pl: 12th camp narrative

12th Camp Narrative (this one was published in the newspaper)
Mood:  happy
Topic: Writing
It was the 22nd of september when I left for the last annual camp of my school life. I soon found out that I was to have the fun of my life. Everything would be just great. We played cards for most of the train journey to Trivandrum.

23rd September. We reached there and were taken by van to our base camp owned by the NAF (National Adventure Foundation) which is about 25 kms from Trivandrum. We all had tents in which to keep our things. We were given time to freshen up and have lunch and then left for an evening walk around the place. We soon came to a temple that had 200 stairs to climb. I was the 2nd to reach the top. We came back later that evening. Had dinner. We then went on this midnght hike through the same place we’d gone earlier only this time, without light It was cool. We went to sleep in great anticipation of what was to come tomorrow. My group of 14 was to go for aerosports – ultralight flying and parasailing.

24th September. We left at 3 in the morning. The van ride was long- about three hours. The field we were to fly on is this dried up lake bed. It’s huge, must be over 100 acres. It had rained and the first thing that happened was the van got stuck in the mud at the beginning of the field. We all raced to the other end where the ultralight was. It had not been completely assembled yet. We waited but to our misfortune, on it’s trial flight, wet mud from the ground was thrown up into the propeller (mounted on the back). They had to replace the propeller and so, we went back to the van to have breakfast. We played frisbee – my favourite sport – that I hadn’t had a chance to play for years. Breakfast was this mix of bun, pineapple jam, microbananas, corn flakes, milk, and biscuits. An odd combination though it was, our teacher was able to whip it all up into an unbelievably creative and scrumptious breakfast. We then tried to get the van out of the mud(it must’ve been in at least 5 inches). We had help from this passing lorry. Our van unstuck, we again raced to the other end of the field- so vast was the field that I had trouble spotting the van from that end. Then, it was time to fly. Some of us played frisbee while waiting for our turn. The first ones airborne we’re the ones going parasailing. I was the first one who went up in the ultralight. The takeoff was hardly noticeable. It was exhilarating. I’ve never flown before and thought I’d be scared but my stomach held up just fine. The air was frigid around me. We went so high up and I could hardly make out my group from up there. The landing too was cool. Then it was my turn to wait on the ground while my friends took to the air. Down there we played frisbee non-stop. Then ’twas my turn to go parasailing I’d done it before in 8th standard and found it even more incredible than before. We returned to camp after a meal in a local hotel. A typical south Indian meal which we all enjoyed thoroughly. Back at camp, we we’re made to clean out the tents. Halfway through, it started raining and we all raced into the biggest tent for another game of cards (Uno) actually. The game was enjoyable coz of the way everybody tried to cheat and were caught. Thus ended another day.

25th September. We went rock climbing and river crossing which the other group had done the day before. The place was pretty close to base camp and we went walking. The river crossing was about 15 minutes into the walk. We had to tie this rubber rope around a tree and tighten it. There was a whole bunch of us guys yanking madly on the rope to tighten it. Having secured the rope, we had to get into this harness and then hang closely to the rope while we were fastened to it with a carabiner. Then we had to pull ourselves to the other side of the river, turn and pull ourselves back. The going was easy but I strained my back too much and the coming back wasn’t so much fun. I had to be pulled the last few feet. We then continued on our walk for about 20 minutes and came to the spot where we we’re to do rock climbing. It was almost a sheer climb. Anyway, I was kinda nominated to go first coz everyone thought I’d have a good chance. There were three phases to the rock (we’ll actually it was more like a cliff). We were told to go only to the first level from where our guide was belaying for us. Getting there was kinda easy except for the last bit which was tricky. I was allowed to try going further coz I was the first one on the cliff but it had rained and the rock face was slippery. All of us we’re able to get to the 1st point except one guy who had a bit of rain hit the rocks just before his turn, making it very slippery. We got back to base camp in the rain, had lunch and then some of us set off for a walk in the heavy rain. We walked for about an hour through the nearby fields with the rain pouring down on us. It was lovely. The rain was the best part coz I just love walking in the rain. We reached this tea stall where we had some tea to heat us up for the return journey. We were all teasing each other thoughout the walk and having lotsa fun doing it. We returned to find the other group had just gotten back. We all had to pack our bags coz we’d be leaving early next morning to backpack through the Neyyar Forest Reserve and would be returning only on the day of our departure. Some of the other guys left for another night walk and me and my friend missed them. So, we hurriedly got a torch and raced after but we couldn’t find them and got lost trynig to. We inquired at some house and found our way back to base camp.

26th September. We left early in the morning and went to the Neyyar Forest Reserve. Before entering, we stopped outside some officials office to hand over some declaration of some sort. We waited by the river watching the fish in the water and looking to the other side for a glimpse of some exotic wildlife. We heard what we first thought to be a tigers roar. It was really loud and seemed to be from just across the river. We then went on and entered the forest reserve. We began our hike at about 7-8 O clock. We stopped for breakfast after an hour or so. Breakfast was mayonnaise sandwiches and boiled eggs. We filled our botles in the stream where we stopped to eat. We then continued along our journey through woods denser than any I’ve ever been through. It was very exciting- the trees all had exotic shapes like one tree had wound itself around the other. Most of the trees seemed to have aerial roots and these were what really gave them that look. Some trees were at angles of 45 degrees to the ground and were a sight to see. We didn’t see and wildlife not even a rodent. But there were earthworms and a few bugs to look at along the way. There were also these cute blue and white butterflies all over the place. There was elephant dung all along the trail. We crossed a lot of streams. Their only purpose seemed to be to wet your shoes just as they begin to get dry. We finally came to this place where a kind of lake had formed. I got in with all my clothes on and spent the next half hour splashing everyone else. The water was deliciously cold and most of us had a good time in it. We spent a few more hours walking and finally reachd the spot by the river where we were to have lunch before crossing it by ferry. As the first batch were done eating, it started pouring and we couldn’t cook anymore. We crossed the river to an island in the hopes that we could continue our meal there where there was a hut in which we thought we’d cook but to no avail. After everyone had crossed over, we began a trek through the island to reach our final destination. We reached it and spent the evening by the river singing songs and telling jokes. We had dinner and then spent the night in this small room where all of us had to sleep. We somehow all fit in and managed to get a few hours sleep.

27th september. We woke up in the morning and took another ferry just across the river to where our van was waiting. Although the river was supposed to be full of crocs, we never even got to see even one. We got into the van and went back to base camp. All of us hurriedly got ready. We all had coconut water there and had lunch just before leaving. We left for the station and had an ice-cream on the way. I left Trivandrum hoping I’d could come back someday and spend more time there. The train journey was again cool and we had lotsa fun on it – playing cards and doin all sorts of crazy stuff.

28th September. We arrived in the station at 8 in the morning bringing to a close the best trip I’ve ever been on and I think, will take a while to get over.


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