By Adda

into the jungle...

Most of the day was spent in the jungle. While the first half was riding through the thorny bushes of the Narsapur forest, the second was spent night camping in the woods of Anantagiri. The route was planned out, mapped and loaded into the Garmin GPS. The plan - do a round trip of 40km though the jungle. A ride marred by way too many punctures saw a good number of quality cyclists teaming up early in the morning. Wearing full length pants instead of shorts was a good idea, I probably should've gone for full sleeved t-shirts as well. The jungle trail was full of thorny bushes and we rode through them, screaming. The arms and fingers were bruised and the sweat running through them was doing no good. By the time we reached the point of U-turn, all of us were tired, dehydrated and running out of spare tubes. Thankfully, we were guided to a dirt track outside the forest that would take us back to our cars. It was already post noon and we were in no position to afford any more flats. Almost a unanimous decision was made to abandon the jungle trail and try to get back to the car through the dirt track. I looked at the watched and thought about the night trek in another jungle. Should I call up the organizer and tell that I wont be able to join? Thankfully, didn't have to do that.

I reached back home, dehydrated and tired by around 2:00 PM. We were supposed to leave for the trek by 3:15. A quick shower followed by lunch and we were on the road. It was dark by the time we hit the forest and the trek lead decided to take us through the jungle in the middle of night to the dinner place. It was another trek in the jungle after the dinner to the camping ground. I was like a zombie sleepwalking. Being awake since 4:00 am and having ridden through the heat the in the day, I just wanted to find a place and crash. It was a while before we reached an open space on a cliff and it was decided to camp for the night. It was probably well past midnight - I was not carrying a watch. Some of us had to be up for the job of night watchman. Volunteers were invited for the hourly shift - I surely was not going to be one tonight. Few hands went up and soon the necessary slots were full. I closed my eyes and passed off. I probably woke a few times in the night to the sounds of people talking, which I conveniently ignored. It was cold there and I had to reach out for the sleeping bag - except for that, I slept like a log, through the night. This is something I learnt from a fellow adventurer and friend - when in a trek, catch whatever sleep you can, whenever you can - place or comfort is hardly a factor.

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