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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Write in the ADVENTURE genre (05/24/07)

By esther robinson


“I will stay at the base camp.” Linda’s words were like golden apples set on a silver plate to a team of ten travellers. Attracted like a magnet by a land which enjoys an elevation of 2240 m above the sea level, with silver streams, lush lawns, sparkling skies, hilarious hill trails, descending dew, captivating cascading waterfalls and much more a spark in everyone set ablaze the idea of trekking. Many wondered as to how Linda a seventy-year old yet cheerful woman would react about accommodating an unexpected twelve-day trekking trip in their travel plan. Linda, a widow, an active leader imbibed the venerable virtue of turning embarrassing situations into doors leading to pastures of fresh opportunities from her husband.

In the land of five rivers, after lunch, Mrs. Linda read this to the team. “Around 1810, merchants from England delved into the jungles seeking places that resembled their hometown. Following Francis Buchanan’s failed expedition, another man called John Sullivan sent two surveyors to study the hills. They advanced upto the lower level of Ootacamund (Ooty in the Nilgiris (Blue Mountains)), but never saw the complete valley. Their unsuccessful adventure became the key for many motivated successful attempts. Finally they found about another England far away from England. However, J.C.Whish and N.W.Kindersley the original discoverers reported in the year 1819 about the existence of a tableland possessing a pleasant climate to their superiors. News spread like wild fire. On hearing this, John Sullivan, in the same year built himself a home there. Since then, summer stays are common. By the end of the 19th century, Ooty became accessible.”

In the evening, again Linda spoke. “Let me know your plans. Like Elijah, in my spirit I will be with you.” Sharon, a teenager responded. “We flag off at five in the morning.” Kiran gave this thought. “Must reach the next station before twelve noon otherwise we will look like deflated balloons the following day.” Everyone nodded. Then Helen spoke. “Minimum of twelve kilometers we cover a day from Mettupalayam to Ooty. We will visit the Botanical Garden, Dodabetta Peak, Ooty Lake and Rose Garden.” Joan rebuked Peter, Paul and Andrew who made fun of her mannerisms.

Tim boasted thus. “I spoke to the guide. He says there are many more places of interest here. Twelve days are very less. God willing I will make a honeymoon trip next time.” “Wow! That is wonderful!” The team cheered.

“Following the jungle path, tomorrow we will reach a remote hamlet. On the tenth day of our trip we reach Ootacamund. From Dodabetta Peak, we go directly to Coonoor station. Finally boarding the famous toy train we travel through the tunnel back to our base camp and meet Mrs Linda again. Now let me catch a few hours of sleep. I am not an early bird. Someone please help and also remind me I ought to get eucalyptus oil for my girlfriend.” Thus saying Bobby retired to his room.

At daybreak, like giggling while unpacking gifts the team started their adventurous trip. Linda smiled. “Keep to the tracks. Go together. Have a nice journey.” She waved until they went out of sight and then walked to her room.

The nine trekkers encountered many adventures like seeing snakes that slithered touching their boots, pack of monkeys approaching for food and much more. They reached the Dodabetta peak on the tenth day as scheduled. Suddenly Sharon jumped with joy. Bobby rushed pointing to someone looking through a telescope stationed there. “Mrs. Linda is here! Hey! She is up here.” The entire teamed rushed. Curiosity killed them. Everyone’s mind questioned thus. “How on earth she got to this place?” That evening during dinner she gave a summary of some of her striking adventures.

“Shortly after you left, I met an orphan named Grace a tribal girl from the Toda community who enthused me. She helped me visit the Breeks Memorial School, Tedworth Church and Cordite Factory and gave me the idea of meeting you here.” The entire team praised her. They knew that her life had much more to unfurl.

Grace, who lived with her uncle invited them to her hut. Everything there amazed them. That evening they reached the base camp. Halting a day they moved again towards Cape Comorin (Kanya Kumari) by train. On returning to her native place Mrs. Linda adopted Grace as her daughter legally. Thus Linda’s adventure fetched her a new relation, which made her much young again.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Jacquelyn Horne05/31/07
I know it's hard to do in the challenge, but this needs a lot more "picture words". What was the scenery like along the way; how did each one fair with the walk;etc. Showing, instead of telling. However, the writing is good and the experience exciting.
Jan Ackerson 06/01/07
One suggestion would be to tell a much smaller part of this trek, and concentrate on just one small interaction or conflict. Then you can work more on character development and description.

I was intrigued by the setting of your story, and by the quaintness of your characters' speech.
Kristen Hester06/02/07
Good job.
I was a little confused at first about what was happening. I would have liked a clearer introduction of the main characters. I agree that perhaps just focus on one main event of the trek.