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Published: August 5th 2015
How can anyone say no to a trek which involves the beautiful Kerala during just after monsoons and a heart shaped lake ? So we did not and proceeded to book our ride with GHAC (Great Hyderabad Adventure Club) for the trek.
We promptly reached the Cyber towers in Hyderabad at around 7 - 7 30 pm assuming everyone would be there on time. Big mistake! The bus was late by almost 2 hours or more and we spent the time there in bonding session and roaming around Shilparamam. We met the organizers Gautham, Tejaswini and Santhosh who coerced some fellow trekkers into buying raincoats in case it rained during our trek (Rain surprisingly never materialized for the whole of our trek and those who had bought the raincoats ended up cursing them). Finally the bus came when we were almost about to lose hope and the journey began.
That night and the next day were mostly spent in traveling. To pass time we played all kinds of games we could think of on the bus. They ranged from Antakshari, Dumb Charades to card games and 20 questions. This also helped us get to know most of the people
with us and our organizer Tejaswini's Hyderabadi Hindi. "Nakko re" quickly became our favourite statement and Vivek and Aditya started teasing Tejaswini with their (just learnt) Hyderabadi Hindi. On the way we had some issues with Karnataka Border Tax Collectors. They are notorious in charging much more than they are supposed to take (We had faced this before also and generally it is better to use public transport and then book a taxi in Karnataka). Our organizers handled them and we moved on. We reached our lodge pretty late and slept in anticipation for the next day.
It was decided that the goal for the day would be Annamalai hills trek and Soochipara waterfalls. The sun was up and shining with no threatening clouds in sight making it a perfect weather for our trek. We reached the starting point in our mini-bus. After an initial bit of ascent, we moved through a dense area with trees acting as a canopy. We went in small groups and came across a small stream where we stopped for a while and took group pics. The place was full of lush green trees and it was fun to trek through. I initially was
struggling quite a bit in climbing due to my numerous carry-bags (This was the first time I was using my DSLR so had its bag along with another bag) which Santhosh graciously helped me carry. Trekking on, we noticed a huge moth (One of the largest I have seen) and I and Vijay started taking its photos eagerly. Further on our way, it suddenly opened up to a meadows like area with a number of hills visible on all sides. Then all of us spent quite some time at the meadows taking all kinds of pics and roaming around the place nearby. The place was vast and the weather was great enabling us to explore the place to the fullest. After a while we descended back and then decided to head to Soochipara falls. A lot of people has hopes of taking a dip in the water.
From the parking it was about a km walk to the falls. On reaching the falls we realized that it was closed due to excessive water flow and we could only view it but not take a dip in it. This disappointment sparked our creative side and we tried to take innovative
shots such as one where Nikhil looks like hes drinking the water from the waterfalls. It was time to head back and to make up for the disappointment, a lot of us decided to take a swim at one stream which we saw en route to our lodging. Then we headed back and had our dinner. I slept after that as I was not feeling well while the rest stayed up playing mafia and card games.
It was the day to trek Chembra the next day and all of us got ready. We got to the parking area from where we had to climb a bit to the starting point of the trek. The view from there was absolutely stunning with green hills, blue sky and some coloured plants too. Just before the starting point there was a place where they counted all the plastic bottles to ensure we do not leave anything on the peak during our trek (I found this extremely amazing as very few places ensure this and care for nature). The overall ascent was decently steep and one just had to follow the trail to reach the top which took about 1-2 hrs. The lake
is treat to the eye and with the panoramic background just stunning to look at. We spent quite some time there having some biscuits and taking photographs and exploring the whole place. Then we decided to head back and slowly trudged back to the starting point. Once at the bottom, we quickly freshened up and left back for Hyderabad which we reached the next day morning.
I have missed out on quite a few experiences during the trip mainly owing to the fact that this was more than an year ago (My memory only serves me so much). The trek itself was in the easy bucket and was not very taxing. Kerala rightly called "God's own Country" showed me once more what stunning places it holds. Chembra is great as a weekend getaway for anyone in South India. Best time to visit would be anytime after August and before March as the rain would have subsided and the trek would not be that slippery with the heat bearable. As a final note thanks to GHAC for their smooth organization of the trek. We totally enjoyed the whole experience and made a lot of new friends.
Tot: 0.287s; Tpl: 0.019s; cc: 19; qc: 96; dbt: 0.0239s; 1; m:saturn w:www (18.104.22.168); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.6mb