After we crossed the waterfalls, to make our lives miserable, it started to rain – heavily! We had two raincoats and a jacket with us. So we were like big deal! Nothing can dampen our spirits and off we go towards the peak which included more slippery rocks at a slant angle. Finally around 4.30 PM we reached the peak.
It was raining and we were soaking wet.
Ecstatic I felt mostly but also there was a doubt lurking somewhere at the back of my mind about our descent the same day. When it rains it pours and so it did! Mist covered everything around and visibility reduced badly. We started back to Bhattaru Mane by 5 PM and were trying to negotiate the slippery waterfall for a trail towards the leech valley. Somewhere on our way down the peak, we missed the trail (as in there is no trail as such just missed the direction) and ended up groping in the mist for the right direction down the waterfall. This was some experience, being blinded by mist! So by the time we realized the right way to go down with the help of another group of trekkers camping at the peak, it was too late and we were very apprehensive about making our way down unscathed!
And if I forgot to mention, it was still raining and we were still soaking wet.
Without sleeping bags, tent, food, dry clothes (we had nothing on us since our plan was to camp at Bhatta’s place) we set out to spend the night atop coz it sounded much better than getting down the slippery rock in the mist and rain. The super friendly trekkers offered us a tent and thank goodness for that! Shivering like crazy, the tent offered us temporary respite from the lashing wind and rain but it didn’t last long. We were soaking wet and starving all night long! For 13 hrs we were holed up in that tent. Only god knows what we all went through. It was funny in ways I didn’t imagine. Water flowing below the tent was giving an extra cooling effect. Only leeches were missing from the scene..or were they? From god knows where, leeches were entering the tent. Not miserable enough? Okay we’ve got more. We were literally sleeping in puddles. Water was seeping into the tent from one corner. After what felt like an eternity someone asked what’s the time? Only to realize we had another eternity to endure.
And if I haven’t mentioned yet, it was still raining and we were still soaking wet!
After two eternities, the sun was shining again. The early morning view was to die for and maybe our previous night was the means.
I always wanted to wake up above the cloud cover and this was close. After a few clicks and few thanks and farewells with the other group we started the descent. It took us some contemplating again but finally we got down along the waterfall itself. After that, we crossed the leech valley which was looking lovely with the morning sunrays illuminating the forest. Not having dinner nor breakfast was showing its effect as we were getting down. Once we crossed Sesha Parvatha, a constant camaraderie shared with the pink flowers, clouds and the flies made the descent delightfully memorable well the flies were not delightful but unforgettable for sure. At one point we decided, any day we’d choose leeches over the flies.
On our way back, we stopped at the orchid cave. Now don’t think this girl is acting too girly talking all about flowers but I guess flowers were one of the main attractions of this trek. :D And all this while, I was terribly weakened with all the starving and shivering. Once we reached Bhatta’s place by noon, few morsels of food and a quick nap did a whole world of good. Started from Bhattaru mane by 2.20 and we cruised through the leech infested forests with much rigor and ended the trek by 4.10 – no major stops anywhere.
It’s 5 in the evening and we are dry, warm, stomach’s full and comfortably seated in the car but all that we were thinking was What a trek! What a view! What a night and WHAT AN ADVENTURE!
I almost forgot. :D I did check my weight. It was less by 2 kgs. :)