Do you know that climbing down hill is exponentially more difficult than climbing up? Yeah.. we had heard about it too, but got to experience it in Yelagiri.
At least on our up-way, we were able to control out movements and the thorny bushes. While climbing down, the thorns were as much of a problem as the gravity! And the place was becoming cloudy and dark so fast, and the guide kept taunting us by barking like a wolf or a bear now and then when She, the meek docile female, immediately clung on Her who in turn held to Her-Bf for her life. It was hilarious when the guide hid behind the rocks and I went a little ahead on the path. They followed me, trying to wrench their way out of some bushes, when the Guide jumped out of the rocks on them barking and freaked them all totally! She was nearly going to have a heart failure! :D We all reached the resort, laughing big time about it.
We were back just in time for dinner, all feeling so great about our achievement, and planned for a night safari in the jungles too. But sadly it started raining so heavily, that we could go, as the resort owners said that there would be too many poisonous snakes prowling and the forest was not exactly a neatly paved tar road with neon lights, and they were bound to be extremely slippery. So we didn’t really want a snake hanging on our framed-photos instead of flowers and just went back to our rooms and slept soundly.
The next morning was one big comedy. Before I go on with that, there is a side track you should know.
Yelagiri is the name of the entire mountain as such, which includes a number of villages (basically just a few houses put together) once every few kilometers. Our resort was in Athanavur, the biggest ‘town-with-an-ATM’, with a single road with about ten or so shops here and there, and the rest of the buildings were other resorts. So the previous day, we decided to go cycling in the mountain side in the early morning, in the cool breeze. Aaah, it all sounded so good… But trust me, BAD IDEA!
We had gone to one of the other resorts- Yathri Nivas, and booked three cycles for rent at 30 bucks/hour/cycle (She couldn’t ride, so we all took turns in taking her doubles). We picked up the cycles at 8 in the morning, with the idea of returning it by 9. Horrible planning!
It was awesome fun while riding downhill. The cycles were completely out of control, moving at like a 100 km/hr (or so it felt) and there were 2 hairpin bends too, where gravity overtook our breaks and even I started praying (funny, when science and rationality lets us down, the only thing anyone can do is call the ‘God’), but well, I could hear Her screaming out to Her-Bf with her hands and feet in the air, and Her-Bf too was helpless and in quite the same state.
We could come to a stop after half an hour of the downhill slide, our hands and feet and all wrong parts were all sour and we all wanted a break. We found this small rocky hill in the side, and decided to lock our cycles in the roadside and climb it. Later after a 45 min climb up and down, we kind of didn’t know which way to take to return, We couldn’t take the way we came coz It was too steep to climb on cycle, but a passerby told us that the other way would lead us to our resort after some 2-3 hours!
We decided to take the route we came and climbed. The cycles started rolling backwards, downhill even when we were putting in all our energy trying to peddle the other way! We got freaked, and decided to push it and hopefully reach the city within an hour. The sun was soaring up and we were barely prepared for such a scorching heat. We didn’t have a cover for the head, not a bottle of water. The place was completely desolated from any civilization and we were stuck, without as much as a tree to take shade, in the middle of nowhere, unable to climb the steep mountain roads, with or without the cycles. We found some rocks under some bushes in the side of a huge valley, and decided that we couldn’t take one step more, and sat down, waiting for someone to walk by to guide us.
So there we were sitting in the valley side not knowing what to do, when a shepherd, an old lady sympathized with us, took out her Nokia handset called the auto-stand in Athanavur, told them to get a tempo big enough to accommodate four people and three cycles and thanks to her, a tempo with an open back arrived to our rescue! We piled up the cycles, stood like politicians in the back of the tempo and in the scorching sun and three cycles tied in front of us and no place to hold to, we climbed the mountains thus! What a roller coaster!
We returned the cycles at around 12 noon, completely exhausted in the heat, went back to our resort, washed up, ate our lunch, played chess (and FYI, almost won) and finally, took back a cab to the station at 3pm. The return journey was pretty uneventful, in the train filled with bickering and bitching families and irritating mamas n mamis.
But as we returned home with sour legs and sun burnt hands and tanned faces, we were thinking… What a weekend!!