Chembra Peak is the highest peak in Wayanad, at 2100m above sea level. It is located near the town of Meppady. A destination for trekkers as well as nature lovers, tourists can stay for one or two days at the top of the peak in temporary camps.
At the top of the Chembra Peak, there is a lake in the shape of a heart called hredaya sarass, hardly touched by man.
So on Republic Day, we decided to go trekking in Wayanad, up Chembra peak. Knowing that my stamina would not even last me a walk uphill and downhill in my own campus, I was a little reluctant to go but sent in my name to the Trekking Club in any case. The snish and I talked before going to sleep that each of us were going. I set my alarm for 5 am and went to sleep. When the alarm rang, I woke up, looked at the blank screen of the laptop and wondered whether prath had sent some mail about the trip. I drifted off to sleep till a loud knocking from the snish woke me up. Put together things in a hurry and we were off in a jeep, the senior citizen ;), snish, window, sunny and me. Along with the chetta of course, who was driving at a snail’s pace apparently waiting for the second jeep to follow. The thakur insisted on coming by bike, being well, himself.
We stopped at a place called Kabaani for breakfast, finding the plain dosas and gravy quite tasty. People took arbit. pics with a ‘dude’ dressed in a bright red tshirt, a hat and sunglasses. Stopped at a place with a great view of the city below because a tyre of the other jeep was punctured, the road being very bad. It would get punctured again in the evening as the guy got the tire retreaded t maximize its life.
Once we were in the vicinity of the peak, the chetta let us climb up on the jeep and sit on the carrier while the jeep took its hairpin turns eding towards the peak. It was quite a ride and great bumpy fun.
Soon we set off on the trail, only to find that I and window were not able to keep up the pace with the rest, tiring within a few minutes of the steep climb. Old man was laso having a hard time but sunny and the thakur weren’t. We were given much encouragement, but what had happened was that the dosas had upset our tummies and left us feeling like throwing up after every few metres that we climbed. Well, somethings happened and both of us were fine, we climbed and climbed, reached the heart shaped lake, dipped our hands into the cool water of the lake, spotted many fish. There was another group of people trekking, from B’lore, gave us company considering most of the group had gone on way ahead and were completely out of sight.
I slipped at dangerous places quite a few times (which would also increase on the way down), pulled stomach muscles that had healed only a few days ago and cut my hands in a few places, but went on. Grown up me! We shouted from the hills, calling for the bichda hua group but we got no reply. Sunny kept going on about how hungry he was and how badly he wanted chicken biryani :D When we were a few metres from the top and climbing the hills by sheer hanging on to rooted bushes and finding the right footholds, we heard a couple of our saathis shouting from the peak, ‘Aa jao, aa jao!’ Already mad at the sheer steepness and the neverending trek, we turned to each other and wondered ‘what do they think we’re doing?!’ The few metres to reach the peak took a huge amount of effort, many a time during the trek I thought of VB’s funda about ‘Don’t think of the peak, think of the next step’.
We reached up only to realize that the others had reached nearly an hour before us and were ready to begin the trip back in just fifteen minutes! After some hemming and hawing, we set off downwards a few minutes later, a different route but a lot more scarier because it was rocky with small stones that would roll down when you stepped on them plus the fact that we were going downhill. Prath kept shouting at me ‘Step sideways! Step sideways!’, the thakur guided me about the stones to step on, but soon my legs had given way and all I wanted to do was to sit in one place and stay there forever. During two stretches, I was literally dragged down, with my legs trembling at every step and losing all concentration. I don’t know what I’d have done otherwise, probably come back the next morning.
Finally trudged my way to the rest who were washing face and hands and glugging away to glory at water bottles, considering most of our water supply was done even before we’d reached the peak, (did drink some water from the lake too, unknowingly). My skin felt like rough paper and I was in a daze, just climbed into the jeep and laid my head to rest. Sunna also fell asleep just like me, all of us waking up when we stopped at a restaurant where the food was terrible but wsa gobbled up gratefully and sunna got his chicken biryani :D I was so dazed that I climbed up the steps outside the restaurant, stepping sideways in keeping with Prath's former instructions! The ride back was something I’m going to remember for a long time - huge towering peaks in the darkness, a bad road and traffic made up of heavy trucks and racing Kerala buses.
My knees are still aching a bit, four days later. Badly need to get into shape!
PS: This post has been written in the terrible MIS class where each class starts with ‘Please meditate and identify your value for today’!! New developments taking place in coll group, still have some unconfirmed news to confirm.