|3 for 3
||[Mar. 30th, 2005|07:13 pm]
Good friday resulted in a 3 day weekend and a 3 day trek consisting of 3 people(Nanda, Karthikeyan(aka tintin) and me). The plan was to go to Kumara Parvatha and beyond to a village called Bagathi but plans have a tendency of changing.
We met at the busstand at 9:45 for the 10pm bus. Since we had only booked that afternoon, we only got tickets for the Express bus(red bus, laal dabba). The started at around 10:30pm and was supposed to reach Kukke Subramanya at 5:30-6:00am but due to traffic jams at both the outskirts of Bangalore and near our destination, we only got there at 7:30am. The bus ride was rough and we had a sleepless night.
The sun rose over the mountains, you can see the temple in the foreground. After packing some food from a hotel for breakfast and lunch, we set off for Kumara Parvatha. The climb starts almost right at the beginning of the trek. Some of the trees are huge with creepers growing along with the trees. We had our breakfast of idli and chutney at 10:30 am. A praying mantis gave us company on an adjacent rock. The path through the forest gives way to the open mountain tops which are open to the harsh, hot, direct sunlight. But even in this weather many plants grow and survive easily. We reached Bhattara Mane and rested there for some time. We had our packed lunch of parotas. The locals here grow Betel nuts. They grow on long palm trees, they are plucked using long sticks when they are within reach, otherwise the guy climbs the trees using a contraption to pluck them. They are initially orange in color but they are dried in the hot sun before they are opened. Some strange flower here had what looked liked fangs.
We already knew that 12 people had gone before us to the peak and while we were climbing 2 groups of 6 and 7 passed by us. All of these groups were locals who were going to the peak for a picnic with food, music and booze. And we knew that there were two more groups of trekkers coming behind us. With this many people going to the peak, we started thinking of alternative plans. What was finally decided was to head back down and go to Bandaje Abbe and do a moonlight trek there. We were down by 6pm. After some more discussions, we hired a jeep to take us to Bandaje Abbe to the starting point of the trek. This was some 130km as we found out later and we reached the starting point only by 10pm. Starting at 10pm, we went along the jeep track trying to find the path that gets us to the top of a mountain and continues from there. After 45mins of walking, we had still not found the path. we headed back to the starting point and slept there at 12:30am.
After having our breakfast of buns and sauce, we started on a path going to the old fort(Ballaraayana Durga) looking for a deviation so that we can get to the path leading to the falls. The mountain top was burnt in some places. Some plants were half burnt and half dry. In some places, we had to make our own path through the forest but we finally reached the place where many of the paths meet and become one path leading to the falls. On the way, the Kudremukh peak is visible surrounded by clouds. Some mountain tops were half burnt with one side of the mountain black and the other side green. After we had reached the falls, we could see smoke on the path we had taken to get to the falls. But even in these conditions, life survives with all its colors.
Having our brunch at the falls and after a bath, we rested for some time. In the evening we went to look at the falls. The water flows here all year round. We best way to look at the falls is to lie flat on your stomach next to the falls and look down it. You get a breathtaking view of the falls which is >150ft in height. The picture of this view does not do justice to the depth you can experience there. The sunset over the mountains is also beautiful with the clear skies. Coming back to our camping spot and having hot cooked food over a campfire, we had a beautiful moon coming up. Without a tripod, the moon behind the trees can only be captured thus.
After a good night of sleep, we got up lazily at around 8am. We started back down at around 11am. On the way down, we get another partial view of the falls. Compare the size of the trees to get an scale of the size of the falls. On the way to a stream, we saw a feather in the bark(although we didn't see the bird) and a huge tree shaped like an X. We reached the stream at 1:15pm for a small break. We found a butterfly which liked socks(My friend washed his socks and kept it for drying on a rock while he went to take a bath. After a few minutes, this butterfly came and sat on it. I was about 10 feet away; got up and took my camera from 4 feet away and clicked one shot. Then moved 2 feet closer and stood still. The butterfly flew away and then came back. Took another shot. After 5 such iterations, I was sitting on an adjacent rock with the camera to my eye. The butterfly came back and was about 40 cms away when I got this shot. The fly in the picture was completely accidental; I only saw it after downloading the picture to the computer).
After reaching the village of Bandaje, we had to walk for another couple of hours before we could get to the busstand. We took the 4:00pm bus(which came at 4:30) to Ujjare and then another bus to Mangalore. The sun started setting while we were on the way to Mangalore. We reached Mangalore at around 7:30pm and we immediately booked tickets for the 11pm bus back to Bangalore. For dinner, we had a variety of fish(yum) at a nearby hotel.