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Sunday 1 June 2014

Chembra Trek

Here comes the next trek of Trekzon to the Chembra hills.
Not exactly to the peak because it was not allowed for the visitors due to some wildlife mandatory, but up to the half way of peak which is 4500 ft where there is a beautiful and sensual heart shaped Lake. I wondered how such a lake was formed in this intersection and became more interested hearing the specialty of it. Nobody has heard the lake been dried up in any seasons. Chembra peak is said to be the highest in southern part of Wayanad district.

On 1st of June, we kicked off from Tholpetty through Kaattikulam, Panamaram, Kalpetta, where we had breakfast and then to Meppady, the basetown of the peak. From Meppady mosque, took right and drove 2 km to reach the forest post to get a pass for the trek. 500 Rs for 10 members is the overall fee. Not bad I thought!

And then a drive about 5 km to reach the second forest office at Chembra estate. The short drive was almost like a vehicle safari. So horrible was the road .There was a parking lot, all settled!

By 11.A.M another onset begins, a walk through the rolling tea estate in midst of all the surrounding mountains in itself was visually beautiful. At a point, to ensure the cleanliness of the peak we had to pay an amount of Rs 200 for the water bottles taken. This is refundable. It seemed as a clever move from the forest department because everyone will have to carry all the bottles to redeem their advance.
It was a moderate walk till we reached the watch tower.

Behind the watch tower could see a small path. Bit-by-bit the way got narrow and steep. Two could hardly climb parallel. After few meters, the path became steeper with hard rocks and slippery mud way. At the beginning itself we started to clench our breaths, very much not like the Brahmagiri trek we did.

This time in the fast movers, we had Sreejith etan too. Rest of us climbed with more breaks. Because of the previous experience, each of us took 2 water bottles.
As we were climbing, many others on their way down were dipped in sweats. We saw some over weighted climbers; needless to say they were in real struggle fighting with Mother Nature.  The way up had all chances of twists and slips.

We couldn’t lift our legs up to a point after sometime. So rested at each and every place where we spotted some nice little rocks. Shade or not, doesn’t make any difference at times.
After an hour of steep climbing I saw thriptha eagerly searching for her bag, hurrying up to take some cashew nuts which she was taking great care and protecting it from thieves inside and outside the group.

In-between the climb came across a fine round rock. We all stood alongside it and enjoyed the scenic beauty and spotted the parking lot. It was quite far away and realized that we had covered some distance.

With the same condition the steep ends and came flat grasslands where we could see a small puddle over the right. There is a chance of misunderstanding seeing the puddle as the lake from distance.
We had some photography sessions too .Through the grassland further uphill leads to the lake. The view around was splendid though.

Our eyes were pointing towards the uphill. Climbed up and got stuck at the sight of a calm and beautiful heart shaped lake in the midst of misty hills.
Small wavers as a pattern on it. That was something everyone should witness. We rested on the lake side dipping our feet into the chill water, tiny fishes started tickling it making the moment happier. As told that was not the peak. One can see a big hill towards; it’s said to be the fourth hill from the peak. Imagine the way ahead!

Heart shaped lake is a spot for every tourist who comes there. But deep inside we all had a desire to reach the highest peak in Wayanad district with 2100 m ASL.

We then hovered to the hills towards the right. Banasura dam, Edakkal caves and Kalpetta can be spotted in case if there is no mist. Meanwhile the fast movers had already conquered a place, enjoying the nature’s beauty along with enjoying two beauties gliding a kite there. They thought we would never reach up and by the time had finished clicking pictures of their own. But we cracked their belief reaching the top successfully.  Kite gliding over the clouds was a fine sight. Anyone would wish to glide a kite in a place like Chembra hills.

We bushed some time clicking pictures and resting over the slanting rocks.
 Can you see our group?
Anish etan clicked a beautiful picture of us resting in the slanting rock from the adjoining hill. Mist started overlapping the mountains. The time spent was more worthy for the steeps climbed. To the peak it’s a total coverage of six stages. After an hour of spending time, Sunisha and Sreejith etan had found a tiny natural fountain and filled up the bottles.
Then to the steps down. The way down was quick. While walking down Shanmu anna dotted the “Great Hornbill” far away, a dark yellow one. We all applauded his power of perceiving things. He spotted some varieties of birds too. Witnessing things thereby we climbed down and had the same experience of people asking” How long should we climb??” we too handed over the same cheer answer we got. Some people were also stuck without water; we did help them by lending ours.

A funny coincidence was prevailing for the whole trek. Whenever I warned others to walk safe, that moment they would slip or get twisted. Some had a fear to linger around me for this reason. Poor I was, walking alone with the pranks of coincidence!

The way back to the tower, Dhanesh had a last minute power play with Binu and managed to reach the tower first. By the time we walked back through the tea estates it was 4.30 P.M, hunger started punching our stomach. The amount was redeemed after checking the bottles. Straight to the parking lot, got into the cars and drove to Kalpetta and had a late but nice biriyani.

Then came the moment of disperse. Spending couple of moments after chit chats we all bid bye to each other and split into two ways. One group through Vythiri, Thamarassery and Calicut to reach Palakkad and other through Meppady, Cherambady, Nadugani and to wind up at Gudalur. Countless running roads, Rocky Mountains, greeny hills ahead, waiting for the next hike! 

Author : Sudhina v.k