Monday, October 23, 2006

Part - 1: Warming Up

I knew I was not made for hard-core trekking but I knew I could manage without giving up if the start was perfect. For someone who has only walked on flat tarmac scrambling over loose rock in search of some prehistoric (?!) rock painting and burial sites was a new experience.

My trekking guide was Muthuswamy, a Veerappan look alike but without the trade mark whiskers. He told me the site was half a kilometer over a gentle slope and would take an 'easy' fifteen minutes to reach.

As we started climbing Muthuswamy realizsed quickly that his assessment of 'easy' was rather misplaced in my case. "Ukkaranuma Saar?" (Do you want to sit, Sir?), he queried, looking very concerned. He must have thought I was having a heart attack the way I was gasping. I reassured him and quickly started snapping pictures. My ego did not permit me to accept defeat. If I sat, he would know. Despite protests from my knees I resolutely kept pace. I was determined to see this to the end.

Finally, when I reached the spot I was soaking. Aching joints & twitching muscles are all forgotten as soak in the view. The experience is incomparable, well worth breaking into sweat and panting for. Then, after the momentary sense of light headedness the exhilaration takes over.

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