The 'day' dawned at 'night'. Woke up by around 3 AM to the amazing sight of an untimely breakfast. It was Pramod behind the plate, with yester night's left over. Laughed out loud, awakening others, who joined suit. Though Pramod finished it off, unshaken, much more was in stock, for the hours to follow, to keep us grinning, for days to follow. Just laid in our 'beds', chatting, till the sun was up and packed up soon, for the day long trek to Manjampatti valley.
Initial part of the trek, along the base of 'Periya Mudiyan' and 'Chinna Mudiyan' mounts, was treacherous as the undergrowth to be negotiated was thorny, leaving the lower limbs scribbled over in red. The difficult stretch lasted for about an hour and we were in an open region, just below the above mentioned mounts.
|Periya Mudiyan & Chinna Mudiyan|
The trek then went through a patch of woods with the abundance of 'Kadukka' (Myrobalan) trees and we sat by the side one such, for a break. Had some snacks, drank enough and resumed the trek.
By then we could have distant view of Keelanavayal settlement in the south east direction, by the side of a towering mount.
Another hour through a similar stretch, took us to a rivulet, where we decided to prepare our lunch. Muniswamy and Girish took over the 'kitchen' and the rest sat watching.
Noodles were ready in half an hour and the whole thing disappeared in half a minute.
The nature of woods changed a lot by then and we were then negotiating a dry stretch of scrubby forest. Crossed another rivulet, stored enough water and went on hiking, through yet another thorny stretch, until we hit the track connecting Manjappatti village with Keelanavayal.
It was time to part with Muniswamy and Rajendran, who would trek up to Keelanavayal before dusk and would return to Kukkal, the next day. Waved them off and continued with the down trek to Manjampatti.
A group of Manjampatti folk, combing the woods for 'Kadukka' fruits, crossed us on pony back, with amazed looks.
Reached the diversion to Mungippallam settlement and continued down hill.
Hit river Amaravathi, by around 4 PM and didn't find it difficult to cross the flow. This trek won't be possible, after the rains, as the flow may not permit you across. Had a dip, crossed river Kumbar, very close to its confluence with Amaravathi and entered village Manjampatti.
Mr. Alex from Thirunelveli, runs a primary school here, in a small shed, by the side of a canal and that's were we are to spent the night.
|A typical Manjampatti dwelling|
Retired to the shed, after dinner with Alex and friends and went into bedrolls, beneath the black board, early. But night 3 wasn't that smooth, though under safe roofs, as whistling thrush (Choolakkaakka) started cooing around, all the night.....
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