Next four days was holidays as it was Diwali season. We did not expect traffic in Bangalore to be so high on this day, which made us to reach late than all other members in the team.
Sad part of the “to” Journey was that, we could not reserve tickets and was supposed to travel in general compartment of Rani Chennamma Express, above all we were late due to festive season traffic in Bangalore. Luckily by the time we reach Bangalore Railway station, our team members had rushed and made some seat arrangements for some of us.
We were team of 19 people; 7 girls and 12 boys. Some people got seats and some other shared seats with them. Finally, train departed with heavy rush from Bangalore Central Railway station. In every stop, we could see more people boarding this train compared to people who were getting down.
“Is this the first time you travelling in this train?” an old ex-military guy asked me. I answered “Yes” and looked towards the window, expecting no other question after this. “Did we pass Hubli?” next question from the same guy! I said “Don’t know” with an uncertain look, “I am travelling here for the first time”; I repeated. “Some compartment will be detached and attached to other train, do you know where will this be done?” again another question. My patience was tested, I did not answer anything and just continued looking outside and this guy did not bother me again. I wonder how could this guy expect so much out of me?
Finally we reached the destination by 8:00AM on 1st of November, 2013. We got down from train carrying our own luggage. Train departed and soon we realized that we had left two rented tents in the train, which we lost it.
All were hungry, had some idli-vada and packed some pav-bhaji to have it on the way of trekking to Dudhsagar.
Amar and Bhanu hired a taxi to drop our team in Castle Rock, later which we figured out we paid a lot more than what we should have. A tip for fellow travelers would be not to pay more than RS 1000 for Sumo from Londa to Castle Rock. If more than 10 People, you may call this driver Sandesh: 08762519729
Finally, we reached Castle Rock. Remember no permission is required to trek from Castle Rock to Dudhsagar. After a snap with our team and tips from Amar, we started the trek around 11:00AM.
Amar was in a hurry to get all of us to Dudhsagar before 4:30PM as scheduled, because we wanted some time to play in water before it gets dark. On the way enjoyed the trains passing by and small rivers on the side. 2nd Tunnel which was ~409m long, was found dark and we ensured everyone was safe while crossing this. Few pics on the way and play during the trek kept us enthusiastic about 75% of the journey. After this few people walked with same pace. Whereas, Amar, Adithya, Manasa, Bhanu and myself lagged behind due to heavy backpacks. On the way, Bhanu screamed “snake.. Snake” and ran out of the way, while it was a narrow escape for him to step on the snake. Then we realized it was a dead snake! Brave hearted Bhanu then calmed down.
By 4:15, we did reach Dudhsagar station and saw many people waiting for train to head back to Castle Rock. We enquired with Station master for the way to reach Dudhsagar. They did showed us the way and advised to be back soon as train was about come which was heading towars Castle Rock. We did inform them that we are gonna stay there. Thank god, we realized that no permission was needed to stay there.
Started walking towards Dudhsagar, roar of the wonderful waterfalls was heard when we crossed 11th tunnel. Kept walking and I could see the milk falling from head of the mountain. “Wow! What a view!” I said. All other in our team then joined us and were astonished to see water flowing like milk. All our tiredness of hard walking on train track and stone pricking was reduced to nothing after a wonderful view. By that time, Amar was in some hurry and asked us to catch some place to pitch the tent. What a creature, not giving enough of time to enjoy the nature? I thought, but then we realized there was another team which came to stay there and would have left with nothing if they had occupied the place. Luckily this team was not big and we had enough of place to pitch tent.
Aditya and myself, pitched the tent while Amar and Pramod went in search of route to get down to water in a safe place. After an hour both returned back with absent kind of face. Asking what had happened, they said that they lost the track for 30 mins and was scared as it was going to be dark. Thank god, at last they found the way back.
After pitching the tents and Amar/Pramod confirming we cannot get “down” to water, we had no choice rather to just wash our face in nearby water and come back to tent. It was time to cook! We started cooking were as Amar started a quiz of kannada as it was November 1st. Lots to learn with kannada words J
Completed cooking upma with help of a stick, but forgot to get plates to eat. Mythri helped in serving this to all by hand itself (In kannada we call “kai thuthu”). After enough of food, people started playing “Antyakshari”, game of songs! Wonder people don’t have better job. By 10:30 PM we decided to sleep.
Some people slept outside as we had lost tents in train. Luckily, it was not so cold. But Pramod did suffer and later enjoyed sleeping outside!
Pramod had slept off on train track and train did pass above him. By mistake he did woke up and his head was got a Bang! Relax, this is not true. This was Pramod’s dream. Every time when train passed by as Pramod was sleeping near to track this was the dream he got! Pramod the poor fellow.
It was early morning and Manasa shouted, “you couldn’t find better than this. Wake up!”. When we woke up, we saw the Dudhsagar shining in early sunlight. What a view!
It was time to play in water, we got down to place where Amar and Pramod found a day before. We did spend quality time enjoy in flowing water and was back to tents. Packed the tents and had some breakfast served by Mythri again like yesterday night.
As we all opted for train to travel from Dudhsagar to Madgaon rather than trekking from Dudhsagar to Kulem and then take a train to Madgaon , we waited for Chennai express, but this was 4 hours late. Luckily, Amaravathi express was there in Dudhsagar by 1:00PM. We reached the Madgaon railway station at 4:00, and from there we took a big auto to Colva beach. It was awesome fun in the beach. We did the Banana ride, Jet skiing, Para sailing etc. It was awesome. We all took bath in the nearby sulubh toilet and got ready to leave for the Madgaon railway station. Since we had reserved the seats for the 9:00 Vasco-Yeshwanthpur express.
We arrived on time to the railway station. But the train was late by 3:30 hrs. We finished our dinner and took rest for a while. While some of us slept too. The train arrived at 12:15 and we were in our seats by 12:30. We all slept. The train was scheduled to reach Bangalore at 1:30. We enjoyed a lot in the train from 7:00 hrs to 1:30 hrs. We sang, made fun of each other, played Dum shards etc. The experience was superb. We reached Yeshwanthpur railway station at the scheduled time and parted form there bidding farewell, with the promise of meeting in the next trek.
Lessons learnt from this trip:
· Always reserve your tickets or be early to railway station to make some seats
· If plan is during any long weekend, expect more traffic in Bangalore
· Carry less back packs as possible
· Take care of your things while getting down the train or while boarding the train
· Do enquire with many people before hiring taxi in unknown place
· While leaving your team in search of any places, discuss how would you pass the signal in case of lost route