Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Nandi walk

Bangalore to Nandi-hills walk has been majorly promoted by Murtuza, so much so that my Dad calls him Mr. Nandi. Recently, Murtuza & Shaheen walked until Devanhalli. Inspired, Sunand & co. went for the summit on Sunday, 4th June. A nice account of the walk by Sunand.

Walker we called her.

Just walk , keep walking, keep walking and then ? walk,Yes … you guessed right , its about Walking and we walked Not 5 not 10 not 20 not even 40. 50 was alright, we walked all the way up covering a total distance of about 67 kms.

From Bangalore to Nandi hills Covering the total distance were myself and Suma, another guy Ashith Lama tried hard to keep up with us, but towards the end I had to pack him in a bus upto the summit (The last 12kms climb) . The star attraction of this high energy walkathon was WALKER our own desi dog, who got along with us from the hebbal flyover and kept up with our nonsense talks , the changing light of the day walked all the way to the Nandi circle it was with us for a total of about 50 kms.

The intention to walk was natural with Suma and myself doing our regular training sessions for the marathon . I had this long standing desire to conquer this route..Sunday 4th of June was decided to be the D day. The day being close to the earth day had a special importance, and we planed to start early.

We started at sharp 03:40 am from the R.T.Nagar police station, walked towards the Bellary Rd and in no time caught up with the National highway leading to Hyderabad. My only fear dogs and they did compliment that fear at times till we reached the hebbal flyover it was 04:07 am at that time, we were honked by a Hoysala team sleeping under the flyover, we told our intentions and kept moving, , some dogs here and there looking at us suspiciously, we walked on one dog started walking with us , Suma generally tapped at the dogs head, I tapped at Sumas head to leave the dog alone. I think by then invisible relation was made: the dog, the suma, the ashith and the me, all walked facing the glare of the oncoming heavyvehicles, it was still dark.

Reaching Yelhanka at about 5 am we were happy with the speed continued the walk passed Yelhanka Airforce station. Number of villages, towns, hamlets, we named the dog ‘WALKER’. It had such a beautifull smile, very patient and understanding, Suma was talking to it, at times it would walk by the side trying to lick the handstay back catch up with ashith and run ahead to walk with us, we became a good team.

At 8:00am, We took our first break, shared the bread, and water and we already got worried about the fate of WALKER once we reach the top and return by bus, so we wanted to leave her at some village so it can take care of herself, during the first break we somehow managed to get away without her notice but … woooph within some 50 mtrs he spotted us and came running joined us , we continued the trailat about 10:00 we reached Devanahalli and moving a few more Kilometers we reached the deviation to Nandi hills,It was another 25 kilometers from there, at this point Ashith was a bit tired so managed to make him agree to walkup to the base about 13kms from there.We keep walking.

The huge hills right in front of us but still the summit is so far 25 24 23 22 21 20 19 we see the km stones pass by give us a lot of satisfaction, the pain already has entered the shin but I wanted to speed up , Suma wanted it a bit slow, Ashith was already giving up , WALKER was really good , we bought some Grapes kept walking that path, I picked up talk with a young boy who was selling grapes and was walking along , trying to convince him to take WALKER along with him and I even promised to pay him 30rs if he agreed , he agreed , he even told he is not doing this for money and that he liked the dog , well I was happy , he quickly found a small piece of rope and we tried to tie WALKER so he can keep it with him, WALKER resisted this though not by barking etc but not being at ease when we tried to put the loop, I am not at all at ease handling Dogs at this level, It started running the way we came from , A few villagers standing there asked what we were trying to do and I told them the whole story, they asked us to leave it there and that it will take care of itself, Hoping for this to happen we just left, gave that boy some money to try and catch the dog and take care of it, and started walking filled with a sad thought of leaving WALKER behind but happy about it finding a new place to live .

In about 200 mtrs we saw the slender figure of the light brown dog running to us from a distance, no words….. we walk on, not wanting to think of what she is thinking..Reaching the base at about 01:20pm, I ask Ashith to catch the next bus and wait for us at the top 12 kms from there, we move on 4kms from from there is the Nandi circle, The dog , The Suma and The me, walk to the Nandi circle from there it is a steady climb of about 8 kilometers, at that junction, WALKER gets busy taking rest and trying to avoid some local biggies .

Myself and Suma drank tender coconuts water and started our final move to the summit, When asked for the time required for the walk some locals laughout saying we will reach only by night, without wasting much time we start on pass the 8km mark each step felt like a mile, lots of two three four wheelers pas by both ways , some yelling at us , some encouraging us , a very few offering to drop us to the top, some bikers coming down even said HI , I think that was only for Suma she was happy when I told her that, We walked and walked and walked … the beautiful view of the sorrounding villages the highway gave us some more energy, 3 km mark, the 2 km mark , we hugged and kissed the 1 km mark. And soon at the end of the 45th curve on the Nandi hill we saw the Grand entry it was like heaven the time was 04:15pm When we put our feet at the summit.

The return Bus came at 6pm , we jumped into it , but the day had more in store for us, just two curves down the Axil broke and the bus came to a sudden stop, the driver called the nearest bus depot Chikballapur and a bus was expected only at around 9pm , with no energy to walk back or even down we decided to try our luck with the local vehicles and luckily one jeep took a lot of people I had the honour of having a real plump kid sitting on my already breaking legs. We reached the Nandi Circle from where we had to Catch a bus to Doddaballapur.

To my surprise WALKER came running from nowhere and started jumping at us wagging its tail, I was shocked , Suma was too emotional too, she said the dog is questioning us as to where we went and why we left it behind, the next half an hour it remained with us we saw the glaring light of the bus , had to leave WALKER there, climbed up , My dear friend kept watching, I can feel the thoughts that went in its mind, But we had to leave, I felt the gear being applied, the bus moved, my friend walked a few steps... I got inside the bus.

Reached Bangalore at 10:30pm via Doddaballapur.

Friends walking is fun, lets do more of it, its not very easy though but with practice we can achieve a lot, this is just a start , we wish to do more such walks in future, It only requires us to take that first step and things happen after that.

Signing out. Sunand 9448476683

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