Restless Ramblers D.6-Kalavaarahalli Betta
Half past midnight, amidst the snoring sleep, a knock at door, wondering where are we! Soon on the way to Skandagiri... We're the Restless Ramblers.
Like most of our trips this one was unplanned as well. Ending all the confrontations of strict 'No's and shaky 'Yes's, all we were required was to brush our teeth and pick up few packs of juice. Initially, it was tough to realize the 'I-can-be-awake-all-night' phenomena but with the elegant moonlight and refreshing breeze, biking on empty roads was a 'Dare-I-wink' scenario. The route till Nandi hills road was pretty straightforward considering our previous trips within the same vicinity and after competing with the street dogs, we took the Hebbal-->Airport Road-->Nandi Hills route. It was only later that we were in a fix in our first night expenditure without the route map and any local help to guide us. With mountains on both the sides, we made several guesses on our destination but it was not possible to reach the exact one without the help of a poultry owner and a drunkard passing by.
Unlike our previous ventures where we used to be the lone masters of the expedition, this one was crowded with several bikes at the base. Although later we did realize that they were already at the top the previous evening for camping. We wasted no time and with a dreadful tea bringing us to our senses, we started the memorable night trek at 03.30 A.M. We realized the first shortcoming of such an unplanned trip when we were left in no man's land searching for directions to follow. It was then our Sony Ericsson W800i and K810 flash lights proved worthy. The initial journey was full of pranks to frighten the fellow mates and responding to the torch lights from the peak.
The best part of a night trek is you don't have to fight the scorching sun although it vented its anger on our way back. This trek was a bit tedious and time consuming as you've to find your way to the top. We took around 2hrs 30mins and 3 packs of juice each to conquer the 1350m high peak. Since I easily give way to breathelessness, my strategy in completing such treks is to divide the trek in to 2 halves. I take the first half enthusiastically in feeling the experience, setting up the mood and exploring the place. Once tired, I'm completely focussed on reaching the destination. This passion overcomes my panting for breath. It happened to me till we reached a small temple midway. It was the desire to reach the top before sunrise that kept me moving.
We made it 5 mins before 6.00 and the view was simply unrealistic. Several mountain peaks covered with the misty crown and shades of yellow and orange reflecting all over although the mist hindered the view of much hyped sunrise of Kalavaarahalli betta. It was a gala gathering at the top with temple place supporting camp-fire and guitars adding to the rythm of strong winds. There was delights of green vegetation, joy of orange sunlight, enthusiasm of the red attire and high spirited blue sky to satisfy our ever demanding souls.
Although Antargange was our next trek after Ramanagara, in May-2008, unavailability of the pics at this time prompted my to write about Skandagiri experience.