30.10.2014 ( Day 24 )
After yesterday's energy packed music night, we slept well.
So far so good. Everything went according to plan, but not exactly according to the plan. Our plan of waking up very early and getting ready for the trek before 7 am didn't work out because of our usual obsession with that extra 5 minutes morning sleep. We ended up starting as late as 9'o clock. We were warned that the total trek alone, going up and coming down would take at least 4 hours minimum.
We traced our previous day's path. Reached our favourite view point. Spent some time there. Again took the same pictures.
But morning offered a little bit different view.
Morning light had made everything a bit different.
I was really excited and I was rushing and running. I wanted to reach the peak as soon as possible. But my travel companions were not interested in that plan. They wanted it slow, they wanted to enjoy the nature more. That made me realize that I wasn't really enjoying the scenes around me. I was just capturing some pictures and running. I was looking down, finding the next stone to step and the next one after that and like that I was rushing. I was not in that moment. I was always seeking the next moment! Then I remembered Paulo Coelho. In some book he wrote about a ritual in which activities were done at half the usual pace. I don't exactly remember the details. But it was something like that. So I reduced my pace. I consciously tried to enjoy things happening around me.
Then I started seeing these things.
And the trekking continued..
By following the path shown by the path itself..
and they watched us in surprise..
and must be thinking "where are these guys going up?"
And as we were climbing up, someone was going down..
and we were almost there.. the view of the peak kept our hopes alive
Before reaching the peak we found this..
'Footwear' and 'Fotography' were not allowed inside. Surprisingly we found someone inside this small cave. We can call him a hermit or a young sanayasi. He welcomed us and started talking to me in Tamil. He explained the history of the place and later gave us some hot tea in a coconut shell cup. You should understand that this is happening at the peak of the mountain. After the long and treacherous trekking, a sweet, hot tea was the last thing we were dreaming of. And we completely trusted him and drank the tea. After that he showed us around that small place and suggested us to check out the peak.
After a few more steps from this small cave, was the peak of the mountain. At last we were at the peak. The view was just incredible. See it to believe.
The massive temple looked so tiny. We could actually touch the clouds.
And also at the top, a surprise was waiting.
Footprints of Lord Shiva.
Don't you think, it is cool to see the footprint of Gods!!
Braving hot sun we spent quite a long time at this peak. It was quite peaceful, away from the chaos of busy life. But still we could hear the sound of honking of horns from the town. Even the meditation places are not silent these days!
And then we started to our return journey before the rocks had become too hot. I forgot to tell you, again we were not wearing our footwear during this 'holy trekking'. On our way up, to the peak we stepped on to some thorns and got some cuts and bruises. And I removed one tiny piece of thorn that pierced my feet and decided to stay there, after2-3 days when I reached home. But somehow we managed to hike up to the peak without complaining.
Return journey was fun. We were pretty quick. I really enjoyed jumping from rock to rock and finding the best path and running. Luckily without slipping and falling down we proceeded. I think I want to try trail running at some point of time. Anyway we did the descend in just 45 minutes. I am really happy to have such wonderful travel partners. Your travel partners can make or break a trip. And our trip was of course a good one.
And we reached our starting point before 1'o clock. Yes we did everything, climbing up, staying there for almost an hour and coming down within 4 hours.
The way up to the mountain is through this ashram. Our starting point. From here, we then went to restaurant and had our lunch.
We hadn't planned anything after this. Decisions were made quickly and sadly the decision was to leave this place. Next destination : Chennai. Thiruvannamalai Adventure comes to an end. See you soon in Chennai.