Sunday, December 22, 2013

'Early Birds' - Trek To Mainapi water Falls.

It is nearly four years since few of the regulars in the first batch of the Ponda swimming pool formed a group and called themselves ‘early birds’.  These birds, at least a few of them, meet every day in the pool. They swim, exchange news and views, gossip, pull each other’s legs (sometimes literally) and depart. Once in a way they meet outside the pool to celebrate birthdays or anniversaries and skip swimming the next day because of hangover. And at least once every year, they embark up on a trek cum swim programme which is a sort of a fitness test. It assures them that they can enjoy the next few birthdays with a free mind.  

It was one such trek to the Mainapi waterfalls near a village called Netravali, last week. Netravali is about sixty kilometers from Ponda and the road ends there. We do have an asphalted track, with traces of asphalt seen on the surface, for another seven kilometers but I do not call it a road. The next seven kilometers is only a dirt track. The Mainapi falls is about four kilometers from the end of this ‘motorable’ dirt track. We parked our Omni at the end of the track and started our trek.

Stopping for a cup of tea at the last tea shop on the road

Piped water noticed at the place we parked our Omni. Notice the absence of the tap. Running water  24 hours! Paradise? excess flows onto the fields.

The trek begins.Good weather, shady track. Easy going.

Squeezing through thick vegetation. Good that we were unaware of the presence of king cobras in the area.
Coming out onto a open space and a beautiful view of the hills.

Another stretch with overgrown branches. Duck and avoid getting poked in the face. 

After walking a considerable distance with a feeling that you have reached the middle of a forest,

You notice a Bolero which some people with more sense have used to reach the spot, using a different track.

The descent to the falls begins. Loose soil. The branches are handy but some have thorns on them. 

track gets tough
and tougher
and you reach the exhilarating falls. Enjoy your bath, shower, swim and lunch.

Start back and realise that coming down was the easier part.

Very happy to see the Bolero after climbing for what seemed to be hours but was actually twenty five minutes. Our Omni is still a long way off. Half a mind to wait for the owners of the bolero and request a ride to where ever they are prepared to take us. 

Walking along determined to complete the trek. But sitting and lying down every now and then.
  Ultimately we were back into our Omni and were on the way again. But fate had not finished with us yet. Something went wrong with the engine and the Omni refused to climb slopes with the load.We had to  get down at the bottom of the slopes and follow the empty vehical. Once we even had to push the vehical  to the top. Thankfully the Omni behaved well after reaching the road and returned to Ponda carrying all of us. We took it to the service center and found that one of the spark plugs had got loose and the van was running on only one spark plug.

Some legs are still paining, two backs are still strained and one lung is down with cold. But all souls are satisfied and happy with the trek.

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