Paithalmala – paradise in the god’s own country

Paithalmala is situated close to Kannur. The place is thickly vegetated and one of the best parts of the Western ghats. This region receives immense rainfall. This trek was a unique trek as this was my first monsoon trek. Out and about is a group which organised this trek. We did this in the month of July. To be frank, I was skeptical about the idea of monsoon trek. The weather forecast predicted 90% precipitation for that day. So I was mentally prepared to face the ordeal. We were all prepared with the rain ponchos to cover us from the rains, but only to realize the effort was in vain.

We started the trek at 10 in the morning. The trek trail is total of 12kms in distance and is a pretty moderate difficulty level. The heavy rains and zombie leeches made it look like a never ending trek. The trail is little different from my other Western ghats treks. The trail offers extremely steep terrain at some places and at the very next moment, open grasslands. Having said that, it rained heavily throughout the trek without a tiny teeny moment of bright skies and sunlight.

Last ascent

There were lot of small water falls, brooks along the way because of the heavy rains. The trail was very slippery throughout the route. It’s safe to say that it was a difficult terrain for first time hikers. The trek follows through a variety of vegetation ranging from long bamboo, tall grass, thick green shrubs and small trees. We took almost 3 hours to reach the peak. Due to excessive wind, the rain was hitting us horizontally and we tried to dodge it with our backs. It felt like pinpricks in the eyes whenever we turned.

Brooks all the way

The views from the top of the mountain were quite hampered by the mist and fog due to the heavy rains. The descent was quite difficult too, considering the marshy loose soil.I have fear of falling whenever I descend. I slid on my back wherever it was possible. Nonetheless, the rain trek was gratifying. I was very confident to have successfully abdicated any leech I found on my shoes, knees etc. But I later realized at least 5-6 leeches were enjoying the blood sitting hidden in my socks, torso and navel.

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