#2 – In love with wilderness – Early morning trek at Valparai

This is part 2 of the series of blog articles, of our visit to Valparai, I would suggest you read the entire series to follow our trail. If you are interested in a particular location’s blog article, I would highly recommend that you read at least Part 1 of the article before moving into other articles of the series.

With just couple of hours of sleep, me and my companions woke up around 5 AM to go for early morning trek, to delight in the beauty of the fog taking over the mountains, immersing myself in the emerald hues of the woods, getting engrossed in rivers, to say in short, to fully live those of few hours of upcoming adventure.

As we prepared for the trekking, apart from our fully charged cameras, the main thing that we carried was the mooku podi (tobacco powder – not a perfect translation though), the smell of which wades off the numerous leeches that is expected in this time of the year.

This was definitely different from my early morning walks on plain roads. After crossing the plains of the tea estate I found myself overcoming the roads so traitorous. I was immersing myself in varying landscapes offered by the trek, desolate mountains, green cultivatable patches of land, icy cold tributaries. We crossed all of these landscapes with care and helping each other and thanks to Mr. Balu (our guide) who was pacing himself to match our pace and every now then turning back to check if we are safe and walking as a group.

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After trekking for around an hour, the first glimpse of the numinous lake left me so mesmerized, making the voyage worth all the endurance and enthusiasm withheld. The glistening clean waters, the sharpness of the fresh grass decorated by dew drops, the sweet fragrance of tea leaves mixed with the scents of the wild flowers combining together, creating a snapshot of a perfect impression that will last few weeks when I am back in the polluted city full of steel and glass. Time slipped by, as I was just treasuring the moments in cuddling the nature and appreciating its serenity.

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The milky stream is where few of us sat to enjoy the stream shoving away our sleepiness.

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After freshening up on the streams, we wanted to further ascend on the mountains, Balu was little hesitant as our team had girls. Since we insisted and girls were more confident, Balu agreed to take us on a small trek.

As we started to ascend, the woods were becoming denser, the surface became more slippery because of the frequent cloudbursts, making hiking difficult that too for a fresher like me. I slipped a couple of times, had couple of small bruises, but got up and continued the hike.

Balu advised me to pick up a stick from the woods after seeing me slipping. As I was hiking slowly and carefully, I started reflecting on the entire trekking experience so far and realized I was combatting against the forest and its forces.

I realized “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass; it’s about learning to Dance in the rain”. With this brainwave, I started trusting more on the forests and let the forces of the universe guide me on this trek. After my trust on the forces of the universe, I found a tranquil place beneath my feet, my legs unafraid of where it’s taking me, my whole body embraces in the warmth of the forests, my heartbeat jumped from panic mode to lullaby and the sun rising affectionately enthralling me in its realm.
In all, we being enveloped in the aura of the woods is pure bliss. My heart still smiles with these memories.

After 2 hours of trekking, we were back to the stream, from where we plunged into dense forests. We washed our shoes, tugged out the leeches from our various body parts with hands or with twigs.

Our clothes were muddy and dirty, our bodies sweating, our hands and legs bruised, bitten by and lost our blood to leeches but our hearts have never been so happier, embracing our real travelling self J.

We trekked back to the cottage taking some portrait and landscape shots on the way back to cottage.

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After a quick breakfast, Balu was kind enough to welcome all of us to his small but exquisite house and offered us coffee and biscuits. Our guide sent his son Vicky along us to guide us through our rest of our journey.

We said good bye to Balu and we walked back the same path that we walked the night before, now in daylight. I was able to appreciate the beauty of the path which was scary the night ago.

P.S.: I have split the entire trip to multiple blogs – one blog for each spot that we visited so that you get more details and photos about each spot that we visited. 

Await my next blog on our visit, experience and of course photos on our early morning trekking experience in the mountains of the Valparai.

So what do you think when I say wilderness? Please add your comments below. Your comments are my motivation to take better pictures and to write more.

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