We boarded around 9 PM from Bangalore City Station. This being my third trek with BASC, I started seeing familiar faces. There were quite a few trekking groups as well. After introductory sessions on whereabouts and other follow up questions, we started to play Rummy, an usual proven method to break the jinx and get acquainted with the group. As luck would have it, I managed to win first three rounds and was termed hat trick hero. Instant popularity you see. :-)
Day 1 started with not so good idly breakfast at Kollem station. As the trip was planned very late, and being season time, the tickets in Chennai Express were already in waitlist. The train was jam packed as expected and with no options left, we had to force ourselves in along with our luggages. Though it was a good experience, if you are planning for a trip I would recommend to book your tickets well in advance to avoid the hassale.
|The majestic Dudhsagar|
|The Monsoon Green|
The best part of the trek was the stay in abandoned jungle lodge which looked haunted and was in unusable state. It resembled the scenes from scary movies, you are inside the car with wiper dancing to the tunes of heavy rains surrounded by the eeriness of the silent forest. We were given assurance by people who stayed here in previous treks. Rooms were lit using torches, floors swept, Odomos applied and sleeping mats covered the floor. To my left was a huge brown jungle lizard staring right into my eyes and a pile of garbage on to my right. Can't ask for a more dramatic night with the sleeping movement on plastic bag creating sounds similar to that of a croaking frog on one side and the hush hush voices of talking ladies on the other side. Despite all the distractions, thanks to the tiredness, we all had a very good sleep.
|The abandoned jungle lodge|
|Should I say stop littering or stop drinking ??|
Finally the sun was down. Dinner was packed. The train arrived. People played UNO. There were lots of jokes made, funny moments shared, legs pulled. As the clock struck 12, it was one of the folks birthday and we had a short celebration of Kunda cutting. Two nights back we hardly knew each other. Now here we are celebrating the birthday like friends. You meet as strangers, speak random stuffs, discuss about treks, languages, movies and share interests and end up as good friends. I believe that's what makes traveling with strangers more exciting.