Updated: Jul 22
Travel Log #9
A Nightmarish Monsoon Trek in the Hills of Kodachadri
Surmounted on: 17th July Saturday 2021
Alright! After the lockdown 2.0 was over and a multitude of restrictions being lifted up one by one I had already kickstarted my adventurous journeys beginning with Sringeri trip. Now, it was time for a trek and luckily I was just in time for a monsoon trek which I had never done before. With only myself to go, I picked Kodachadri and booked my slot with Bangalore Mountaineering Club group and was ready for departure by Friday night.
A myriad of people, around 30 head count had booked for the same trek and we had to travel in two separate vehicles for the journey. With the ongoing monsoon season, it was a tiresome journey driving along in rain. We had an introductory session in the bus wherein the guide mentioned or rather warned us about the leeches while trekking and that was just the tipping point of my leechophobia. I was aware that during monsoon there would be leeches and you need to be chary of them but this being my first time I was extremely paranoid. And my timidity continued until next midday.
We reached a secluded home stay at Kodachadri by 6:45 a.m. wherein two cozy cats greeted us. I raced away to refresh and rejuvenate myself for the onerous trek ahead. One thing which I found to be a shortcoming was the room that was offered. The season being at it's zenith and with the lockdown lifted only before a few weeks, there were humongous crowd for the trek and so the room that we got was not sufficient for a group of 15 boys. Anyways, we managed to get ready within a short time period and we started our onward ascend toward the mountain peak. The adventurous trek was lead by a native guide and two BMC co-ordinators.
Firstly, the advantage of a monsoon trek is :
It is extremely challenging, testing your stamina and endurance levels.
Secondly, the disadvantages of a monsoon trek are :
Peak view is a humdrum; you literally see white screen at the peak all around you.
Very dangerous if you are not mindful of your steps
Leeches, Leeches, and Leeches !
Yes, you guessed it right. I surmised these points only after this trek. The only mentioned advantage that the monsoon trek offers is significantly convincing to tempt you and make you go for it. Kodachadri trek is a moderate level difficulty but since it was monsoon the trek demanded an assiduous effort making it hard level difficulty. In addition to that, my leechophobia drove me crazy and I was literally wanting to run my way to the peak as soon as I can. There were comely waterfalls at multiple places on the way up and I was timorous to get in for a natural massage shower because of my leechophobia.
After a laborious upward journey, I along with a couple of co-trek buddies reached the peak by 2 p.m. only to find the place covered with white sheets of fog. Literally, it was seeming like a white screen wrapped around you. Well, that's how it is in monsoon! And so, we started our descent within a few mins. The descent at Kodachadri along the jeep trail is comparatively easier than the ascent because the path is meant for jeep. So, it is more of a mud road rather than a trekking trail. I remember myself jogging down the muddy quagmire to reduce the descending time by a few minutes. Thus, we made the downward journey sooner and got back to homestay by 4:30 p.m.
Having reached the homestay early, I got the opportunity to relax and refresh in the most pleasant and snail'ish way. We were provided crunchy snacks served with tea and coffee. By the time the last batch of BMC group reached the homestay it was already dinner time. I had my dinner early and with heavy rains pouring down outside, the hopes of a campfire were thin and so I decided to get back to the room and settle down for a sound sleep. I and a couple of buddies was able to rent a separate room whose booking was propitiously cancelled at the last minute and thus became available to us. We took it and without wasting any further time fell back asleep to the dream world.
I woke up to a disappointed morning; I found out that our group had played Mafia game overnight til 12 a.m. I've heard about the game Mafia and it's quite interesting with a larger group and so I was mildly cast down having missed the game with the group. But I made sure I compensated the displeasure by championing fun games in bus travel during the return journey to Bangalore which was extremely entertaining.
The Incredulous Kodachadri Mountain is a highly challenging trek during the monsoon.
So, trek at your own risk !
Check out my Kodachadri Gallery here.
MaddiE's Kodachadri Gallery
Cure For Leechophobia:
To avoid leeches during a monsoon trek you can follow the below approaches:
Rub Dettol over your shoes, socks, and pants every one hour while trekking.
Pour salt over the leeches whenever you find them in your legs.
If you find the last two points demands too much efforts, just flick them away with your fingers like a carom striker.
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