Monday, June 9, 2008

Amidst the clouds - A trek to Kodachadri !!

The mountains always fascinated me! So are the clouds! The joy mounts when both these combine together and produce a visual spectacle! Monsoon is THE time to enjoy this. As the monsoon was on its way we decided to conquer Kodachadri!! For the weekend warriors like us these treks bring such an adrenaline that it takes months together to get out of that mood!
Needless to say that the trek was fantastic! We hit by the monsoon showers(or the pre monsoon showers??) while we were climbing through the grasslands. The leeches were everywhere and were looking very well built!! We literally ran in some places inspite of having 12 kg backpack!! But every trouble melts away when you see the huge dense clouds hitting right at the high peaks of the Sahyadris! The eyes start to think if its a reality or any kind of dream or illusion!!

This time I had decided to carry my photography gears to the top and after lot of calculations and assumptions I had finally decided to carry everything!! :) So my backpack was my Lowepro CompuTrekker with all the lenses and was happily weighing 12 kgs!! Naga, KG and Manu also had their backpacks which weighed definitely not less than mine!

All the pain that one undergoes in carrying such heavy stuffs through the mountains start disappearing when you start enjoying the nature over there. For us at the first it was White Bellied Blueflycatcher which gave tremendous pleasure! It was a lifer for me as well!(Uff!! A lifer after a loooooong time!) Then it was followed by the Blue Oak Leaf butterfly and what seemed like a mixed hunting group of White Bellied Treepie, Racket Tailed Drongo and Barbets. [It may not be a mixed hunting group as the barbets dont hunt insects].

After a small pit stop at the famous Mallu's place and having some lemon juice and banana we set out further. It was then that the play of leeches and the shower started! After enjoying all these (!!!) we were at the top at around 3:30 in the afternoon. After taking some rest and negotiating about the staying place in the local Inspection Bunglow we started ascending the peak and we were there at around 5:30!

The nature is pristine over there! Boy, what a wonderful sight it is! Even though it is not first time for me but still I get the same joy every time as if it is the first time that I am coming there!

The distant mountains were blue and the clouds were passing by beneath our feat! The forest beneath was echoing with the whistles of the Malabar Whistling Thrushes! The grass was green and so were the deciduos forest patches! All in all the feeling was fantastic!
After witnessing the sunset it was time to come back to the bunglow.

The night was cold and calm and I slept as if I haven't slept for years!! It was very calm indeed.

The next day morning when I opened my eyes it was 5:15 and we should be at the top again by 5:45! As the clouds hid the sun behind them, the sunrise was not much evident except for some golden rays amidst the clouds. The air was pure and cold. Everyone of us enjoyed to the fullest.
Started descending at around 10:30 and we were back at the bottom by afternoon.

The flight of the White Bellied Treepie, the whistle of the Malabar Whistling Thrush ,the call of White Bellied Blue Flycatcher and the sudden shower when we were in the grassland.... all these will remain green in my memories in the time to come.

I have already started planning my next trip to Kodachadri!! :)


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