Before saying anything, I must say that I’m a big fan of food. Food is one of the lovely thing for a lively life. It is must for everything living being and I want it more than for living, sometimes! Once I was prepared for the National Trekking Expedition-Goa (2014), organized by YHAI, I was little worried when I read that there will be ‘simple nutritious food’ provided during the expedition. Simple…..:( Just days before the start of our journey, Mayur messaged to bring necessary things that are required for the trip, which included a mug/cup as usual. From the info he collected by others who has made trekking expedition with YHAI, he said that they also provide ‘Bournvita’ as a beverage. I was delighted to hear this and so carried pretty big mug that can be found in my home. On the first day, for the breakfast, we were served ‘avalakki‘ (Flattened rice) with lots of peanuts and veggies in it. First thing I had as meal came like a shock. Because, I thought avalakki is made only in south Indian regions. Along with this dish there was also a side item and some sweet. ( I only concentrate on quality and quantity of food so I don’t know most of dishes names, in English as well as Kannada).
They said it is simple nutritious, but here we had more nutrients in different form of green leaves and vegetables. My first meal, I enjoyed it to the full of my stomach’s capacity. Then came lunch, Roti and rice with combination of Dal and vegetable curry along with another type of sweet item, made a perfect mid-day meal. The sweet I’m talking is actually ‘keer‘ as said at few places and ‘payasa‘ in my place. And actually I wasn’t sure if it is keer/payasa at first place , as I was in mood of savoring it till last drop.
In the evening, got the chance to have tea. Tea tastes different in different places. Initially, I felt little difficulty adjusting to this kind of tea. But, when few sips went through Adam’s apple there it is…in my entire journey I never had tea less than 3/4th of my mug. And at times, I used to have twice!
For the dinner, once again we had same amount of dishes but a different one. On the first day when it was about half an hour to bed, during the campfire programs , we skipped the last part and were arranging our blankets, at that time we heard an announcement. At the end of program, the camp leader said that ‘bournvita’ is being served. Next moment we took our mugs from the bag and ran to join the queue which was just started (actually we stood first in the queue). Filled our mugs to the top most point with hot bournvita and had it. Washed our mugs and returned to tent happily. We spent first two days in the base camp so we had same routine with different dishes and sweets. Puri, Uppit/Upma, Chapati were few among them and also had the opportunity of eating boiled eggs. I said eggS.
From the third day on wards , we used to leave one camp site in morning after breakfast and reach other camp by evening. So for the lunch, we carried food in the lunch boxes from the camp we left. And when we left our base camp, we got fruit juice in a tetra pack, couple of biscuit packets along with pack of ‘chikki‘ (ground nut bar chocolate) and lots of toffees. Well, we finished the juice on first day itself, but we kept on eating biscuits, chikkis and toffees for days. There were few toffees left, even when I returned home.
After reaching every new camp, we were greeted with welcome juice(unlimited), followed by tea with snacks like biscuits, nippattu and pakodas ( Honestly, I don’t know its meaning in English). Because of these amazing, mouth watering food we never had any idea of getting food from outside.
First four days, our campsite was next to amazing beaches and was actually near to markets, as I think so. But, from the fifth day onwards we were in forests. And guess, what we got as food… Its same fresh food in the middle of forest! Where there was no electricity, there we had amazing food. And during same journey in forests there were people who quenched our thirst with lemon juice and lacci. The more surprising food item came on 6th day at Caranzol camp. When we reached the camp, we had welcome drink followed by tea, couple of hours later as usual. And then suddenly a rumor started to spread that they are preparing ‘Gulab Jamun‘! That night was perfect because of Gulab Jamun in the dinner and, bournvita as usual.
At our last campsite, before returning to base camp, we got one more mouth watering dish, ‘pulov’. Wait, its veg-biryani… Not sure what it is exactly, but I can still smell the taste of its freshness.
Last day before checkout in morning, we had noodles as breakfast and there came an end to amazing combination of YHAI and its food. We didn’t leave the YHAI’s trekking expedition with lots of amazing memories, but while leaving we also carried noodles in our lunch box. 😛
(Photo source: Goooogle)