Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Exploration trek to Ramadevara Betta (Tumakuru) - 31 July, 2016

Another weekend, another BTC event :P My first exploration trek with them to make it a different experience though :)

We took a passenger train from Majestic to Kyatsandra. The train was late, but 15 minutes wasn't agonizing like the other trek to Kuntibetta :P It had rained overnight and cloudy morning carried threat of rain during trek as well. Thankfully it didn't and gave us a pleasant weather instead.

We didn't get close seating for our 20 member group. Most took to sleeping anyway, having got up early in the morning. The little talk we had centered around previous treks and plantation drives. We reached Kyatsandra at 9:40 AM and had delicious thatte idlis in a nearby hotel. Also got parcel for lunch.

 




After breakfast, we walked back to station and took a narrow path, surrounded by tall bushes, towards the hill. 25 minute walk later (having crossed the village and a school) we halted near the base of hill for introductory session. Channa and Arun reminded us of BTC policies and then we were on our way again.





Keeping exploratory trek in spirit, we skipped well beaten track and wandered amidst thorny bushes, plants and trees. Somewhere along, two kids became our local guides in addition to guide duty shouldered by Sharath.

 


 

Apart from having to duck and escape thorny bushes, the steepness of path took time to adjust as well. Occasionally some needed assistance to scale rocky path. Soon we joined the regular path and could trek more freely.




We took frequent rest - to catch a breadth, drink water or chance to cool our profusely sweating selves. And obviously with so many photographers, requests for snaps kept coming. I had a great day spotting and clicking insects and flowers.




Around 11:30 AM, we spotted other trekkers (seemed locals from nearby places) coming down. There is a temple and pond at the peak - could see some of them had taken a dip. Our group got roughly divided in two - with the second group lagging by about 5 minutes. We would wait sometimes for them to catch up before continuing.


After a 10 minute break, during which blessedly a breeze cooled us, we moved on. Soon we were amongst trees and bushes again. And the occasional assisted climbs.




Exploratory trek struck again - the group in front took a difficult path and eventually turned back, while the other group took the easier route and reached the peak first :P




20 mintues after noon, everybody reached the pond at the peak. Plenty of lotus. Close by was the temple. We explored the peak for a while, took in the beauty of hills around, the village below, spotting the train station, path we had taken. And snaps for posterity.





Then we hiked to the other ends of this rather vast hill top. It was bare rock someplace and lush green elsewhere. Apart from the temple, there were few sections of fortified walls as well. The grassy path was slushy from rain at some spots. And we passed by another pool, sans lotus and algae cover at one end. Little further, we spotted two mushrooms!







We then spent 10 minutes just so everybody can crawl through gap between boulders :P And on the other side, adventurous trekkers scaled more boulders. After group pics, organizers told us we would be having lunch nearby. Few of us weren't satiated with various photos taken just yet and by the time we were finished, we lost track of those ahead :-/


We shouted Channa's name a few times with no luck. Assuming they had gone to have lunch by the lotus pond, we went there only to discover they weren't there. Belatedly, we remembered that we should have tried to call them on mobile :P The signal was erratic, but we were able to call and let them know our position. As we were right by the trek path, we sat down to have lunch and wait for others to join us (or we would have trekked down and waited). One good thing to come out was the interesting bug I got to click :P



Instead, Arun hiked all the way to our end and we went with him to their spot. Everybody else had finished lunch as well. I had bought a box of soan papdi after breakfast earlier in the day. After Sesha tried to pass it as his birthday sweets, I recalled that it was my birthday 2 days later. But kept quiet as Sesha was already getting mock birthday-bumps :P



We took more group pics and selfies before starting our descent few minutes to 2 PM. And still keeping our exploratory spirits, we braved the thorny bushes for about 10 minutes. Irony wasn't lost on the few of us who had completed an extra round on the peak only to pass through this :-/ :P







An hour of easy descent later, those in front waited for others to catch up. I hadn't eaten lunch as I wasn't hungry having had sumptuous breakfast. So I had it then while waiting. It was still very delicious - closest I can remember of such a tasty packed lunch from prior treks is Vaangibath in Channarayana durga trek.

 

 

 

 

Half an hour later, we reached the station. Plenty of time to run and buy cold drinks and have feedback session. Expenses came to a grand total of Rs 130, including BTC fund of Rs 4. 

 

 

On our way back to Bengaluru, initially we were spread out. Then most of us gathered to play dumb charades. It was fun and hair tearing for few :P (during feedback it was highlighted that we didn't get a chance for fun activities at the peak, so it was good from that perspective as well)

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