All alone in that lonely place, I was undergoing a process of series of short naps.
Our mind is always at work, always alert, even when we are sleeping. Something might have alerted the mind and I woke up all of a sudden just to see some one standing at the entrance of the dilapidated temple... (from the previous part)
And there he stood, looking at me. I quickly jumped out of my 'floor bed' where I was sleeping and reached for the stick I kept nearby. But by that time, he already made a retreat and ran away from the temple. I first thought it was a fox, but it was just a dog.
Then I checked the time and it was around 5 in the morning. It was almost time for the Sun to rise. So I decided not to try to attempt to sleep again.
I just got out of the temple to see the morning view. The first light of hope was already out there, clearing away all the fearful thoughts.
Sooner the normal life started as usual in those villages and towns at a distance.
By that time, Sun also made the announcement of its arrival.
So after the 'almost sleepless night', there it was, the beautiful view, the daily miracles of life, the beautiful sunrise.
It made me think.
"What if I didn't make the trip because I was scared. What if I didn't even start the trip because of the bad reviews and reports of the ban on night trek? What if I went back when I lost my way?"
"Will I still be enjoying this beautiful view, if I quit at any of those doubtful moments?"
So it was evident to me that all the good things are at the other end of fear, at the other end of our comfort zones.
And I felt happy that I was alive to witness seemingly simple thing like a sunrise.
A new day, a world of new possibilities.
And then I had a new friend too.
The same dog that appeared at the entrance of the temple.
He followed wherever I went. My trek wasn't a solo one any longer.
And this dog taught me that it is good to have a company and reminded me of a Christopher McCandless quote — 'Happiness only real when shared.'
With that changed perspective, I captured a hundreds of sunrise pictures in different perspectives.
And I started to walk down along with my new friend. He showed me the right path this time. I simply had to follow. He waited for me whenever I stopped some place to take pictures.
And I reached the base pretty quickly as I was on the right path unlike the previous day.
My new friend left me before I reached the village area. I kept on walking through the villages enjoying the morning village visuals.
The day was just starting for many, in the village.
And the walk continued through the village roads with grape plants on both side.
And to make this travel memory sweeter, some random stranger ( a villager) offered me a ride on his motorbike to the town.
Altogether solo trekking to Skandagiri was a trip to remember.
And this time, the mountains taught me "all good things are at the other end of fear". The past lesson from the mountains was "Never Quit". With those new and old lessons lingering in my mind, I was already planning another mountain trip.
PS : A fictional version of this journey can be found in one of the last chapters of "Journey Is My Path".