Simon Lobos house in ruins
That’s Anish, out guide.
We got many compliments on our, hand made walking poles. When we conveyed these messages to the maker , that is our old tiger, he just smiled with a look which said “No one can beat me in that”
We did it. Small he may look but his energy level is crazy.
Nothing could stop this little guy, no rain, no wind

From one week I was buttering my 9 years old nephew to accompany me on Kudremukh trek.

What’s trekking? was his first question. After buttering, enticing him with colorful pictures of mountain I some how convinced him to get permission from his parents. “You are too small”, “it’s raining”.. but nothing could hold him back. I wanted a partner and there he was making plans, dreaming and waiting for permission

Till last minute we thought we can’t make it but thanks to all my last minute planning, my nephew’s bubbling enthusiasm, we were able to pack our bags.

“Aba have given binoculars, they are pretty heavy, where I should keep it”

“On your head!!!. We are not taking all that. It’s not car drive, where you get on tourist place and click pictures , we have to carry our bags and walk, pack light”. I told him hoping I dont have to carry him on my back.

Deep down I knew it, he can slay it but was worried he will start with wining ,end up in crying and that will be my first local trek without summit.

We didn’t take jeep ride from the base camp, rather we walked, it was 20mins walk. He was all game for it.

Quick bag check at the base camp for plastic and we were all set.

“Are you tired?”, “Should I carry your bag?”…I was checking with this little guy every now and then. If I didn’t get any reply it meant, he is tired and his bag needs to be carried. He was hesitant but would end up saying, “yes, really appreciate it”. Then after few minutes he would say ” give me SNL, I will carry my bag” like a gentleman and sometimes I would end up saying “carry your bag, take it…..” followed by a long pause “you are ok right”. He would carry the bad and say “Yes, yes” He is real sweetheart at times, not always :).10KM one way, so it was 20KM trek

“So you mother-son duo are in your own?” I had to smile and correct them which would make my nephew giggle. Many patted his back seeing this passion and energy, I could see 2 little horns on nephews head which were results of his proud moment. There were few more kids, 2 girls and a boy of his age on the trail, the girls could make it but the later one couldnt.

We kept on walking, stopping on need basis to sip water or to eat some chocolates which were without their wrapper.

There were so many times I had to guide him on mountain rules. He would listen occasionally but most of the time would run like orangutan ,my one loud bark and he was back to being a sweet little boy, following the trail like a hard core trekker.

Leeches and my three falls on the slippery trail he enjoyed the most. There were so many leeches and we were planning to get one for his sister just to scare her away.

“You sure, leech bit your butt?” he asked giggling. “I am not sure, but there is something moving…” is all I could say.

By the time we reached home, he was scared with leech bite, stories of wild boar, mountain goat and leeches he saw on the trail. He might or may not be a professional trekker, I hope he will remember his first trek with his crazy aunt when he grows up.

I wouldn’t be surprise if they end up fighting on the altar
He is still learning how to tie that skirt
The picture I always wanted.
If you have a crazy will, ideas and a washing machine you can always check you bucket list

When I was younger I always wanted to be a altar girl, to serve the priest, to observe the mass more closely and may be to sip some wine. Sadly I never got that opportunity.

Being too old i don’t think I will ever get a chance to be a altar girl but I got a chance to click a pic with those rascals and I grabbed it.

If you have a will ,you will always make a way

Orchids
First day first grp pic
Land slides are common. One wrong foot or hoof and you will be history
Never stopping boys.
Camp site
Our Mess

Trek was easy with slopes and steep ascend, without rain and leeches. Trail was dry and met many strangers who were returning. Cold packed lunch wasn’t that great but we didn’t had any option.

By the time we reached Sachen it started to drizzle. Thanks to TTH staff they pitched our tent in no time.

Our Mess was bit far away hence we didn’t bother to go back to our tents when we went for our soup. Thanks to the rain, acclimatization was cancelled. Our HR partners showcased their talents by entertaining us. With great difficulty we washed our lunch box in that cold water. Well maintained Indian toilet was very comforting in place surrounded by mules

Far away from civilization there was peace, atleast for a while we didn’t have to worry about the life’s cats race, traffic, work. My tent mate, the Pink lipstick lady was very down to earth and a non-snoring lady, i thanked all my stars for that

Indie Dalmatian 😅

Goechala being a defficult trek i was not prepared physically, no running, no walking only eating and more eating, my stomach was like Lord Ganesha’s tummy.” I can do it” i was prepared only mentally

Like always, my dad was assuming i was working from blore, between those 4 walls. It’s not that I didn’t want to inform him it’s just that he can’t imagine me trekking in unknown state. So I have to lay low. ” No , network, don’t call, i will drop a message whenever I can” my mom and sister were asked to follow this guideline no matter what and repeat with sentiments” don’t call her she must be busy” whenever he tried to call me. I was hoping that my dad won’t come to know about my adventure while I am away and my secret will be safe

Been familiar with Bagdogra I felt it like my second home. It was my second visit in last 6months. Same familiar AirBnb, same auto guy, same boring flyover and dust

May 7: I attended the mass early morning buttering god to watch over me and protect me. One can never be safe when it’s mountain we are climbing, 200 things can go wrong.

Finally when I met my trekmates i was” it’s going to be terrible” i found their smile dry like dry grass, ready to get sucked anytime.” Oh boy” was all I could say. But then to compliment lady in pink top with pink lipstick, lady with Bob hair, guy with shy nature and tall guy with “i am so happy” smile lighten the atmosphere.

I was lucky i must say to travel with those 2 ladies and that shy guy. Pink lady was in her early 50s and her trekking experience was amazing, she was passionate, full of energy and ” i don’t give rats ass” atitude. Bob hair lady was our HR partner, very smart, also a trekker and traveler, intelligent too. Shy guy was working in bank and we didn’t give him any chance to speak🤩

Thani was changing gear left, right speeding his car while we spoke this, that and there was a time we were dead silent dozing on and off.

I had missed 2 seasons due to covid and didn’t want to miss this one so i had packed my bags without second thought. It was crazy difficult I knew it, heard a lot, read a lot so wanted to check my caliber.

While Thani zuped his wagonr with full speed on those curves i thought will reach heaven before reaching the mountain. With his upscaled driving skills he dropped us to Yuksom without a scratch on our body. He and we both deserve a medal for that journey.

Trek briefing, document submission, last minute shopping, last bath with packed energy we slept that night in that cozy room on comfortable bed.

To Be Continued…

When Mountains Call…

Posted: May 31, 2022 in My Silly thoughts

Crazy challenging trail

Been couple of weeks since I am back from the most challenging trek but still can’t get my head around. I miss the trail, the crazy weather, the tents, kitchens boys rap songs followed by their laughter, the cozy candle light soup followed by dinner. Most of all I miss my trek mates, weirdly amazing strangers from different corner of the country.

Image  —  Posted: May 5, 2022 in My Silly thoughts

Jacky My Jaan

Posted: May 2, 2022 in My Silly thoughts
Jack fruit

Image  —  Posted: April 28, 2022 in My Silly thoughts

First Rain, First Bloom

Posted: April 26, 2022 in My Silly thoughts