It has always been my aim to travel more. Ever since I was a child. Ever since I got a job. Ever since I dreamed of switching to a better paid job. Those milestones have been achieved, but not so much the goal of travelling. But the last weekend of April (27-28th), one of the long-standing items in that ever-increasing wish-list was ticked off. I went on my maiden trek to Kunti Betta and boy, what an experience it was!
Kunti Betta is approx. 125 km away from Bangalore, making it an easy weekend destination for trekkers from the city. We booked our trip for Skandagiri from BookMyShow, but last minute the trek was changed to Kunti Betta (I’ll share another post where I talk about the trek organizers). The fact that Skandagiri is at least 50 km less far compared to Kunti Betta was attractive for me, because I wanted to reach home sooner after all that tiredness. However, in life, you can never be too rigid about plans, and so we jumped on the chance.
We started around 11.30 PM from Marathahalli, but due to the ineptness of the driver, we took almost 5 hours to reach to Kunti Betta. I have never done a trek before, let alone night trek. There was darkness all around, except for the pale moonlight. The path ahead was not visible unless we shone our torches. The giant rock formations was on all sides, and there was an eerie silence except our chatter, footsteps and the mewl for stray cats. In fact, as we walked on in the wilderness of nature where men’s laws do not apply, I expected to pretty much see a snake crawling out from the rocks.
One thing this trek taught me: I need to work hard on my stamina. I started panting within five minutes of the trek. Some of the rocks were too high for my five-foot high frame, so my friends and fellow trekkers had to help me up. It meant me placing faith in people who I knew little for moving forward. That requires trust-building. I was also feeling like I could perhaps not make it entirely up to the top, but I pushed myself to keep going. It’s not a nice experience to be left alone, all in the middle of wilderness where Google Maps struggles and wait out the night.
Reaching the top was a beautiful experience. I saw the black of the night turn into shades of blue (inspiration for a new painting). I saw the blue give way to the green and the daylight flooding us from all around. While as much as the scenic beauty is breathtaking, you know one wrong step and you can end up with your neck broken. So, you are on your edge, always alert even when you are inspired. Much like our early men who fought other animals for a space in the food pyramid.
The descent I expected to be harder, especially with the rocks that were too high and sloping for me to climb. But guess what, humans always find a way. I used the rocks as slides and happily slid down.
On the way back, we also did some kayaking – the very first time in my life. I think I am okay at it. I cannot possibly explain the joy I felt seeing so many mango trees at the Q Experiences resort (where the kayaking happened).
In spite of some of the rough experiences with the trek organizers, the joy that I got from this trek is priceless. I remember telling my friends while we were going to Kunti Betta, “If the trek is not worth it, seriously I am going to hate the day.” But when the cool breeze at the top dried away my sweat and I felt the freshest in many days, that’s not the thought that came to my mind. I felt peaceful and even called up my mother on video and showed her the pretty picture.
For those of you who prefer your visuals to your text, I have made a small video of the trek on my YouTube channel. Feel free to check it out:
Have you ever trekked before? Do you remember what it felt like, the first time you climbed up a mountain? Share your thoughts with me. Oh also, I hope you enjoyed the pictures!