After coorg, we had an overnight trip to Chikmagalur. Post stopping by a hotel for some rest and a much needed bath, we decided to embark on the singular event we had planned for the day- the 8km trekking up Mullayanagiri hills.
The bus stopped at the foot of the hill, and we were distributed water bottles. I took and hid one, because I was damn sure that halfway through the path all of us would be ready to murder each other for a drink.
The walk started off well and good. We walked on a smooth, paved road, pausing here and there to admire the scenery. It was a beautiful place, with curves roads surrounded by forests shrouded in mist even in the afternoon.
We were asked to climb a ‘path’ on one side of the hill so as to save a few kilometres on the way to the top. The path itself was more a slippery slope of death than what it’s name denotes.
Not to mention, we were crawling up in a straight line. I kept looking at the people in front of me and wondering how much I’d be squished if the one at the top loses her footing and we all come tumbling down. It wasn’t a pretty image.
But once we got through the slippery slope of death, there was a paved road again.
Except the place where we had to walk like crabs, because the path was so small and and steep. There was vegetation on both sides, tricking us to think that it was actually wider. Thinking back, it was a rather dangerous point in the whole trekking thing. If we’d gone without a guide, we’d never have known this and might have fallen down for sure.
We paused here and there to take photographs. Sometimes, this was in the middle of the road and we had to hurry off so as to not get squished by people who cheated their way to the top via automobiles.
We could see for miles and miles and miles! Sure, there was this undeniable urge to just scream ‘I’M KING OF THE WORLD!‘ (which I did, and my friend promptly reminded me that I am, in fact, a female and hence it should be queen- I called him an ignorant buffoon who hasn’t watched Titanic) but mostly we were just gaping into the abyss like a school of goldfish.
We sat there for about half an hour, just relaxing. And it was fun with friends, but I felt like it would be great for couples as well! I mean, nothing screams romance like pushing yourself to the brink of exhaustion and cuddling at the top of a hill when you’re both sweaty as hell but are too considerate to mention it to each other!
On descending the ‘view point’ we saw a few people selling all kinds of eatables. I had tender coconut juice (at the expense of a friend- thanks😆) and some Bhel puri (also at the expense of another friend- thanks😆). I was kinda hoping for there to be some flesh in my tender coconut when they split it open cause I really wanted to eat that, but the vendor just shook his head silently after cracking it. It was a solemn shake. Like a ‘I’m sorry, you cannot be cured‘ or ‘ I’m sorry, your dog is dead‘ shake. It made me feel even more miserable.
So it was almost three, and we hadn’t had lunch yet. My tummy was learning to mimic Japan during one of their famous earthquakes, and I was mildly enjoying it, until someone nearby went “What is that sound?”. I think I lit up like a stop light.
We were at first told that our lunch would be waiting for us once we walk down from the view point. Then they asked us to wait at the starting of the last ‘shortcut’. Then the second last. By the time we reached the third last one, we’d recognised a pattern. We sat down together, moaning that we won’t move another inch without food. And they had no choice but to bring food to us.
And the food. Well, at least it was clean.
After that, they asked us to walk back the rest of the way.
We displayed one of the strongest proofs of our unity yet by staying put and giving them a silent but resounding “Hell no”.
They brought the bus up.
The rest of the day is a blur punctuated by blisters, sun burns and that half-drunken state you get into when you’re too tired to think.
Our third destination was Bangalore!
(To be continued)