Made it back- Part 1

I’m back! From the trek that is. Would have let you know sooner, but when I got home,  I found I couldnt move a muscle, and just toppled onto the bed and slept, dreaming dreams full of modern comforts far away from freezing hills. However I am happy to report that with great determination, I am now able to will me fingers into moving enough to allow me to type. 

For those who didnt know, I’d gone to Skandagiri, some 70 kms from Bangalore on a night trek. I was in charge of getting the tents and sleeping bags. and  these having been duly procured, along with a lesson in pitching tents, I was happily daydreaming about reaching the peak,  when,  enveloped by cold winds, the others would turn to me in desperation,  and I would pitch the tents up in a flash, and roll out the sleeping bags, to the eternal gratitude of all. The reverie put me in high spirits, untill suddenly I remembered that I was also supposed to book tickets for the bus journey. 

I quickly logged onto the government transport (KSRTC) website and tried to reserve tickets online, but despite it confirming the presence of the service, it refused to make the booking. Worried that there were no free seats available, I quickly rang up the KSRTC office and inqured about the bus to Skandagiri. The person only told me that there was no direct bus to the place, and that Chickballapur was the nearest stop and hung up. When I rang back, it was a different person who answered.  When I asked him if there was a bus to Chickballapur that night , I was greeted with silence. What I took for thoughtful contemplation, was actually shock at the stupidity of the question. Unaware, I pressed on with the inquiry, but the guy cut me short and proceeded to inform me what he thought of morons who rang up to inquire about availability of 6 seats in buses with a frequency of 15 minutes and which run half empty. He went on untill, he was no longer in any doubt that I didnt understand the operation of Chickballapur buses. Rattled, but relieved that we could still make it there, i informed the others that we would meet up at the Majestic bus terminus at  7 30, to which everyone immediately agreed.

And proceeded to arrive there at 8 30 on the dot. After a careful scrutiny of hotels in the area, we had a relaxed dinner, and boarded the bus at peace with the world, some 2 hours later than planned.

An hour long bumpy ride later, we found ourselves  in the middle of a dusty road with few people in sight and certainly no hills. Presently spying a truck driver, we went around and inquired the directions to Skandagiri. He looked at us thoughtfully, uttered ‘S-KAN-DA-GIRI’ in a low contemplative voice, took a moment and delivered his verdict- ‘There is NO place called Skandagiri in this entire district’. He probably expected us to be devastated, and was disppointed to find us merely looking back puzzled. He repeated the statement helpfully before driving away.

Further inquiries with other people in the area (a sleepy autorickshaw walla and a gentleman relieving himself by the road) also revealed a singular lack of knowledge of the hill’s location. However a phone call back to Bangalore later, we had on our hands a set of directions off the internet, and we started off with a spring in our stride..

Part 2: The freezing trail, coming up shortly

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10 Responses to Made it back- Part 1

  1. Hariharan says:

    Suza..

    You seem to have missed iterating on the fact that the tone of the driver carried the authority of the district collector who knew the place like the back of his hand and his offer to call up the local police(at 1230 in the night) and find out if necessary..

    also of the many suspecting looks that the group drew with its uncanny resemblance to a terrorist group in action, complete with jerkins, backpacks and a piece of luggage looking like an AK47 holder..

  2. Sudharsan says:

    True, but er Kutty, the readers might get the wrong picture when you mention someone wanting to call the police and us looking the part of a terrorist gang in the same breath. While certain resemblances were unfortunately there, the matter thankfully did not become serious.. 🙂

  3. Terrorists are easy to spot:: Versace T-shirts.

    Waiting for the sequel…

  4. Balaji says:

    I would love to know more about the conversation you had with the bus driver!! Many people love disturbing you at 12:30 in the night and then go on to threaten you!! (remember the TTR??)
    Waiting for part 2 and the pics!!

  5. Sudharsan says:

    Ah, the TTR! Deserves a whole blog post does that one! And the pics are already up on my picasa account.

  6. sneha says:

    sounds cool… waiting for the next part

  7. Sudharsan says:

    Balaji, actually you know what, both of us should blog about that FIR incident from our respective points of view, think it should make for an interesting read, what say? It could be like Aayutha Ezhuthu, where the narratives of the protagonists violently clash when the TTR forces one of them to wake the other up 🙂

  8. Balaji says:

    I can’t stop laughing thinking of what you said!!!

  9. Sudharsan says:

    🙂 So get on it, thats going to be my next post. We’ll link to each other so readers get the full picture 🙂

  10. Pingback: On a roadtrip.. « Cynic’s eye view

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