A trekking expedition was on my ‘Must Do list for 2015’ and I am glad that I could ‘check off’ the experience from my list in January itself. I have always wanted to trek in the Western Ghats ever since my friend shared her trekking experience last year and grabbed the long Republic Day holiday opportunity to convince President Rtn Sridhar to arrange for a trekking expedition for Rotary families.
 
Rtn. Madhu came up with the idea of Kodachadri trekking and the homestay at Simha Farms. A group of 32 members including five from Spanadana club left for Kodachadri on 23rd night. 24th January happens to be Rtn Sridhar’s birthday. I decided to fulfill his wishes of celebrating his birthday with Rotarians by baking a cake and co-ordinating with Rtn. Gangadhar so that it would be a surprise for him. The midnight celebration of ‘birthday on wheels’ sure took him by surprise!
Simha farms came as a pleasant surprise with cozy accommodation, great service, tasty Malnad food, organic fruits and greenery interspersed with life-like sculptures carved by the owner Mr. Udaysimha. The visit to Kollur Mookambika temple was a breeze thanks to First Lady of the District Shylaja Manjunath Shetty who arranged for an exclusive darshan for us.
 
The trekking to Kodachadri breaks all the myths about oneself. Many people including Rtn Sridhar  were not sure if they could make it to the top. The constant motivation and the enthusiasm of the group members ensured a successful trek to the top. I was expecting a pleasant weather all through the trek, thanks to my wild imagination about the hills! Believe me, I laughed it off when the District First Lady told me that it would be very sunny and I should go prepared with a hat and sunscreen. I cursed myself for not heeding to her advice when the scorching sun hit my skin. The forest fire made the trek even more worse but nonetheless all of us made it to the top. The Hidlumane falls on the way offers a breathtaking scenario. I must appreciate the enthusiasm of the Annets during the trek so much so that they were playing football immediately after they returned from the trek!
 
We had to wait for over an hour to witness the sunset and it was definitely worth the wait. We had our hearts in our hands during the jeep ride back in the night. The undulated roads offered a roller coaster experience and definitely not an enjoyable experience for a weak hearted person like me! President Sridhar and the members in his jeep had a heart-stopping moment when the jeep stopped midway. All’s well that ends well, and we managed to reach the farm with all our body parts intact! The group had plenty of photo-opportunities thanks to the ever-enthusiastic in-house photographer Rtn. Gangadharappa.
 
Surprisingly, none of us experienced body aches post trekking. This proves that it is the mind that fears the experience more than the body! I believe this experience has ignited the adventurous streak in RBS members. Looking forward to many more treks together in the coming days! - Ann Rekha Sridhar