Spot the spunky 'moon'walkers

STAR TREK

Spot the spunky 'moon'walkers

Srikanth Subramanian

Remember the time you stayed up all night to spot UFOs? Combine that experience with a romantic walk in the solitude of midnight. Now, add an element of adventure to it. And that is what midnight treks are about. Night treks have been popular in the City for quite some time attracting youth from diverse backgrounds to get a taste of nature and adventure at the same time.

Neeraj Malve, the founder of Bangalore Mountaineering Club, says that these treks are in high demand. “We always restrict the group to 20-30, but we always get about 50-60 requests even after registrations. So what are the reasons for the popularity of night treks?

“The fact that Bangalore lacks nightlife is a huge reason. Also the youth has become more inclined towards exploring outdoors. It is also very adventurous to trek at night as it’s lot more challenging.”

GEARING UP: Breaking of dawn.And trekkers have quite a few choices for their trek destination. Dev Balaji, who started Nature Admire Adventure Club, lists it out.

“The locations vary from Skandagiri, near Nandi Hills, to Anthergange, 90 kms away in Kolar district, where trekkers can also explore caves,” he says.

“Ramnagaram and Makkalidurga, 45 kms away and also known as Gunjur Hill, is another option. We also have jungle night walks to Arasinamakki and Bheemeshwari,” adds Neeraj.

The list also includes two-day getaway on beaches. “Jogi Matti at Chittardurga, Om and Paradise Beaches at Gokarna are popular spots for night treks at beaches,” says Karthik, who runs Nisarga India.

PICTURESQUE: A sunrise trek.Apart from locations, what are the other logistical and external conditions that one has to keep in mind while going for a night trek?

“The best time is during the full moon as nature takes on a different flavour and you can admire it at its best. The transportation needs to be pre-arranged. One needs to carry certain essentials such as a torch, warm clothes, water, snacks and shoes with good grip,” says Dev.

“And yes you need to be willing to stay awake at ridiculous hours, and be enthusiastic about it,” he says.

But night treks need not be pre-organised events. It might just as well be an impulse trip planned with just a days or even a few hours’ notice by a group of friends. Srikanth Subramanian, a software professional, swears by that. “We once planned a trek at 11 pm when a bunch of us decided to drive down to Skandagiri. By one am, we were all set to leave, GPRS phone and road maps were our lifelines.”

And after the three to four hour drive, the arduous trek begins. “Its breath-taking. I am an avid photographer, so the scene is a photographer’s dream-come-true. Apart from that, there are many exotic wildlife you can spot. We also take a guitar for some music and good snacks to eat around the bonfire. The sunrise of course is the happy ending, after which you start heading back to the daily life,” says Srikanth.

So what does an individual need to shell out for an event like this? “It depends on many factors, like the group size, the destination, the time duration. But it works out between Rs 500-1000 per head, excluding food, and up to 2,000 for a two day trip,” says Karthik.

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