It is indeed the great experience to leave yourself completely in the hands of the mother nature. The truly mesmerizing experience of the date with the nature. I happen to the part of outword bound training of JCI India Zone VIII called X-factor recently in the dense forest of Shulpaneshwar Wild Life Century which is located in the Narmada District of Gujarat. The site is also famous for Ninai Water Falls.
I was so excited to be a part of the camp as it was on the selection basis by the organizers and it’s always a curiosity till the results are out whether one is got selected or not. Thank God, I got the confirmation message from my chapter president that I am the part of the troupe. Also was happy to receive the mail confirmation with check list of the material required while reporting for the camp. The day came I started in my car with a car pool of 2 other participants who were equally excited as me.
Since the gps available in all smart phones, we were following the navigation instructions and there we mis-lead by entering the first left turn before actually we were to take turn. The stretch of almost 20 kms was the great off road driving experience which made us feel adventurous before the adventure start. After 4 hours drive on the jungle safari drive, we reached the entry point of the century where the forest department’s check post ensure every vehicle entering in the jungle with necessary permit and entry fees of Rs.200/- per vehicle.
At last after 10 km single lane beautiful stretch through the dense jungle we arrived at Sagai village camp site which was the place for reporting. The camp was truly based on the professional grounds where there was no compromise with the discipline, ethics, rules, regulation, terms and conditions. The team of the Head Coach Jc Sen. Saday Joshi, Co-coach Jc Dr. Chandresh Dhuliya and the Mountaineering expert Mr. Sandeep and Mr. Bharat was already at the site since last one week to explore the best places for tracking, climbing and rappelling. But we were still unaware what comes next.
At 4-30pm finally roll call announced and there were 34 participants from various places of Central and South Gujarat. Some had driven overnight and still fresh to face come what may.
Once the roll call & inaugural ceremony was over, all 34 participants were divided in 4 troupes and they decided their group names, group jingles and group leaders. At around 7-30 pm the dinner served cooked on wood stoves with typical tribal taste. A fantastic food I have ever tasted. Immediately after the dinner coach announced the call for night trekking in jungle with necessary items in backpack and banned the use of the torch except the Co-Coach and he will also use it in emergency only.
All groups were lined up and started walking with hand in hand and were instructed to see only the feet of the person ahead. It was total dark and silent every where.The real thrill of the forest which was again the first ever experience for many of us. It was comfortable only till the next 15 meters on the road and then we turned on the foot trek which was going down almost 20 feet from the road. And then the reality face by all of us where the foot was coming on the rock or on the wood or on the things which were not seen but just felt. Immediately after getting down 20 feet, we started climbing the hill which went on till next how much time God knows, but it was the real taste of my physical fitness. My blood pressure started going up and heartbeats were like rail engine. The breathing was so fast. I missed one thing here that we shouted our numbers before start of the trek. I was no. 32. Let me tell you, If I could walk till the top of the hill, it was onlu because of the support of no.31 and no.33. I really feel bad I did not know the names of both these friends though we knew every one in this 3 days.
Then came the coach with the box of glucose and I took lot of glucose with little water. I felt better and was again ready to trek. We then started getting down from the hill, and torch lit and what I saw was heart=throbbing. It was just 1 foot worth space and a stiff down fall was there. If I slip, I am gone. Very tough at the same time very challenging. The torch went off and again darkness as before. I though life is exactly like this. Though the path of life is unknown and unseen and we still find the way and come out successfully from every situation. And are ready to face the new situation. In life too, we have many hands come for support from no. 31 and no.33 and we don’t know who helped us.
anyways, We reached a place which was named as platform. It was a flat portion of the hill from where the sky was clearly visible. Our co-coach is the expert of the start and universe and knows how to identify the directions in night without the help of compass. He introduced us to many stars and sun signs and moon signs, and taught us how to spot the north direction if you missed the way in forest.
After taking the rest, and watching the sky and stars, we once again headed to get down the hill. After a ling time we again climbed the little to get back on the road, and from there it took us almost 2 kms to reach at camp site. When we saw the watch after reaching the camp it was 11-30 pm.
Surprise again knocked us, all troups were given the night duty for keeping w watch for 2 hours each. We got the duty from 3 am to 5 am and also to give a wake up call to all at 5 am. We did not sleep till our turn came and as our turn came we were about to sleep. We then collected wood and dry leaves and lit them after lots of effort, till it took spark, the time to give a wake up call.
We gave every one a wake up call and went ahead of every to complete morning routine as we were supposed to report at 5-45 am again for roll call.
A very hectic day all in all but the total new experience. Totally exhausted physically.