Monday, September 20, 2010

My First Ever Trek

I’m not an adventure person, given an opportunity I’d sleep through the entire weekend or weekdays with little or no contact with the outside world. I had little or no contact with the outside world last weekend, thanks to a out of network prompt. I loved that disconnected feeling, where nobody can ring you at odd hours, where time stands still, and you can see only greenery all around you. It was pristine beauty at its best.

A certain friend of mine who is this major wildlife enthu pattani convinced me to trek. I had my initial apprehensions; will I be able to walk? Am I fit enough? What if I get bitten by random insects?
The worst of all was – the fear of leeches.

In spite of all these nagging questions, there was this tiny voice in my head which said; go for it tiger. Incidentally we were off to a tiger reserve.

14 of us were off to this place in Palakkad called Parambikulam Tiger Reserve. Awesomeness is one word to describe the entire trip. Never in my life did I imagine that I’d love wildlife as much, or have so much fun in a forest.

I agree with G when she says, a forest is where you feel  vulnerable and close to mother nature at the same time.  I know what it felt like when the guide asked all of us to stay where we were, when he said “bison”.
A trek makes you realise that Mother Nature is fragile, and we’ve practically taken our existence for granted. Man probably stands on top of the food chain, but he hardly realises that, his sustenance lies in the forests, which are getting destroyed at a rapid pace.

This was my two day trip to Kerala; trekking, lots of laughter and an experience of a lifetime. You can now safely add me to the list of wannabe naturalists, though the passion can never equal G’s or Uncle’s for wildlife, their existence, and the way they connect to nature.

We trekked through God knows how many kilometres, but it was total fun, the panting, gasping for breath, holding onto people while going uphill and downhill. The leech bites, the insects, the leopard’s paw, the bison in close proximity, the fear that gripped when I saw wild dogs crossing the roads. Nothing can equal the thrill of having monkeys in the dining hall,  and the cuteness of the baby monkey which tried to impress me*.

The laughs I shared over the last two days still resonate in my ears.  The photograph frenzy and everything else that happened over the last two days will remain etched in my memory for a long long time. The sadness that engulfed me when we packed our bags to leave the dormitory called Hornbill.

5 leech bites later, I can say – I love you Mother Nature. But I’m still scared of animals, especially dogs.
Thanks a lot G for convincing me, thanks to all the fellow trekkers, and special thanks to Uncle for making this trip a memorable one.

Cheers :)

*the place I lived in Bangalore before coming down to Madras, used to have hordes of monkeys visit us during the summers. So, the paati of mine made me chant *Ram Ram* every time a monkey in the balcony.   I did not do the same during the trek, because I was busy poking fun at Roo :P


Ram said...

Sandhya, welcome to the party. Parmabikulam tiger reserve is one place I really want to visit. Not just for trekking but also for some birding and wildlife photography as well.
Good to know that you had a very good time there.
If possible can you share with me the details of where you stayed and how you got permission to the reserve etc.
Please mail me if you have those details.

gitanjali.j said...

LOL :) cute post, and see this is exactly what we hope for when we take you inside a wildlife reserves :)Cheers macha!! big hug*

Pushkaraj said...

Welcome to the club! Hope your first trek inspires you to do many more. I consider myself fortunate for having pursued the hobby for many years.