Welcome to the Jungle
You come with a mindset that it is all hype. You have gone on a forest hike and all forest hikes are alike. But then you have not visited the Chembra Valley, Vythri – a five-acre thick forest and private property. If you are looking for a diversion that not only takes you away from all the holidaying you are familiar with so far, Chembra Valley Hike promises to take you back a couple of decades back.
The original inhabitants of the valley, the forest people are the only ones who will accompany you. And then for next three days, you can forget the world you came from. Your phones will not get any range. So no internet or phone calls. Only bird calls and wild beast calls to answer to. A river borders the property and it takes an hour drive off-road to reach here.
What you will experience is indiscernible. It can be called a purification of your soul, a clearing of your mind, a refreshing of the body and a recharging of the spirit. You can come out from the experience refreshed, reborn and completely happy in a special way.
The trek takes you deeper and deeper into virgin forests. Your guides know how to avoid wild animals and the precautions needed to be taken. You will see impossibly beautiful wild streams and waterfalls, vast vistas of the verdant canopy of trees. Multihued birds and fantastic insects will catch your fancy and fill your cameras with images. The guides are walking encyclopedias on plants and tree species and how they are helpful to humans. They will show you spots where they collect honey from wild bees. They know areas to avoid so as not to come in contact with the lone wild elephant, a tiger or a herd of wild buffalos.
You can enjoy food cooked with stones as a stove, firewood and kindle as fuel, fresh water from the streams. The cuisine includes fresh fish marinated with fiery spices, rolled in leaves and baked on wood-coal. You can enjoy the softest translucent tapioca, “chembu” (wild tubers) baked, traditional rice gruel… and you will wonder, how these items are not stapled on Five-star hotel menus.
You will move around and slip out from the forest without leaving a trace of modernity. No plastic or man-made items will be left behind. For which, nature will bless you with its abundance of pure oxygen, the freshest water and the tastiest food. It will be a transformation that remains with you, within you, forever.