

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