|On way down the Chembra Peak|
Late on Wednesday night suddenly my cell phone rang. Now who could be calling at this time?? Well it was my colleague Arpita. She asked me if I would like to join her and seven other people for trip to Wayanad. I gave it a thought and said … hey why not …
Wayanad is a beautiful little district in North East Kerala. It is apprx. 300 km from Bangalore, takes around 6 hours to get there by road. The place is mostly inhabited by tribals whose numbers are now dwindling. We set out for the trip at 12:00 am on Thursday. The guys had booked a Tempo Traveller and the journey was fun.
Day 1: After quickly changing and a not so good lunch we set out towards Edakkal Caves. This location is three kilometers from Ambalavayal which is 25 kms from Kalpetta. We walked till the entrance of the caves and then after awaiting our turn, entered through the caves through a small opening (approx 5X4 feet). Inside we walked between the huge rocks and the damp floors. The cave has two levels and we climbed on the second level at the end of which was a big chamber with carvings by the tribals of Wayanad. These carvings have interested several historians and archaeologists to study Kerala’s history and tribes. The climb up and down was tricky as the path was narrow and the floor damp with all the rain. This actually made it all the more interesting. Exhausted from the journey and Edakkal we retreated to our hotel for a good rest.
Day 2: The next day we were to trek to Chembra Peak. It is the highest hill in Wayanad, located near Meppady town. After Edakkal I wasn’t very sure I could do the trek. But, as we got ready and travelled to the starting point the enthusiasm got to me and I grew only too excited to go for it. As we were about to set out the rain god lashed at us. For those who had wind sheeters things weren’t too bad but for the boys with only an umbrella to shield them, things dint look very inviting. I was well protected in a T-shirt and jeans folded upto the knees, windsheeter and a cap. We started off. Things were good till we reached the foot of the mountain. From here began the ascent, the real trek, with the threat of leeches and snakes to go with it. The climb was taking a toll on me initially, the steep climb was bearing down on me and I was like … what have I got into. But, after certain while something happened I dunno how but I just got into the groove and kept goin and actually began to enjoy this activity. We reached midway and then the wind caught us unawares. It was blowing like crazy on the mountain with nothing to break it. But, there at the top we witnessed the most awesome sight, the Heart Lake on the mountain. We stood at the side of the lake but the rain showed us no mercy. Our guide advised not to go any further as it was risky with the rain water flowing down the slope. Everyone was freezing, I was too … but strangely…I dint mind. I was euphoric!! I was enjoying every bit of it!!
Now we began our descent. I was going pretty slowly at first. Then it so happened that I started following Mitesh and Belli. I realized that climbing down the hill came more easily to me. We climbed down a while with me concentrating on each step I took. I slipped here and there but, kept goin. We reached a point and I took a moment and gazed at the beautiful view around me. The lush green valley, the breathtaking mountains, the blue sky, the breeze blowing through my hair and the waterfalls in the distance (the rain had abated somewhat). It was awesome!! We kept going and going and going and finally … we were where we started. It was a moment of victory for me and I was like … boy I have some stamina. The three of us then walked to a small waterfall and waited for the others to join us. By the time everyone had changed and settled in the traveler my legs had gone weird and I had trouble moving and walking. I felt like my knees joints had rusted: p. We had a good meal after this (we needed it) and called it a day.
Trip to Wayanad: Part II