Thursday, January 7, 2010

Hebbe Falls

5.30 AM. Room 312 @ Hotel Soundarya. Chikmagalur. Ashutosh is up and ready. Sumeet is making a 'hangover face'. I am also trying to get some sense out of the morning rush. We get down from the hotel and sit on a jeep. Its cold. Our immediate destination is Kemmengundi. Somebody told us yesterday that Hebbe Falls is one thing we should not miss and so we, who don't get up on time for a 10 AM class, are moving briskly through a treacherous forest at 6 AM to check out this place. The sun is visible now.

9 AM. Kemmengundi. We should have been at the fall by now. The roads are tricky and our stomach is empty. We halt at a roadside dhaba. Vivek pounds on the lemon rice served. I am drinking my third cup of tea. The sun is warm. The wind is chilling. The tea is hot. Some moments are priceless.

10 AM. Hebbe Falls. Almost. Last few minutes were 'nail-biting' to say the least. The jeep took us through a hill road which was more of a thin trail. No doubt the view on both sides was panoramic. Still someone should have advised us to check all our insurance papers before we started. Now we are standing at a barrier. Thick tropical kind of forest confront us. We are supposed to trek half a mile through this forest and walk through few streams. Big deal.

11 AM. Hebbe Falls. Finally. Am I dreaming? It is huge. The sun is shedding light at an angle which is making it difficult to estimate the height of this fall. It is more than 100 meters definitely (169 meters actually). We are ready to take the plunge. The sprinkles of waters are giving me goosebumps. Its lush green around. Cold wind is gushing in with the water. A permanent rainbow is visible.

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