Location: If you dont know where Madikeri, the district capital of Coorg is ...... I can tell you!! Travelling from Bangalore thro Mysore, Hunsur, Piriyapatna and Kushalnagar; Madikeri is around 260 kms from Bangalore (120 + 40 + 30 + 30 + 40 ... as an estimate to the places mentioned). The two treks we went to are - Kotebetta and GaLibeedu.

Kotebetta is the third highest peak in Coorg after TadiyanDmol and Brahmagiri. It is about 30 kms from Madikeri on a diversion on the Madikeri - Somwarpet State highway. About 20 kms from Madikeri, there is a big bridge across a river (at this place called Hattihole) where you need to take a diversion to the left and go by the stream for sometime till a small board indicates that the road to the right takes you to Kotebetta.

GaLibeedu is about 10 kms from Madikeri and is further from the Club Mahindra (Coorg Valley). The trek begins after GaLibeedu where the asphalt on the road suddenly disappears near a school about 7 kms from there.

The treks: The road leading up to Kotebetta gradually suffers the natural degradation into a jeep track and then down to a trek trail. The peak can be sighted from quite some distance away and the route can be mapped quite easily from this side. The trek to the top would be around 10 kms.

Beyond GaLibeedu to Madikeri is mostly a ridge walk that ends at the famous tower in Madikeri and would be around 15 kms after the initial steep climb. We did a shorter version tho, and ended up at the post office at GaLibeedu.

The blah: After the biking trip last week, the last thing I wanted to do was strain myself on the bike again!! And as usual, no takers for treks amongst the guys. Hopes that Moch would join in were dashed (forever???). So, what better group to trek with than BMC!!

The Team- BMC!! ( I can recollect Maha, Neeraj, Sirish, AJ, Sanjay Soni, Roopa, Jeetu, Tarsh, Vikram, Braj, Dileep, Karthik and a few others only!!)
Date - Nov 26, 27 2k5

We started from Symphony at eleven and the first conversation was with Tarcitious - a name Bhatta would never forget!! I got my kicks throughout the trek by wanting to introduce him to the group!!!

Early the next morning, we were at Madikeri and after the ablutions and Breakfast, started the trek finally at around 11 am!!! A few ppl i knew and a lot of new ppl to meet .... My mouth never saw the end of exercise!! We strolled on and on and on and on and finally reached the peak by 1400 hrs. All our stomachs were growling - Bigtime!! But hopes of lunch were dashed by irresponsible mismanagement of water from our side and I had to enjoy the beauty of the hills around me on an empty stomach. :(

Kotebetta offers a panoramic view of hills around Coorg all the way to Pushpagiri. The unmistakable structure of KP rose in the distance and we could see all the way to Madikeri on one side, Somwarpet on another and the Harangi backwater on the fourth. The best part of the trek the entire morning was the cool breeze that never ceased. I cant recollect a breeze that I enjoyed as much in the near past. :)

All this while, the snaps of mine seemed to look a bit dull and I presumed that the LCD had some problems. "Eureka .... Eureka ........" - No new discovery this time - I just realised my stupidity - my exposure setting was at -2!!! I cussed myself and set things back to normal.

We began our trek back and I was kept alive by dates that Tarsh/Jeetu provided and biscuits from Dileep. We took a different route down and that was an awesome descent!! A narrow trail flanked on the side by rocks - it felt great!! We descended and descended and descended some more!! But still no signs of water - We got desperate!!! Last ditch efforts began to sing in various raagas and induce some rainfall!!! And then, magically, it rained!!!! Yeah rite!! This is reality - No clouds in sight!

Finally, by 1600 hrs, we had lunch, (I want to call it Lunner actually- Figure out what it means!) and it was a madhouse out there!! Shortage of rotis and shortage of sabji meant it was each man scavenging for himself!!!

We continued with the descent and reached a village by dusk. Then was a painful 6 km walk on road to reach our camping place which became excruciating for many others as some of us started straining our vocal chords in anticipation of some melody coming forth .... in other words ... Antakshari. That kept me going till I reached the camping spot, lay down on the grass and called it a day till dinner!!!

Day two began with high snores from the next tent - I think Vikram or Braj was the culprit. The best part of the morning was spending almost an hour in the cool waters of the stream - amazed at the force of water there that could potentially sweep someone off. Dileep, Karthik, Harsha and me were joined by Lakshminarayan, Hari and Smruti "Shamboo Shikari" and we had a whale of a time in the water .......

It was noon by the time we got off the bus and started trekking towards GaLibeedu. Our guide, Kumar, had immense knowledge of these ranges and he took us on a ridge walk that I wouldnt forget easily! Trekked for sometime with AJ and Roopa before I got around to bugging Maha and ended the trek accompanying a injured Jeetu back to civilization. It was a four hour walk in the clouds - left me asking for more ................

The journey back was a mobile disco - strobe lights of different colors - blaring music - dancing junta ----- and a sleeping me!!!! How i managed to sleep thro the noise is amazing to me too!!! I woke up only for dinner in Mysore and then to drive back home from Symphony at 0230 am!! The tryst with the dogs enroute is quite another story ......

All in all .... A great weekend!!!! Am still high!!!!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

good post. useful. but please from next time onwards it would be better if u dont use loud music during treks, as it disturbs the animals and birds living nearby.