Ettina Buja + Ombattu Gudde – Virgin Trek 29th Jan to 1st Feb 2010
I decided to join the elite group of Rohit for a first of kind marathon trek. I didn’t get scared when Rohit conveyed a message that we are going to connect EB+OG, and we may have to trek close to 40Kms in two days. The spark in me just got ignited to try a new venture to bring spice to the otherwise monotonous life.
I joined Rohit, Guru, Puru, Murali, Giri, Raghu, and Jayshree. Rohit had already reserved seats in the customary red bus to Moodigere. We reached in the wee hours on 30th Jan 2010.
We refreshed ourselves in the moodigere bus stand, and also refreshment in the bus stand hotel. We hired an seems to big auto to accommodate all the 8, with great difficutly we reached Byrapura. The bumpy ride was good enough for my city air-conditioned comfort body to show the glimpses of what is to be expected in the next two days.
After reaching Byrapura, took some lively snaps of the temple, and also the rising sun. The first glimpse of Ettina Buja was amazing, seemed like it is inviting the brave hearts to summit the peak. We followed the trail which took us deep in the valley, but the site of our destination didn’t elude us to deviate from the target.
I slowly started showing the restlessness, it was a first time was on a herculean trek, and without adequate preparation, I carried whatever I could just as if am on a honeymoon trip. The big bulky luggage proved enough for me, but the encouraging words from my gang persuaded me to continue further.
We reached the Ettina buja around 9.30, had little breakfast, and continued towards never ending track of Ombattu Gudde.
The sun was at his scorching best, our water source slowing started drying. At one time, all of us were exhausted without the essential energizer the “Water”. During this time, we could able to locate the dependable jeep track far in the vicinity. We managed to hit the jeep track and started inching towards the Ombattu gudde around late in the afternoon.
We had early dinner, and slept by 9.00 in the night, our gladiators Rohit and Murali decided to sleep besides the camp fire, but later they bowed their head to wind gods, and decided to sleep inside the house.
We started early around 7.00, and headed towards Ombattu Gudde. It was a steep climbing road, we managed to reach the peak by 10.00 Hrs. After a small photo session, started towards our next target Gundya. The trek from Ombattu Gudde to Gundya was an amazing life time experience.
I started feeling the heat of my baggage, as single packet of my bag was not opened. The heavy weight was too much for my small shoulders, it started feeling, it was a mistake to carry the heavy load for a strenuous trek of this magnitude.
Again we were getting exhausted with water, in search of the elusive route, we hit a dried up stream which took us to the river. The slide in the dried up stream was really enthralling. I felt like skiing on the bed of small boulders, thorny bushes. It was my life time experience. Atlast we hit the river, quenched our thirst, and also filled water for our unending journey in the thick forest. It was decided that, need to trek along the river till we get Addahole. During this time, Guru, Puru, and Raghu decided to step on the gas pedal, and left us behind. Myself, Giri, and Jayshree continued safely and securely under the leadership of Rohit and Murali. I was confident that Rohit will take us to the safe zone coz, he had the necessary ammunition of map and the compass, but the other three were deprived of these, decided to stay on the bank of the river, hoping against hope of reuniting together.
Their hope turned true, as we found their inscriptions Guru, Puru’s name on a small boulder. We reunited around 17.30 Hrs, we decided to camp there only. The trio collected necessary fire wood to take care of the camp fire for the whole night.
Now people started appreciating my heavy back pack coz, rest of the food packers were already exhausted. We shared whatever left in our baggage. The Huri Hittu soup was awesome, the new stone tava to heat the chapathi’s were a great revelation. Decided to sleep early, and wake up in the morning light of the morning.
We woke up early, and started our journey towards Gundya. After going through a bamboo groove we found a word “Gundya” with an arrow mark written with a white chalk. We felt if the direction was written for us only. We picked our pace, and all of us in a tandem started inching towards Gundya, our first target was getting Addahole, which we hit in a couple of hours. After a small photosession, we started walking in a brisk pace towards Gundya. By 13.00 hrs we reached Gundya, we called our family back home as there was no signal on our cell phone to reach them to inform our whereabouts.
Myself, Murali, and Giri decided to head towards Bengaloru, where as rest of the gang went to Kukke Subramanya, Bisle Ghat, and then to Bangalore
The trek was amazing
The trek gang was exceptionally co-operative
I relished each and every moment our deep jungle trek, and slide in the dried up stream.