Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Valikunju peak

I was keeping in touch for a long time with dinesh holla and finally had the oppurtunity to meet the yhai mangalore folks.After completing the Aramane gadde trek i headed towards Karkala.

I reached Karkala at about 6:30 pm and headed towards Ajakaru.I was picked up at Ajakaru by the Yhai team and headed towards Andaru village our base camp for the day.Badly needing a bath i first had a open air bath behind the school.We camped at a school in andaru village,it was a wonderful experience.Dinner was arranged at a local person's place,it was hot rice and sambhar for dinner.

Above : Adike thota @Andaru village

Soon we cozied up at the school and there was some good entertainment from kamath sir ,we chatted for about 1 hour before we decied to hit the bed at 10:30 pm.Somewhere in between when i got up ,it was raining very heavily.Got up early and freshened up.We had idli for breakfast and headed towards the valikunju peak.We parked our vehicles near the forest office.basavaraj would be our guide for the day.

The trek started with steep ascent at 8:30 am.It took me a while getting adjusted to the steep ascent ,coming from a tough aramane gadde trek.At about 9:30 am we hit the first break point ,a small rock platform.An interesing anecdote was narrated at one point by our guide Basavaraj.

Above : First break point

Sometime in 1994-One foreign couple was attacked by a huge python(this forest is known to have them in plenty).The male was attacked and was eaten up almost till the hips.His companion should very good presence of mind ,hurrying down to the base where she met basavaraj and managed to take him along with a sickle.All this is 30 minutes flat from the intial attack which basavaraj says is simply a miracle considering this path up and down takes atleast an hour in the best case.She soon slit the python and freed her companion ,all the while basavaraj was just a stunned and mute spectator!!!.The man survived the attack with some very deep wounds from the python sharp teeth.

Above : Spot of the python attack

As we moved along in the next hour we deviated towards our only water stream point for the day.After filling up the water bottles we moved along further.10 minutes from here we hit the first grassland.We stopped here for sometime cleaning up the leaches which had got onto our legs.

Above : First view of Valikunju peak

Above : View on the ascent to Valikunju peppered with some excellent weather

Above : View of the shola forests enroute to Valikunju peak

From here it was a 3 peak hike ,steeper than our intial path.As we moved along we spotted fresh bear droppings.Each break meant we were greeted by some amazing landscapes allround.The weather was ideal for trekking with clouds covering ,sometimes threatening with a huge downpour but later vanishing giving us some amazing landscapes.Finally we reached the peak at 12:30 pm ,a good 4 hour trek from the base.

Above : Views from the peak Valikunju

Everyone relaxed ,munching on some titbits that they had bought along.I rested for a while.Then it was photo time with people busy clicking snaps.Soon sudhir had got some gojju which was mixed with avalakki and distributed to all.It was a good munch on.Then everybody started dozing off.By 1:30 pm it was time for descent

The descent is a bit tricky ,very very slippery.One slip might and twist an ankle or tumble down ,which one has to be quite careful.Although as intially everybody thought that the descent would be quick ,it took us about 3 hours and we were back at the base by
4:30 pm.

Soon we all went to Andaru village.A pleasant surprise was waiting for us .Idlis and alu bajjis where waiting for us :).Everybody was glad and munched on to the surprise snack.I bid goodbye to everybody and Rakesh dropped me to Ajakaru from where i took a bus to Karkala.I then took a bus to dharmasthala.I bumped into a sea of people in dharmasthala :( .Quickly ate some dosa and returned to bangalore by the 11 pm volvo.

The team of yhai mangalore is really a great team to trek with,excellent team work and great camaradarie to see.It is one of the few teams where everybody pitches in.Special thanks to Dinesh holla for this oppurtunity to trek with team Yhai.

I am waiting for my next trek with Yhai Mangalore team.

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