We reached the Resort “Trails” which is enroute Vikarabad on the foothills of Ananthagiri Hills, by around 10 in the night. We are all looking for the hills around, but could see none except a small hillock in the back drop. The first impression was “man, wrong advertising”. The pitched out the tents in the front yard of the living quarters of the personnel of the Resort.
After that we assembled for an intro again, this time with everyone. There were guys and gals from TCS, IBM, Microsoft, Infosys, Cognisant and other IT cos, some Sales Managers, a trained Pilot, a seventh standard kid with his father and many other interesting adventure Enthusiasts.
We assembled around the bon fire, the star now – too hot for the already burning summer night. Everyone clicked photographs of the fire star and with it by getting as close to it as possible.
Now, Neeraj brought his guitar, to entertain us. He played some tunes and then sang while playing the guitar. He continued with regular doses of “Sorry, my voice is not good. I am not a singer”. But it was good because nobody expected it.
Next, we played anthakshari and went to climb the only hillock around. That’s where Puja told the Ghost story – “A woman clad in white, waiting for her prized prey. The woman was earlier killed by her in-laws. Another dowry story”
The cool breeze was refreshing and took me to the days of summer vacation in a village. “Once upon a time when I was a kid……”
We thought of sleeping on the hillock but the breeze was growing strong.
Now back to the tents, only few slept inside the tent. Rest outside in the open air. Before the trip we thought that we would be in the middle of a dense forest, trees around us, strange noises keeping us awake, cool breeze romancing with us. We were nowhere near the forest, there were shrubs around us, a street light and some drunkards in the nearby dwelling kept some of us awake by their songs, mosquitoes forcefully kissing. We would only manage 3-4 hours sleep with all the discomfort in all directions. Many things are never the same the way we expect. But it was sweet because something different from the routine and among so many friends.
We got up and headed for the forest walk, no animals could be seen. May be I would call village walk.
Once back, the breakfast was served. Nothing wild about it but it was obese puris.
After the breakfast we did warmup and divided into two groups. We headed for the adventure activities. There was rope walk, earth quake – crossing the hanging swings without falling, the safety precautions were taken care.
Then we headed for the rock climbing, and zoomering. Zoomering is the toughest and needs more “stuff”.
We came down by “crossing the valley”. The staff were already over burdened in sending us down to the valley.
We had a decent lunch. Everyone was looking for some support to lay down. But then the organisers Shraddha and Jitu were unrelenting. We played a game wherein your partner will answer the questions for you. You have to be quick otherwise it will be your turn to ask the questions. It was all fun with funny answers and questions too. The kid Shashank was fascinated about buffalos he was asking “why do you look like buffalo? Why are you talking like buffalo?” . He made everyone a buffalo. We ended the buffalo game and headed home again in Pathi’s Bolero.
Heading home, could find myself fresh, though I was stinking. The place “Trails” was decent enough for a good group outing. But it is always the company that matters. Everyone was great – Let me recall the names – Pathi, Pranshu, Puja, Bharath, Vijay, Bheeshmajeet, Ranjit, Srini, Mallikarjun, Tanuj, Sai, Suchithra, Neeraj, Shashank and his father Kamesh, Vineela and her friend, Monty, Anurag, Vipin. Sorry if I misspelt some names or missed. It is difficult for such encounters “Sweet Encounters” in the daily routine. Thanks Shradda and Jitu for their wonderful work, and GHAC for organising this trip.