So, in Deepika's own words.....
To describe the trek in simple words is seriously cumbersome but to start with ……WOW!!!! what a trek!!!! what a group to be with!!!! The 2 days passed just like a beautiful breeze….nature was at its best…..group of strangers became friends….all the differences were shunned…..few falls, many helping hands and lots and lots of masti, mazak and laughter!!!...
The train was scheduled at 6.30pm and we were asked to report by 6.30pm…and everyone was on time. The first person I came across was swapna…a lean figured, highly spirited and flamboyant person!!!by the end of the trek I realized that she is caring too…u were rocking swapnaJ…
Next to come were Mr.ranjan sood!!!frankly speaking my first impression was”will he be able to do it?” but I had to take my words back!!coz of all he was the most charged person on the trek..always leading from the front, inspiring us by his narrations, beautifully posing for our cameras………truly a magnanimous personality…I was completely spellbound by his intellect and charm!!! ranjanji U R THE BEST …!!!
And then the “youngest of all” girl…sruti stepped in…cute,bubbly and yes! adorable too….
by now the train was on its wheels….everyone settled …aur ab baari hai aliji ki…initially I was little bit intimidated by him….coz he is “the organizer”…but let me tell u .. he is the coolest person one could have ever met!!!when he opens his humour ka pitara…laughter riot breaks out…and u cannot help..but find urselves rolling on the floor!!!....a specialist in leg pulling, his humor lingers like smell and whenever you recall …I bet u smile!!:) jokes apart he is a lively and lovely human being…and of course a great Organizer….
by now the train was at its full speed and the roller coaster ride started!!we played dumb charades and our acting skills popped out…Here we met our fantastic 4…shiva,anusha,niranjana and sunder…2 beautiful couples,apni duniya mein mast and a great company to have!!!during the game we met almost all the members…and WE HAD A BLAST!!!!.kittu earned the title “expressive guy”,swapna proved to be an expert in English movies,”dim dim” shiva struggled through “gupt” and sunder beautifully enacted “born free”…(sorry guys I couldn’t remember completely!!!)….and finally it was time to bed!!
Next day morning around 6.30am we got down at tirupati and had nice hot dosas…soon we were joined by other groups from banglore and tirupati… and also our annadata for xt few hrs ….Mr.balu and his team of cooks…. …and then finally we left for tirumala by bus….the hills covered by lush green forest,the Upin roads cutting through them,the fog filling the spaces between the hills, the sun’s rays making its way through it…aah!!!!were breathtakingly beautiful and divine… from tirumala we took a bus to papavinasanam which was our both starting and ending point.we had our breakfast againJthis time idlis….after buying bottles we were given final instructions and then our trek started…..
Once into the jungle some of our’s animal instincts were out!!!few climbed gooseberry trees and few echoed tarzan shoutsJ (srinivas by reddy was perfectly mimicking it….)we halted for introductory session..and there we had the opportunity to know each other…here we met an another inspiring and interesting person..Mr.nagesh…..who is married to trekking and star gazing…his age and enthusiasm easily outruns even an youngster’s vigour!!!.....after a brief intro…we continued our trek…..and on the way we were greeted by red sandlers,varied flora and fauna ,high hills,deep gorges ,water streams,high lying rocks and songs of birds!!!!our first encounter with water made us go crazy!!!walking parallel to the gorge, descending down the hill we finally reached the stream!!!!everyone hurriedly opened their shoes and got into the water…..we had a nice pedicure in the cool waterJ….the sight was spectacular and the feel was incredibly soothing!!!refreshments,chess,photography,playing with water…time literally swung between our childhood and present….aah!!!!b-e-a-utiful!!!but we had to make a move….now that was the toughest part for me…to climb up the rocks…I was panting and perspiring but on the whole a great learning experience…(I seriously need to do more treks..)..all credits to my bro and karthik-the missile guy…for the next few hours he was our(my bro and me) guide….few conversations with him I realized him to be smart,unique and ofcourse a wonderful helping hand!!......finally we made it to the top to descend again…it was almost evening and slowly chalte,chalte we reached our base camp!!!and guess what???the only thing we could have asked for….food was ready and hot served…sambar,rasam,pakodi…..hmm just mouthwatering!!!all thanks to baalugaru and his phenomenal team!!!!
Our rest place..a huge cave called makkamamba cave …one has to see it to believe its grandeur!!! enormously beautiful, profoundly spacious and miraculously elegant!!! we got rid off our backpacks and headed towards a water pool…once into the water…..jaadoo….all the pains and strains were gone!!!!guess the water had a healing touch….though not everyone went into the water,most of them were present enjoying the humour filling the air!!!!it was getting darker…so had to leave the pool and by the time we reached the cave…garma garam chai ki pyali was waiting!!!just imagine…..tired body—cool water bath----hot tea…can anything match this combo….damn it!!!no!!
By the time everyone was fresh ..the campfire was lit…the warmth,the natkhat jokesJ…srikanth’s beautiful melody….aah!!!we had a raw fun!!!next …dinner time…pooris,laddu,bajjis…!!!another brilliant stroke by balugaru and co..!!!
It seems it was an auspicious full moon day and the moon was several thousands of kms closer to earth….looking through the dark trees…peeping and posing the moon was magnificently stunning….ranjanji started with “yeh chaand sa roshan chehra” and soon shammi kappor joined us in our songs!!!a great way to end our hectic day!!!
We had to wakeup by 6.00am coz we had a train to catch at 5.00pm…everyone were on their foot…packing bags,enjoying the sunrise….truly a wonderful morning!!!all our senses were refreshed!!!after tea we were led to the exact thumburu valley spot…..a striking canyon rising approximately 200m high with flowing water and centuries old rocks…believed to be the abode of many rishis….right from its entrance to it dead end every inch of it was mesmerizing…a testimony to god’s patience!!!absolutely brilliant making,unmatched by any of man’s best creations!!!few enjoyed the waterfalls and few in the small pools..there were 1 or 2 temples showcasing our rich traditions… little tussles with kittu,my slip,superstitious stone arrangements and the humour attached to it are all memorable…
soon we reached our base camp…had breakfast with salads,bread,jam,and upma……our trek resumed and bidding goodbye to the cave started our 2nd day trek….
Second day trek was more musical!!!kishore da,rafi saab..accompanied us…”chalte chalte,hum hain rahi pyaar ke,kadam kadam badhaye ja,chal chal mere haathi”…and other wonderful songs reverberated through the jungle!!!of all I was the lone slowcoach!!!but thanks to the team they waited at every halt and encouraged me….cheers to the group!!!and that’s the spirit of GHAC!!!a special mention must be made of srikanth …he involved me in talks and the walk was easier!!!he was not only a good singer but also probably sincere and a fun loving guy!!!next ranjanji was with me and finally I could make it to the end…a brief halt and we all posed for a group pic…..next we headed towards our last destination…there again we found few temples,pandits ,singing sadhu and lunch!!!and what a desert!!!
Finally we had to start and bid adieu to the fascinating valley !!!15 minutes on and we were at the papavinasanam dam….though our hearts were wishing for more the trek came to an end!!!every good thing must come to an end!!!buses took us from papavinasanam to tirumala and then to tirupati…thankfully we were ahead of our schedule and had refreshments at a nearby hotel..sitting in the train we recalled all the funny moments which again brought smiles on our faces…..night and morning were as usual punctual and by 7.ooa.m on feb1st we were in
a point to be specifically mentioned is that out of the 21 members 17 were first timers and all of them showed their mighty spirits….kudos to each and everyone ….and my hearty regards to all those whom I couldn’t mention.what ever I have presented hear is solely my perception and holds no biases!!!
Once again I thank GHAC for organizing such a wonderful trek…and giving me a chance to share my experiences!!!!