At the start of the journey in front of Rajesh's house...
I reached Rajesh's place at exaclty 10:03pm on Saturday, I know it's 3mins late.. Got introduced to everyone and the wait for the Tempo Traveller begun. His (Rajesh's) dog is just AWSOME, too cool dog. Had some fun with it (Dhiraj is allergic to dogs :D).
The tempo traveller (here after TT) arrived at about 11:30pm. Rajesh's mom did pooja for the TT and there was a small prayer for our safe return. We left Malleswaram by 12:10am (Sunday). Had some Ice-breaking (Intro) session in the bus for some time - say about till 2am. After that one by one feel alseep. Filled up fuel (Diesel) for the TT in a petrol bunk on Mysore road. Stopped at Srirangapatna for tea/coffee and biscuits. Again hit the road by around 4am. Crossed the Kerla-Karnataka border by paying a toll of about 1300 rs into kerla. We reached Vianad at about 6am.
We were stuck at Vianad. Not knowning the local language (Malayalam) it was difficult to decipher the directions pointed out by the locals there. At last after talking to the travel agent and officer in IB (Inspection Bunglao) in Srimangala. The fog covered scenary is just amazing. Took some photographs of the fog covered roads and the sorrounding area. It was not zero-visibility but visibility was very poor. It was fun travelling there.
After great difficulty and criss-crossing our way through the maze of roads in kerla we made it to a Coffee estate on the "correct" way to Srimangala. A photo session as ususal. Some picts have come magnificantly. Then after about 30mins we left to Srimangala. Once there, Rajesh and DJ went to get everything sorted with the Forest Officer. We went to a hotel for morning breakfast. This was about 10am. If I'm not mistaken, the name of the hotel was "Hotel Santi". We all had parota with veg curry/egg curry. Also had maddur vadas and coffee/tea. Coffee was horrible there. We left to
the IB which was about 3 kms from Srimangala.
This was a nice place with some good photographic locations. Thanks to rajesh we got some good photographs. We were waiting for another group to join us to the camp site at aabyloo. Once they came we were on the road again but this time it was neither comfortable nor fun. Tree density increased and road width decreased. There was problem for the other group's TT to make it to the base camp. At once we were at the camp site. There were other trekkers who were out on the trek and they were supposed to leave that afternoon. A nice stream of water flowed very near to the camp site.
After a small break and a nice refreshing drink from the stream we started the trek at about 2:00pm.
I forgot to mention that our driver Mr. Sunil was the only person to lift a long log vertically up. Ok so we started the trek at about 2. It was a forest trek of 5-6kms. We had picked up the guide from IB> He guided us throughout the trek. It was not difficult though. Plain ground to trek. After reaching the end we turned back and went to the waterfall. Needless to say but on this way - Sharan got hurt, Dhiraj and me did some rock climbing.
Waterfall was just too great. It is the same falls that can be seen from Brahmagiri peak acording to Rajesh. First thing I did was wanting to take a bath, I went down. I was joined by all the others slowely. It was really superb. The waterfall looked so small but it was really powerful. Each drop of water was like an electric shock sent to the brain. After the bath and some good photographs, we left back to camp.
Once in the camp, this is at 6:45pm, we started collecting logs on the way back. We set up camp fire from 7:30pm. Had dinner cooked by the caretakers there (Rice and sambar) we spent some time near the fire till 11:45pm. It got colder and colder as the time past by and night swept in. At 12:00am Monday, we left on the journey back to Bangalore. We were supposed to stay back there for another day and do something else but since it is Solar Eclipse today (26th Jan 09) we decided that we cannot do anything there and so it's better for us to return,.We reached Bangalore at about 6:30am and I reached home at 7:00am today (26th Jan 09)
In the coffee plantation on the way to Srimangala....