Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Tadiyandamol Trek

I love the outdoors, my fav vacation's are the ones I used to spend wit my cousins in the tea/coffee estates that they owned in different parts of Kerala. After coming over to Bangalore, I haven't gone anywhere with my cousin. For one, I go home only for a couple of days and hardly finds time to finish the usual quota of 'Visits' and attending 'Functions'.

Back in office we have a 'Travel club' and I had joined it with Din. Went for 2 treks with them but then didn't go for anymore mostly coz I wasn't free during the times the trips were planned.

Last week I got a mail from the Club
"Its travel time again folks! This time to scale Tadiyandamol the highest peak in Coorg district. Located 250 Kms from Bangalore,Tadiyandamol is a favorite trek spot in Coorg, the Scotland of India. This is planned to be a 14 Km two way trek through exotic green slopes and valleys! "

I wasn't actually planning to go for it, but then the day before the trip I had gome to meet some friends who were actually organizing the trip, they caught me there and since I had no real reason to give for not joining then I tot what the hell and decided to go. Well I don't regret doing it.

We were supposed to be a group of 22 people. But as usual people dropped out in the last moment ( I actually was a replacement ;) ) and by the time we left we were only 15 of us. Our guide for this trip was Ravi Shankar from the organization 'The Wild'. We left from office at around 11:00Pm in a mini bus. Was a comfortable ride to Coorg …we reached the place where we were supposed to stay at around 6:00. It was a 'home stay';the owners of the place are coffee and paddy planters, and like many of the planters now decided it wont hurt to make some dough from ‘Nature Tourism’. The cottages are basic, neat, and the view is great. The place is called 'Kings Cottages'.

All of us freshened up, and breakfast was served at around 8:00. what they served still remains a mystery, but whatever it was everyone hogged it up. By 9:30 everyone was set to start the trek, we had the customary introduction session and we were off.

The trek was amazing, the view was beautiful, and the trek up the peak was tough. I was out of breath by the time I reached half the way. But when we reached the top, it was worth it. The climb up was only half as difficult as the climb down. The climb down was not tiring … but ppl who have trekked up peaks will know how difficult it is to climb down. My legs were hurting but the time I reached the bottom. Trekking shoes are a must or else you are gonna get hurt for sure.

All the water we had carried was over by the time we reached the top, luckily the water in the streams was clear … ( we could even see the leafs rotting in the bottom ;) ) so we filled up at the streams. Strangely there were no leaches to be seen. We had our lunch at one of the streams, even though I wouldn’t have called what we got to eat good food, at that time it tasted like the best food I have had in a long time.

We reached back by 4:30, everyone were too tired to do anything else so all of ‘em went to sleep. We woke everyone up by 6:30 and set up a campfire.The owners of the place told us something about the people of Coorg, the lifestyle,about their plantation etc, The fav food of Coorgies it seems is Pork and alcohol, only a couple of us were non-veggies and even in that only 2 of us ate pork. So I had to drop the pork part of it …but not the next time. We had a couple of beers before dinner, which again was the ‘Best food I had’ in a long time;). After all this no one had the energy to do the usual campfire dance. The girls were having puking competition, might have been the water from the streams.

Then next day we didn’t do much, after the ‘Best Breakfast in a long time’ we went to a market to do some shopping, since I didn’t have anything to buy, I was appointed as ‘The cart’ carrying everyone’s bags.I bought one more ‘Livestrong’ wristband; one that glows in the dark. After that we went to the Tibetan monastery, , the temples are beautiful, and is definitely worth seeing, and inside the temple there is a feeling of calm (even though it is always full of visitors running around taking snaps.

After some more shopping and lunch we left for Bangalore by 4, we had a tea break on the way in Mandia, and reached back at 9:00PM.

We did not visit half the good places in Coorg for that you need to be there for at least 3 -4 days. There is the Abbey Falls, Talakaveri among other placer worth going. But this time we went to trek up Tadiyandamol, and we did that, the rest of the places will have to wait .
UPDATE: Photos taken by Sreejith ,Vikas and some amazing snaps by Arvind