Between the Devil and the Deep Sea (Boulder Trip) – Part 2
Posted by AtPeace on October 12, 2005
I dunno if it was Aditya or Gopi who spotted the Zapata Falls on the map, a little distance away from the Sand Dunes. None of them had been there before and we decided to stop over for some time. The road that led to the falls seemed an unmotorable stretch of road, with gravel and loose stones on the path, like they show in those ads for SUVs. Only, this was much worse. Huthas’s car is anything but a SUV and he hesitated quite a bit before driving up the path. I don’t blame him. I’d have refused to drive my car up the road. (Not that I have a car. Nor do I know driving. Hehe…) Anyways, we ambled along at smth like 10mph, as though we had all the time on earth. Thankfully, we soon reached a properly laid piece of road and H parked his car in the parking lot there.
As we got out of the car, we noticed the uniform layer of orangish-brownish sand-cum-dust on H’s car. I think H would have cried his heart out if not for the fact that there were 4 people with him. He probably sobbed into his pillow that night. (Needless to say, he took his car for a carwash the very next day.)
A sign nearby said that we had to trek another mile to reach the fall. It wasn’t much of a trek, actually. It was a very negligible slope and we easily ambled along. A few minutes later, we reached a small stream of gushing water. We tried to look around, trying to find the falls but none of us could spot it. And then, we noticed several people walking up/downstream. Only there wasn’t anything you’d call a bank – everyone was walking in the water. We realised the falls was beyond the curve of the stream, perfectly out of sight. And the only way to get there was to walk thru the water.
This snap, you guys saw just now, has me smiling benevolently, my-life’s-a-bed-of-roses kinds. Nothing could be farther than the truth. A fraction of a second after this photo was taken, I was yelling in pain. Man oh man, did it hurt! It’s a truly painful experience to have both your legs go numb. We were in incredible pain as we walked across the water, but it was nothing in comparison to the pain we had to endure every time we stepped on to land. It. Was. Killing. As our legs discovered their long-lost life and the blood unfroze, we did all it took to stop ourselves from howling away.
Finally, we almost reached the curve from where you can see the waterfall. And if you thought that things couldn’t get worse, you err. So far, I’ve been talking of how our legs were turning to ice. As we walked thru the last stretch of water and stopped metres away from the waterfall, the saaral from the waterfall magically turned our hands into ice, too. Brilliant. But the view was pretty good, actually. It was quite a small waterfall, water gushing thru what appeared a crevice in the rocks. It wasn’t a breath-taking view or anyth, but was good, nevertheless*. (It had to be. Or you’d have had a killer on the loose.)
And we slowly made our way back, dying slow deaths. The difference in temperature of the water was too obvious, even between points just metres away. The water steadily became warmer – less freezing would be a much more appropriate description, actually – and the pain in our limbs increased proportionally. On reaching land, we spent quiet, painful moments waiting for our limbs to become fully functional. It did eventually. And we were soon back to the car, stopping by just to take this snap of the ‘Sand Dunes’ from there.
Between the Devil and the Deep Sea is how I’d remember that day. From walking on Sand Dunes till I developed blisters in my feet, to walking on water so f****** freezing that my legs almost froze, it was a day of extremes. But trust me, it was very, very memorable. The sight and the experience was unbelievable. If I get a chance, I would honestly not mind going back to those two places and killing myself again. It was worth every bit. Period.
* – The photo of the waterfall that you saw was not taken from my cam… Oh, come on, you do know Murphy’s law about cameras and batteries, don’t you?
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