Again enrolled with BMC (Bangalore Mountaineering Club) with a couple of office friends and to my good surprise the guide who was a part of KP trek was accompanying us. Since almost 40 people had enrolled for this we had 3 tempo travelers. We boarded our respective tempos on Friday night (10:00 P.M) and then what followed was absolute craziness. I haven't seen anyone drive like this man before. In our tempo we were all kept on the edge of our seats by his erratic but skillful driving and by the time we reached our base camp (6:30 A.M) almost no body in our tempo had slept. When we just enquired about the driver we were told that his name was Mental Madhu and he enjoyed driving like this. Anyway having that lucky feeling of being safe we all freshened up and had our breakfast. The home stay was atypical of the western ghats - pipe connection from running stream, ample gardening around the house, first-class hospitality and tasty breakfast.The freshness of the air, the smell of the soil and the overnight rains had just made the base camp so wonderful and we knew great things were ahead of us. After a small ice breaking session with all the trekkers we started over climb towards the peak at 9:30 A.M.
We started initially on the jeep track and diverged after about 20 mins by crossing one of the numerous streams into the jungle route. Many of us walked through the stream with the shoes getting wet while a few clever ones removed the shoes and put them back after crossing.
We were immediately treated with fallen trees covered with moss and flat mushroom, ferns, new leaves sprouting, fallen leaves, noisy insects, leeches, etc. There was a bit of humidity too. Soon we spotted wild frogs famous around these areas. Some were dark brownish, some like a chameleon sporting mix of light brown and tinge of green similar to the muddy path we were treading on. Beautiful wild flowers completed our blessed experience.And as expected the rain showers came too to make it a messy but a wonderful experience. People who had come prepared with raincoats used them and others without had to use the polythene caps. I had an umbrella which I gave to one of my fellow trekkers. It took us another 45 minutes or so to cross the forest with its slippery paths punctuated with thin streams and wilderness all around. We came out on a wide grassland with beautiful view of mountain ranges covered mostly with thick trees all around us. We took the opportunity to rest and remove leeches, and yeah most important of all - taking snaps. The coordinators pointed some peak having patch of grass surrounded by thick forest as part of our route - but there wasn't any distinct shape to be able to remember. As we started again and crossed the grassland, we came across villages with green cultivation all around. Crossing the fields, the forests started again - this time with plenty of short waterfalls and wide streams.After about 20 minutes, we came across the most dangerous part of our trek - crossing a bed of rocks made slippery by water flow. Two huge fallen trees were our support and even then crossing was dangerous. It took about 20 minutes for our entire group to get through it. It was immensely dangerous those minutes of the trek. I being very excited ran to the front, falling and crawling but nothing could have dampened my spirits then.