My journey!

As I journey through time, here I present a small peak into what I think and experience!

Monday, October 17, 2005

Back from home!

Oh, what a nice time it was being at home! Ate, slept, roamed around, watched some TV, met few friends, attended musical nite, listened to Bhagwad Gita discourse. All in a week's time.
The whole week was packed with something or the other.

Well, now back to classes, presentations, quizzes, assignments & what not...

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Rock Climbing - Some Day 1 and Day 2

I forgot mention that in Day 1, we also had been on a trek to the Matha Top. The trek was damn good. Saw sunset from the top and when darkness begun to set in, we were briefed on the process of lighting fire in the forest. This is called "Tindling and Kindling". Tindling involves getting the right kind of wood and preparing the setup of the fire and protect it from the breeze. Kindling is the act of starting the fire. Having a fire in the wilderness of the night in a forest is of importance for 2 primary reasons: Helps keeps us warm & Wards off wild animals.

We were then instructed to setup the fire. Luckily it was not something like "Cast Away" where we would have had to start the fire as well. We were given a matchbox to start with. Our team quickly gathered twigs and wood from the shrubs and broken branches around us. We were successful in lighting the fire first though the setup was not so great. Another team had setup the fire late but well on which tea was prepared. Night had befallen by then. The stars were majestically glowing some billions of light years away. What a sight it was. Pitch dark (we had extinguished the fire) and stars around. Awesome surroundings. Kept gazing at the stars for a long time and just relished the beauty of silence and darkness. Sometimes a lot can be conveyed by being silent. I sometimes feel that nature teaches us something in every step. We just fail to observe in its entirety and are more involved in the nitty-gritty. Well, the trek back was equally exciting. Pitch black and we are going back with a few torches in our hands. On the way, sang some old and new bollywood songs and I hope the foreigners enjoyed it!

Came back to the camp and had a decent dinner. What a day man. Why cant life be always like this?

"Get up dude....get up"
"Uh, let me sleep"
"Its time for the morning jig"
"Oh, is it. Eh, umm, err, ok"
"Chai chai, chai chai" says a stepper (exchange student from abroad)

Ah, a fresh morning. The birds chirping. The branches of the trees swaying beautifully in the breeze. The mosquitoes peacefully feeding on our blood. The camp site dogs also waking up in this hustle bustle and to our surprise coming out of the tent from our bedside! We were given 10min to get ready for the morning PT. (I try to keep human faces out of the picture as far as possible but sometimes it becomes inevitable!)

Went along the highway for a nice jog after which we were made to do stretching exercises for about 30min. By then, half of the people were tired! Went back to the camp and had some light breakfast. We were told to assemble in about 15min so that we could go on to our next mission ie., the back face of Matha Top visible below.

The trek was amazing. We waded through the actual jungle making our own path. We would clear thorn shrubs and other obstacles coming in the way. Man, believe me, it was such great fun. Just cant be expressed in words. The thrill of walking through a jungle is quite an experience and I feel that everyone should undergo it. Well, reached our place at last after about half an hour. We then climbed the rock face which had a gradient of about 70 degrees (called Wall). Harness was tried around us to save us if we lose the grip. Really liked the climb. I came down by Aid Rapelling.

Liked it so much that I went back again up the face but this time with no harness. No safety. But by now I had developed some confidence. Reached the top comfortably and this time came down by Shoulder Rapelling.

Till now, we had done Surface Climbing. Our next thing to do was Internal climbing. (I shall explain the various technicalities in another article).

This is something like Jackie Chan does in his movies. Using the grip of our hands and legs, we need to climb the gap between two rock faces. Obviously the assumption is that the width of the 2 rock faces is enough for a person to fit in and wide enough for our hands to hold on both the surfaces. So if u imagined that your kid could do internal climbing, think again ;)

Our way back was equally good. We went down in the trail of a waterfall. Shall not talk much but shall show the same in the following picture.

After coming back to the camp, we rested for about an hour after lunch and then we had equipments display. After this, some basics on map reading. And then started our map reading practical exercise. We 12 people were divided into 2 groups and then one had to go and set various direction displays and show the paths to follow a particular destination. There are many standard signs used by climbers all over the world in times of emergencies and need. So were told about this and this exercise went on till the night.

So that ended another eventful day of our camp.