13.10.2014 [ Monday ]
This was a big day for me! I woke up thinking about those exciting things that was going to happen during that day.
On that particular day also there were no one in that dorm to give me a company. I was happy about the fact that the big room was all for me.
I got ready, packed my luggage, settled the rent for 2 days (paid 500 rupees for the 2 days) and had breakfast from a nearby shop. It was around 10 ‘o clock by that time. I need to reach the forest before 12.30. Yes, you heard it right. A Forest. My next destination. The same forest that I visited on Day 4, Sadhana Forest.
As I already returned my bike, again I had to hitch hike, which was the only cheap way of transport available. I walked for a bit, then someone stopped and dropped me at a point in between. Then I again walked then again someone stopped and dropped me near the main road toll gate. Thus I have covered half of the distance with the help of two kind souls who had motor bikes 😀
I wasn’t sure of rest of the route, as I came that way only once, that too in bus during the Friday tour. So from the toll gate I decided to walk. I had to take a diversion from the main road, which I wasn’t sure. So I thought it was better to walk till I could find that diversion.
I was randomly clicking the traffic and jam-packed bus that was going through that way. Then this guy wanted to know why I was taking pictures of random stuff. So I clicked him too as a reply 😀
The 4 lane road was neat and clean. And there was some trees planted on the divider to make it even more beautiful. Then this man was plucking the flowers from those plants. I caught him red handed :p
Well, I definitely misjudged the distance to the diversion. I was walking more than what I had expected and still I couldn’t find it. I kept on walking taking pictures in between.
The crowded buses were my favourite subjects 😀
And at last I found the diversion, asked a few people and confirmed it. If you ever planning to hitch hike to Sadhana forest from Auroville city, look for this board to take a diversion
Those people said that there would be some vehicles going through that way and I might get a lift. With that hope I started walking through the narrow path that led to a forest. There was a village at the starting point of the path. Plenty of dogs too. They came after me barking while I was walking. When I turned towards them, they started to run away. I was relieved to know that even though they were barking and showing confidence, they were really afraid. I was glad that they didn’t know that I was afraid too :p
After passing the village, the path was pretty much deserted. Not even the dogs too! A few interesting trees, acacias and some other plants were the only things I could find.
I couldn’t even confirm if I was on the right path or not. There weren’t so many diversions. But still I wasn’t sure of which way to go. So I was mainly trying to follow the tyre tracks. I made myself to believe that I was on the right track. The last thing I would want was to get lost in the forest with a heavy bag on my back and a bright fierce sun on top.
No sign boards, no human being to ask, no GPRS (Mobile internet was not working after I reached Pondicherry). But I kept on walking. Finally I saw some sign board. But it was more like a discouraging sign board. And it read..
I was so scared that I looked like a trespasser :p Anyway luckily no one found out 😀
After walking some more distance, finally I saw someone.
And that too exactly at a place where the paths were diverging. He happily directed me towards my destination. And I was still walking. No signs of any vehicles. So hitch hiking was out of the question. So I walked into the wild!
And suddenly at the end of the road, I saw something. The ray of hope. A sign board. I walked towards it with hope. And I found it..
So I took the ‘right’ path. But still my destination was far, may be a couple of kilometres away. The path remained the same, deserted, greenery on both sides and seemed to be a never-ending one.
After tracing the tyre tracks and following the gut feeling, finally I reached the end of the road. I reached the heart of the forest.
After some 5 to 6 km walk, here starts my new life at Sadhana forest.
(to be continued.)
If you miss the previous posts, here they are