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“Traveling – It leaves you speechless and then turns you into a storyteller”
These words are so true and best describes my first trekking experience, post which I have been tirelessly narrating the story to everyone. Click Kumara Parvatha trekto know more.Through this blog I am sharing my experience of Kumara Parvatha trek.
I know many of you would have experienced much bigger adventures and trails but this one is for many like me who always want to try something like this, but dint get the opportunity before.
Sharing the journey of this so-called luxury and experiential travel blogger through rugged terrains, dense woods and adverse climate in a no-frills trekking adventure, along with some useful tips which I learned along the way. Hope this will motivate you to challenge yourself and try out new adventures.
This is how it all started
Shabari, my neighbour, a good friend and an avid trekker shared that she has signed up for a trekking experience to some place called Kumara Parvatha. But her companion dropped out end moment. An adventure enthusiast & nature lover inside me started craving for some fresh air and new experience. So, without knowing or thinking much, I offered to join her. Being a travel blogger makes you jump towards every opportunity that comes your way.
The dilemma – to go or not
A day after signing up, I received a message from Shabari, asking if I paid for the trip? She shared her apprehensions (her husband took the same trail this weekend), Kumara Parvatha is one of the toughest treks in Karnataka with around 27 kms of walking in 2 days. And the facilities provided were very basic.Should I give it a try or skip, was the Big dilemma? But with some encouragement from my husband and not wanting to let go of this new experience I decided to go for it.
First time trekking experience
I would be boasting if I say I was not scared or apprehensive but somehow excitement of something that I dreamed of for long time overpowered every other feeling.We started early morning from Bangalore and reached Subramanyam village which was 200 kms away by noon. Post lunch, our guide handed over sleeping bag and tent which we were to carry till base camp (7 kms uphill). Right before the start of forest area, we were briefed about the trek and everyone introduced themselves. Finding out that I am the only one without any past trekking experience somehow further strengthened my determination to complete the trek.
Facing the challenge
We started weaving our way through tangled roots protruding from the soil forming some sort of staircase amid thick woods, sound of crickets and chirping of birds. The humidity, weight of the backpack and not being acclimatised to walking uphill made it even more challenging. Panting all the time, I could feel my lungs expanding desperately to get more oxygen. I had to stop now and then to catch up some breath, sometimes clicking picture as an excuse. Our guide was very supportive and kept motivating me through out.It was almost Sunset, I was the last one to reach along with the guide, rest of the group was out of the site. Only the vision of reaching and rejoicing at the peak kept me going.
Enjoy little pleasures of Life
That night we camped near forest check post. We learned how to set up a camp, how to forget about hygiene and feast on most basic meal offered. Spending a night in the wild inside a small tent wrapped in our sleeping bags, surrounded by strange noises and darkness still enjoying our occasional chit chatting was a memorable experience. Sometimes simple moments leave such lasting impression on your mind.
And the struggle continues
This was a long day. We had to climb 7 kms up to reach the peak and descend 14 kms down to the town. At 3.45 am, after leaving our sleeping bags and tents at the forest checkpoint, we started walking through the trail. Advantage this time was that we carried a smaller backpack with just breakfast, water and medicines which made walking much easier. This time I followed Shabari’s advice of not to stop but keep walking even if it’s really slow-paced and it helped. Making our way through wet meadows and rocks in the dark, we kept marching ahead. Just before the sunrise was a surreal moment. The sky was glowing in the shades of pink, purple, orange and blue, strong wind passing through the grass making a peculiar sound. It was like finding yourself in a heavenly place with clouds floating over the infinite stretches of lush green meadows. I felt a strong urge to sitting there and start writing. But we had the target to achieve so we kept moving. Rest of the terrain was steep and uneven, but the cold and misty weather helped us.
Last mile is the toughest one
Usually walking the last mile before reaching your final goal is the toughest one. This was no exception, It was misty and windy all through but the moment we reached Sheesh Parvatha (the first peak) it started raining heavily. Next stretch was through thick rain forest full of leeches. However, this was a beautiful place for observing nature, sound of water gushing through the temporary streams, mist surrounding the dense forests, different life forms sprouting even from dead and decayed. There were so many varieties of mushroom growing on decayed leaves and woods. Fascinating experience I must say! Checkout the fascinating images from the trip here. Photowalk through Kumara Parvath trek
Then there came big rocks with water gushing through them, we were to climb uphill through the stream as the final stretch. Rain and the moss made everything even more slippery and dangerous. In times like this you know what focus and concentration really means. We crawled our way through boulders of rocks.
Eureka Moment: Reaching the top
Somehow fighting our tiredness and braving the rain, we finally made it to the peak. A moment of relief and joy, when you suddenly start feeling weightless and relieved of making it to the top. Although it was raining so hard that we couldn’t see anything from the peak, but like someone said it’s all about the journey and not the destination.
Reaching through the top was challenging but I won’t say descending down was any easier. Of course, it seemed easy initially because euphoria of achieving something like this washed down all the tiredness. But ultimately descend is the one which is more damaging for your feet’s and knees for sure. The jerk on the knee every time you come down is really painful. Finally, before my feet gave up, we made it back to the town. One thing which happened while coming down was, we encountered so many leeches that we lost the fear of them, and dint care much about one or two sticking to us.
So that was it, a tough but very enriching experience where I discovered not only the vast treasure of nature but also myself.
Here are some useful tips if you are planning to try any adventure for the first time.
Useful Tips for first time trekkers
- Be Physically and Mentally prepared:I think this is the most important tip. As long as you are ready to face challenges, it all becomes a bit easier. Being physically fit is equally important, I think my daily walks helped me to an extent.
- Carry all the essential gears: Invest in good trekking gears and other essentials which you may need during the trek. In my next blog I will share the checklist for first timer.
- Keep yourself hydrated: It’s really important to keep drinking water and stay hydrated to avoid fatigue and dehydration.
- Carry enough energy bars and electrolytes: Energy bars and electrolytes come handy. You can munch on them while walking and they also distract you from all the fatigue at least for some time.
- Travel lite, carry only what is necessary: lighter your bag is, easier it is to walk. But ensure not to miss out on essentials
- Keep your toe nails as short as possible: A small thing which I ignored and landed up hurting my nails.
- Slow down but never stop: As my friend advised keep walking, crawling is also fine but just don’t stop. It takes all the more efforts to start again
- Goal is to reach the finish line while having fun all the way: Remember your goal is not to be the first one to reach but to challenge yourself to reach the finishing line at the same time enjoy the hidden beauty of mother nature.
- Enjoy at your own pace: enjoy the me time, the silence and surroundings. Don’t rush follow your own pace.
- Respect nature and your surroundings:It’s heart breaking to find pieces of plastic bags and bottle even at such remote places. It’s important to consciously make an effort to protect our environment and not to through even smallest of plastic or any other pollutant.
Hope this was helpful. Do share your challenging and memorable adventures!
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