On an ordinary Sunday morning, the monsoon breeze gently teased leaves in my garden. The dawn had just arrived as the sun rays, timidly made their way through the grey monsoon sky, lighting the skyline like a fresco of orange and yellow. As I packed my bag with all the mandatory trekking gear, two bottles of water and a packet of biscuits, I wondered what we would encounter in the evergreens surrounding Chimmony lake. This wasn't my first trek, but an innocuous sweet-tooth did play pranks on my otherwise 'healthy' physique. The last two treks I'd been on weren't for the casual walker, and I wondered whether this was going to be stroll in the park or a little more than that.
My spirited elder sister had also signed up. So the two of us set out and rendezvoused with our trekking group from the Hiking Association of India at the Kaloor stadium. We hopped on to a van and off we went on our jungle adventure. We arrived at the forest check post, and after completing the usual formalities, two forest department designated guides joined our group.
Arriving at our base, where we parked the vehicle, and re packed our lunch. We could barely see the magnificent Chimmony lake hidden behind a thin layer of shrubs and tucked between hills on either side. The forest here is dense and deep. Silence is the norm, nobody makes any noise. Not us, and not the trees. The silence is broken only occasionally by brooks and streams that make their way through the forest and the clumsy cricket who thinks every passerby is a potential mate.
Our guides had told us this is the season for snakes. Some of us hoped to catch glimpse of cobra or a viper. He also added that one does spot a quite a few animals when one visits Chimmony in the months between January and March whereas the winter months of November and December are for the bird lovers.
Under the lush canopy of the evergreen forests, we stood mesmerised by the many shades of green. As a single ray gently lit the wet grounds, the green leaves danced to the whisper of the quite jungle breeze. The little critters who had made the forest floor their home popped out, curious about us.
As we made our way through the rather marshy forest our guides ensured that we didn't cross paths with tuskers nor tigers. We did see a couple of pug marks of a leopard and some elephant dung suggesting that a heard had crossed the same path. As we trekked down our path we often came across the hollow remains of trees on whose branches had witnessed years of history unfold. The smart trekkers tried to walk around these giants, the more athletic trekkers jumped over and onward for good 3km.
Our destination was a set of stepped waterfalls, which from a distance looked as though it had been crafted from the rock by a skilful sculptor. Artistic, tranquil and serene, the water was ever so inviting, and for the next 45 minutes, time seemed to stand still as we relaxed in these cool waters. The waterfalls gently massaged each muscle that was weary after almost two hours of trekking.
We started back to our base from the falls at around 2pm after quick lunch. On our return leg we did encounter a little green tree snake, which lay still on the forest floor. Its camouflage perfectly concealed it amongst the undergrowth, making it almost invisible to both predator and prey. We left it alone, only clicking a few snaps just as evidence for our friends back home.
Our return path meandered through the forest and eventually joined the jeep path the forest rangers used to patrol this range. The jeep path circumscribed the Chimmony lake. The lake, greens, and a lot of enthusiastic set of photographers, we got our set of selfies. By 4pm we reached our base, boarded the bus and headed back home.