The bus seemed comfortable. ample leg space. the rajahamsa executive seems reasonabale for the price.
I felt quite good to feel intrigued by the sheer fact that the journey had commenced without hassles. The road wasnt great... there were intermittent bumps and potholes... Still i wastired and was in deep sleep in no time.
at about 2 a.m in the morning... there suddenly was a restless feel and i realised the bus had stopped. reason : PUncture. Woof. had to happen. i told myself. It took about an hour for the driver-Conducctor Duo to replace the puntured tyre with the stepney (http://www.hindu.com/edu/2004/01/12/stories/2004011200121500.htm). It did not help us for long. We stopped and C.R.PATNA and were shifted to a differnt bus. This had no leg room. But I still continued to sleep :)
We reached Somwarpet at 7 a.m. 1 Hour delayed. SO that emant, we had very short time to refres ourselves and get food packed. We got to know that the mini bus to PUSHPAGIRI was leaving in another 4 minsutes. yeah. thats right. 4 minutes. We pleaded to the conductor to hold the bus for a little longer by when we got some hot puttus and sambar packed. got some boomers and water bottles. I had very less clue that these were to be the 'saviours' during our climb uphill today.
We boarded the 'slow moving' mini bus 5 mins past it scheduled time. There were some verbal accuses on us for delayin the bus by the fellow passengers and the women, being the kinder, by nature, jus managed to frown hard at us.
I was thoroughly impressed by this place somvarpet. A quiet small town. THe climate resmebled that of a propoer hill station... i remember Ooty.... but with just no commersialisation and crowd.
The weather, people somehow was very inviting and had an absolutely soothing effect. The winding roads, cleanly washed by the overnight rains were thick dark tar colour. I liked this. we crossed some smaller villages, hamlets and were heading to pushpagiri. The driver negotiated the curves with a great precision and a knack that only expereince teaches! This driver will make Button run for his money. Awesome driving. I was observign the driver quite closely. He used to honk at some specific spots along the way, stop for a split second at some stops and exchange some goodies...which i realised were milk packets, newspaper, magazines, flowers and some medicine boxes too! There were a lot of children taking to this bus to reach thier schools.
This bus service seems to be very crucial to the people in these villages!
Just as I was getting lost on such (un)important thoughts, Suzay, the gang leader, infrmed us to be prepared to get down the next stop.
And yes we reached the base of the trek route. I had little idea that for the next 36 hours I am going to be traveling only by my foot! I waved a bye to the driver. Jus as we started to walk, there were a few elders who welcomed us with a broad smile. Anyone could easily guess, by the size of our backpacks that we had come there to trek and so did they too guess that right. They spoke in the reginal langaugae to Suzay, which I could hardly follow. But the gist was - > lot of rains, lots of leeches! We jus looked around and smiled at each other jus reaffirming the belief the decidion to trek durin this time :)
We slowly started walking. It was proper tar road. and I there was one steep climb of about 100 mts.. which I found hard.
was quite a bit strenous trip.... we walked 18 kms the first day (climb up 7 and climb down 10 or so)
stayed at a priests place.. he offered excellant food!
then started on sunday morning and climbed down another 5 kms to kukke subramanya..(near sakleshpur)
it was raining very very heavily... once on saturday afternoon at the top.. v thot it was not such a good idea to have come now!
but then it worked out great!