Even though  I was inside my sleeping bag at 7, turning, slipping, rarely I could sleep, the excitement, nervousness, not to forget the crazy wind and cold was keeping me awake. Did I tell you what is the most difficult task when you are on trek?getting into the sleeping ,sleeping in it and getting out of it when it is freezing cold outside. When you turn, the sleeping bag slips and again you have to adjust yourself in the right place. How I hated the sleeping bag but hey thats the only thing kept me warm, I had issues with it but yeah, I learned to compromise. One among the many lessons learnt on the mountains.

I was up at 1;30, before the wake up call. It was bone chilling outside the tent. Some trekkers were already on their way to the summit, could see the train of head lamps moving. With head lamps on I struggled to find a spot to water, not even the mountains could have seen me in that pitch dark.

I drank some water , may be little bit more I wanted the Fu***** oxygen level to be pumping high in body. I ate the maggi they served, I went for the second serve thinking I need the all energy this tiny lifeless thread could give. With harness, gaiters, woolen glause  and snow spikes I felt like an astronaut getting ready for the rocket launch in Mars. I was saying my prayers drinking water. I didnt had the energy to empty my bladder before we leave with all the new fancy accessories on. Man oh Man; slippery trail, melting ice, non stop commands from mountaineers not to stop and the annoying head lamp, yeah we were on. I dont know what had gotten into me, I walked and walked, never stopping like a woman who is possessed.

It wasnt easy especially to walk on the ice as it was our first time. The sun was just rising up and we were late. you see you have to reach the summit before 7 and leave around 8, before the sun rises because ice melts and trail becomes slippery. As we were late technical team ordered us to speed up.Couple of our trek mates couldnt go further and went back. I felt bad for them but I was glad I was not one among them. On the way we could see one girl, victim of ACM with a guide. It is very common but it scares the shit out of you.

Even though I am a photo freak I didnt take my phone out, It was cold and I let others take picture for a change and enjoyed my walk. My bladder was already on red signal and that was my another worry.

The famous Roopkund. We couldnt go down, our technical team let us as it was already 8. The Kund has its own history filled with adventure

Yes I did it, I did it, I did it…..

There I was at the top, summit and I was going crazy not with joy but with tension. My bladder was at the edge with its siren on. I searched around desperately, walked around and then found a place but men were there talking. I wouldnt have done this but like a small kid I lifted my hand and showed my small pinky finger. They just walked away giving me my most needed privacy. Was I shamed hell na, I was proud because I peed on the summit, yes, I did it:)and I still cant stop talking about it.

Some wanted their lone time in the Kund.

People were going bonkers at the summit.

This guy stripped (only shirt) to make his achievement more memorable. He had taken dip in the icy cold water on Chadhar Trek. Some hard core adventurer he is, glad I met him.

When you want trek, trek with Trek the Himalayas(TTH). They organize the things very nicely.

Sun was dancing high in the sky and we started our journey back. We walked and walked it took us some time to understand how much we had walked in the dawn. Ice was melting, sun was mocking and we were tired but we had go on. Couple of minutes break, “Little bit more, come on up on your feet” orders and we were back on our feet.

The great Pushkargi, should see the man trek. He never stops unless to its required. He is man of adventure and down to earth.

oh Yeah DSLRS were everywhere so as the creative photographers. Wonder how they carried them, the trail, the back pack on your back and this extra weight. May be passion is all you need.

Getting the gear ready for the return journey

We were back at the base camp around lunch time, all i wanted was to lie down and rest but they didnt let me. I wasnt feeling all that great but yeah i had long distance to cover. I started walking, ahead of everyone. I wanted a long, very long break.

Mules tail captivated me, its hair was so straight and sexy, I always craved to have such lovely hair.I was soo tempted to touch it, “will kick you if you touch” warning stopped me there.

Base camp

Maggi point at Bhagwabasa

Base camp is busy as any other market which is lively through out the day

Bhagwabasa

This gentleman is unstoppable, hard core trekker and yeah he is reason many could make it to the summit. He is the motivator.

Making memories and capturing it forever.

I envied the people next morning when they spoke about the view of sky, the previous night. 

I made couple of good friends who walked at a great speed. Most of them had done couple of famous treks and me, the country village girl had nothing to boast about until then.

It was unfortunate to be on mule on that trail. If you are not keeping well then you dont have any other option you just have to be on mules back and remember your grandfather while bile rises in your mouth.

They are ones who makes out journey most memorable, their graceful walk, jingling sound made by their bell around their neck, not to forget their dry dung scattered all over the mountains, their hard work for which they will never get credit. They are the true unsung heroes of the mountains.

The guy has no fear, doesnt feel cold, doesnt care about the wind.

Finally we were back at PatarNachauni at 3. I slept for a while. As next day was the last day of our trek we were allowed to sleep and do whatever we liked but we couldnt as it was cold and windy. There were the other trekkers who were lost seeing out happy smiling faces. We easily could recognize the scared worried look as we were in their place few days back. We had the same viva like how it was, how many made it, is it snowing….We ensured them everything will be alright like how the previous group ensured us. When you are in mountains that is what you have to do, be always encouraging and supportive.

When the twinkling stars were dancing in the sky I was sleeping . For the first time I had peaceful sleep except for the occasional barks of Blacky.

 

https://snlworld.com/2018/06/02/mountains-are-calling-day1-rishikesh/

https://snlworld.com/2018/06/03/mountains-are-calling-day1-rishikesh-to-lohajung/

https://snlworld.com/2018/06/05/mountains-are-calling-day3lohajung-to-didnavillage/

https://snlworld.com/2018/06/10/mountains-are-calling-day4didnavillage-to-alibugyal/

https://snlworld.com/2018/06/18/mountains-are-calling-day5alibugyal-to-patarnachauni/

https://snlworld.com/2018/06/26/mountains-are-calling-day6patarnachauni-to-bhagwabasa/

 

To be continued…

Can find only in the busy streets of Bangalore

It says “SEX, now that we have got your attention, Book mini trucks online”. what a way to catch anybody’s eye

When I got up at 5AM, my usual, it was really cold outside. One of the main reason I used to get up early is so that I can finish my nature call with sound/without sound, without audience. I tried but didnt know to be the carefree child again who doesn’t care about her surroundings. No I didnt brush my teeth or wash my face, or tushie, mouth freshener and wet tissues were very handy. My nails were already dirty with mud making their home in them, did I care hell no. Summit was all I cared. The trek was short distance but difficult one, steep ascend was the big challenge. Pata Nachauni to Bhagwabasa via Kalu Vinayak 4KM distance 14029ft above sea level, challenging trek.

As we were getting ready so as the enthusiastic people who made the summit. On public demand Mohith, the killer dancer showed his moves. Sia’s Cheap trills were making the surrounding groovy, It was nothing less than a party, people were smiling, cheering Mohith , nothing could stop him nor the wind neither the cold,how I loved the mountains. One more talent rusting except for the occasional praises or whistles. 

Mohith getting ready for the flip

He had trekkers glued to him.

It was crazy ascend. The narrow trail, people, mule ascending and descending, mind blowing view, cold wind.

Santy finished his summit and met us on his way back. As I said earlier nothing could stop him. I had tried to bribe him with biscuit, the first day we met but he dint fall for that trick.

Shivas temple,Kalu Vinayak. Trekkers on their way to base camp blow the conches shouting lord Shivas name in the silence of the mountain for the well being of the trekkers and their journey.

“Bolo har har mahadev ki” and people shout with joy “JAIIIIIII”gulping the tea or coffee or Maggi they ordered.

Trishul

You have to love the nature and should have the invite from the mountain for the holy journey. It has been life changing for many.

It is super crowded, maggi points on either side, Shivas temple, killer view and those fancy DSLR guys blocking path, photo bombing every single click. It was annoying but kind of nice and soothing, such a crowd at high altitude.

Have to be ready for the unseen journey ahead. Our super guide Mahi.

The lady is on a mission.

Cold or hot, windy or rainy, Mules will never stop. With the jingling bell around their neck they walk gracefully carrying the burden of the people they never met.

You have to be there physically to enjoy the view and feel the wind. Totally worth it.

Usually trekkers who aren’t keeping well are sent back on mules back. This guy seems to be alright but it pretty bad to go back on mules back. It makes you recall all your sin and tummy goes for merry go round before you puke.

Trishul,view from base camp Bhagwabasa.

You are surrounded by the mountains, they are everywhere, north, south, east, west.

That is India Hikes dry toilet.

We reached around 1.00AM to the base camp Bhagwabasa. After having the delicious lunch i went to doze in my camp. The chilly wind was giving me hard time. Drinking water was ok but peeing in the dry toilet was bit annoying so we used the wilderness and watered the green patch of grass. How I envied men then.

We had our soup, oxygen and heart beat level check followed by “do’s and donts on big day” by technical team. Luckily all my trek mates passed the oxygen level test, hardest test, harder than IAS, to clear when you are above 14000ft sea level. It was fascinating to see technical team, explain. They were fearless like the White Walkers. Krishna alias Kris, Vijay explanation had everyone’s ears.

Snow spikes, gaiters, safety harness with detailed walk through with trail by the  technical team at the base camp.

Did I tell you mountain men are good looking :). They might have unshaven beard or you know jungle type look but they are handsome in their own mountainy way. (No, sorry I didnt find anyone there if you are curious, my eyes were only for the Roopkund)

Wearing gaiters, spikes, safety harness and walking was a tiring job for first timers.

That is Vijay, the mountaineer. He has his team, they dont need anything they just run on the snow and sloppy areas and yell at us “Daro Mat”(dont be scared).

We had our dinner at 7 and went to sleep early as next day was the big day. Finally we were going to the summit, to see the Roopkund. Wake up call was at 2.00 AM in the morning. Final journey was at 3.30AM, the challenging ,adrenaline pumping journey

“I will walk, I will walk, with all my will, I will walk with all my strength, I will walk and complete this journey, I will walk and nothing gonna stop me” I was determined. It is all mind game, you should have the determination, the will and nothing can stop you.

The killer view from the base camp.

https://snlworld.com/2018/06/02/mountains-are-calling-day1-rishikesh/

https://snlworld.com/2018/06/03/mountains-are-calling-day1-rishikesh-to-lohajung/

https://snlworld.com/2018/06/05/mountains-are-calling-day3lohajung-to-didnavillage/

https://snlworld.com/2018/06/10/mountains-are-calling-day4didnavillage-to-alibugyal/

https://snlworld.com/2018/06/18/mountains-are-calling-day5alibugyal-to-patarnachauni/

 

To be continued

When I got up at 5AM, my usual time, it was quiet outside except for the jingling sound made by the mules and the mountain dogs. Looked like wind was finally gone to sleep after a long night shift along with the moon. I tried washing my face with water and my fingers froze, water was icy cold.

With sun already up, it was a pleasant morning, surrounded by the mountains. The more you looked at them the more you feel the pull, wondering how different the life would be there.

People with basic needs, smile on their face never have wants. You ought to meet the men in the mountains.The men you meet, you can literally have a conversation. No they dont send a friend request in FB, no they dont ask your phone number or comment on your marital status or physical appearance. The men are real gentleman who advises you to be careful on sloppy area and enquirers how your trek has been so far. No they dont stare at breast while talking, they look at your face.  I think first time in my life I loved conversing with men without fearing for my safety. They may not be educated but they know how to respect women better than the educated men.

Looked like Santy didnt move from his place.

Smiling faces and hard working guys who makes your delicious meal ready.

Little bit of stretching and little bit of brushing in the morning.

Showering in the sun rays early morning.

After having our breakfast we started our trek to Patar Nachauni via Bedni Bugyal and Ghora Lotani, 7KM trek. A pleasant trek with beautiful meadow and scenery around you wont realize when you reached your destination.

And the trek begins

Santy tagged along

Looks like mountains are Lord Shiva’s favorite place, you can find his temple everywhere.

Its just mind blowing view everywhere.

Nothing stops you. Trail itself is motivating. 

Colors of the nature are soothing. Purple

Blue

Yellow and many more

Bedni Bugyal. India Hikes Camp site

Different kinds of flowers

Gaurav bhayya can be India’s next top model

Bedni Bugyal. You find so many trekkers on the way, some with walking poles and some with fancy DSLR

The unstoppable’s

Road is wide and sometimes that one companion only you need.

Bedni Bugyal

Sometimes he leads you and sometimes he follows you. You may stop but he never stops.

When cricket bug bites your bum you suffer from cricket fever at the altitude of 12000ft

The mind blowing view at Ghora Lotani

Ghora Lotani

Ghora Lotani

Ghora Lotani

Yeah, those are our toilets. Luckily those werent giving you creeps like the previous one. The yellow one was really comforting, you could squat and think of anything under the blue sky.

Yeah, yeah, we did it!!

I am just a nameless professional photographer.

Walking, absorbing the surrounding, by the time we reached Patar Nachauni it was 1PM. We were tired and hungry. Lunch was served with broad smiling faces. Trust me the people you find in mountains are really really nice.

Its here I learnt to sun bath lying on the grass. Finally i understood what those firang’s do lying half naked under the sun. Only difference was i was clothes head to toe, except for my face. Hot though but it was soothing in the cold weather.

Dayalji posing with DSLR expert, hard core trekker and guy with killer looks. Ohh Yeah, the boiled eggs saved all the non vegetarians.

They dont have 5 stars hotel at Patanaturi, they have maggi points.

Acclimatization to the near by hill where you get network (finally one chance to communicate with outside world) and back yo campsite, hot soup followed by oxygen and heart beat level check, then followed by early dinner at 7PM. We were almost fallen into a daily routine without our knowledge. It is so true we humans get used to any situation or circumstance in no time. The only difference that was the people who did the summit were back. There was million dollar smile and that un-explanatory satisfaction on their face, they were full of life and tips. I remembered the the practical viva scene. Hows it?how many made it?anyone backed out?does it snow there?. The personal gyan and motivational tips we got made us imagine to be that person next who made it to the summit.

Will I make it?or will I be the person to go back without making it to the summit?will I be a loser?how to take in if i dont make it to the summit?should I repeat the trek until i make it to the summit? no i wont be the loser if I dont make it to the summit or will I be? my head was finally a globe and questions were turning around it like crazy.

I said my prayers to the almighty and went to bed being bit more nervous than before.

https://snlworld.com/2018/06/02/mountains-are-calling-day1-rishikesh/

https://snlworld.com/2018/06/03/mountains-are-calling-day1-rishikesh-to-lohajung/

https://snlworld.com/2018/06/05/mountains-are-calling-day3lohajung-to-didnavillage/

https://snlworld.com/2018/06/10/mountains-are-calling-day4didnavillage-to-alibugyal/

To Be Continued…

 

When sun finally rose after his sweet sleep, it was windy and cold. There was plenty of clean water for our face and tushie but the wind and cold weather made it unbearable to feel the touch of it on our bare skin. Black tea, half an hour later followed by breakfast we were all set for our journey. With the usual ration(biscuit+candies+chocalate bars) in our bag we thanked Geethaji and Gangaji for their hospitality and started our journey. Our journey was from Didna Village to Ali Bugyal, approximately 8000 ft to 11000 ft above sea level, total distance of 10.5 km.

Humans are never on time but mules are.

Colors add flavors to the journey making it more exciting ,bright and merry.

Trees were quiet, birds were none, the trail was clear so as our destination.

Drink water, walk, catch your breath, walk , check for snakes and pee. I had become expert in trekking just in 2 days. 

After a steep ascent we were warmly welcomed by the trees, mind blowing views and tall, broad, sexy trees.

First Maggie point.

Yellow, blue, purple, white, red flowers are everywhere.

I dont know about men from other country but men from my country are crazy about cricket. Trek or no trek, they are always ready to play cricket no matter where.

The guy in red is a awesome bowler, as they say talent hidden from world wasted in the mountains except for the occasional spectators and well wishers.

Looks familiar!

Lets catch our breath and click some pictures. Lets make memories for eternity.

Mules never stop, they continue their graceful walk till the end.

Asia’s largest and beautiful meadow.

Our campsite, Ali Bugyal

Made for each other, our first makeshift wet Indian toilets. Dont they look cute together?You make sound in one and you can hear in next. Unfortunately I eavesdropped, previous nights dal and potato yelling, it wasnt pleasant for my ears though.

With the crazy wind I was worried that people find me squatted, butt naked while the tent flew with the wind,(its worse than somebody hear you fart) Luckily it never happened. First day you need lots of courage to use those toilets. By the end of the trek you will be a pro, trust me.

In search of drinking water and acclimatization.

Gyan sharing by Guddu bhayya(one with stick) and Gaurav bhayya.

View from the near by hill. Blue are our makeshift tents while green are fixed tents belonging to forest department.

Kalu, Santy and Pinky on their way up to the hill

 

They are from near by village, who spend most of their time trekking the summit following whoever is crossing their path. In winter they go to their home which is in near by village.

Fluffy, Santy lets you to pat him but he doesnt like too much cuddling.

Everywhere you go you can find small stone temple with Trishul. Most of the people are Shiva’s devotees.

Sweet little lullaby with good night kiss by the Sun in Ali Bugyal.

Demo on how to you oxygen cylinder.

As it was windy we ditched our tent and gathered in one of the forest departments fixed, warm tent. Sipping the soup after acclimatization we listened to Guddu bhayaa stories involving kings, queens dancers and horses. Hot soothing soup ,tasty popcorn, Guddu bhayaa’s  steady voice, warmth of the tent, bingo!!everyone’s oxygen level and pulse rate was normal.

Our trek leader explained us how to use the oxygen cylinder, which Gaurav bhayya carried on his shoulder, in case of emergency. We had come to the mountains to learn that!!!When we walked towards our tent after dinner we all were tired and cold.Wind was acting like total freak ,murmuring, singing song which didnt make any sense.

Hardest thing on the coldest night is going to washroom. No one made it to the washroom, at least not that night, everyone picked their spot and watered it, like their own, moon was smiling in the sky knowing our little dirty secret. 

Far away from maddening bragging crowd, irritating gadgets, life’s responsibilities, social pressure I felt, kind of tranquility in the presence of the mountains. Jingling bells of mule were the only loud but pleasant music except for the noise made by our tents against the wind in the quiet night. Far away from the civilization but very near to something more precious. Your life may not change but the way you look at life will definitely change. A holy journey that makes you complete.

 

https://snlworld.com/2018/06/02/mountains-are-calling-day1-rishikesh/

https://snlworld.com/2018/06/03/mountains-are-calling-day1-rishikesh-to-lohajung/

https://snlworld.com/2018/06/05/mountains-are-calling-day3lohajung-to-didnavillage/

 

To be continued…

Sun was just rising, it was very cold unlike Bangalore’s hot weather, it was a pleasant morning.  I was jittery and acting crazy. Not sure why the butterflies were flying so high in my tummy with occasional cracking sound from other exit. May be the butterflies were farting or may be I was, I am not sure.  I was a total nervous wreck. Will I be able to complete my trek?will my dad find out and blast out like the way he did on last trek?May be I will back on Mule? stretcher?. When the briefing was done previous day by TTH group of all possible scenarios I was lost. Oxygen level low, they send you back, cant walk Mule ride all the way back, worst condition stretcher. No one want to hear the worst possibility on the first day of the trek trust me.

Painting my face with Sunscreen 50+SPF, like others I was looking like a white walker with black eyes. With cross mark head to toe I was saying my rosary back to back, my hands were shivering. After picking my daily ration(refreshment for the trek) banana, biscuit and chocolates, we 21 members+guide+trek lead+2 other guides we started our trek. Nervous though I was confident I am going to walk, sipping water, peeing on the trail, taking small breaths.

This is before we burnt our face and nose in the sun

Locals are innocent people. When you meet the local people, greet them, ask them about their day. Be nice to them, like how they are nice to us.They may not like you clicking their pictures. Ask them, if they deny walk with a smile, you dont have anything to lose. They may not be educated but smarter than you.

Sun was just setting, weather was pleasant, it was 6.5 KM walk. No one could complain about the surrounding, smiling local people, whispering mountains and the complimentary wind.

I enjoyed the first couple of hours, you know, clicking pictures, stopping here and there to catch my breath. Its then the steep ascend started. I could hear my, as well as my fellow trekkers breathing. Every two step I had to stop.I opted for the mule to carry my backpack, so I dont know the real pain of carrying the backpack and walking.

These beautiful flowers are called as Buransh(RhododebDron), no matter how correctly you prnounce the name in Hindi, the local people will correct you with a smile. The juice made from these flowers is just awesome.No they dont make the wine:(

Oh, that’s me!!!

Our first break.

Pushkar Sir, our awesome guide. The guy treks nonstop, very knowledgeable and down to earth. With killer looks he has fantastic mountaineering skills.

The second break.

While you walk the path which hundreds would have crossed these beautiful flowers are the only one which welcome you to their terrain heartily.

Keep walking, sip the water, catch your breath.Repeat.

My peeing in the wilderness saga started here. I guess this was the first and only time I hated being woman. With pressure of drinking 2 liter water, my bladder was already whining. Modesty, oh yeah, I had locked it up back in Bangalore. I looked around for a spot and marked my territory proudly. It was just the beginning, trust me, I have peed on the whole trail.

They carry 60-70kgs weight and walk faster than us. The only transport you find in the mountains.

The first Maggi point.

Second Maggi Point

You can see Gangaji in the pic. Must say the food was really awesome. They were really nice and warm people. Stay was cozy, with only one solar light which lit up in the night. They had real wash room with real water. This was the last stop where our butts will see the water for the last time. Body already had its last bath in Lohajung

By 2 we were done with our lunch. It was very hot outside, temptation to go inside and lie down was insane but I tried and stayed with sipping water . Its recommended not to sleep during day time when you are on trek. When the sun was unbearable I went inside and dozed off keeping my eyes open. 

Evening around 4.30 after tea for acclimatization, we walked the small near by mountain. As we go higher the sea level we have to do acclimatization, so that our body gets used to the surrounding. Its on the way we picked the wood for the camp fire.

Mind blowing view was our bounty.

As we descended we had our soup and our first oxygen, heart beat check. Scared we all were but everything was under control except the uninvited mild head aches.

It is how we warmed up ourselves in the cold weather before going to bed.

Geethaji with her darling husband.

Geethaji and Gangaji’s hospitality was fantastic. For every problem they had a solution which they gave with smiling faces. During winter they dont stay in this village as the snow fall is heavy. They go to the other side of the village, where they spend their winter with their livestock.

 

Trekking Tips for the Day:

-Take small steps

-Take enough breaks, sip the water dont gulp it.

-Be punctual

-Be nice to your trek mates, try to make a conversation.

-Listen to the trek guide

-Carry energy bars or anything you fancy for the trek

-Sun screen 50+SPF, sun cap, water bottle is the must. 

-Respect the local people and their privacy.

-Dont litter on the ,mountains. 

 

https://snlworld.com/2018/06/03/mountains-are-calling-day1-rishikesh-to-lohajung/

https://snlworld.com/2018/06/02/mountains-are-calling-day1-rishikesh/

To be continued..

One last look at the Ganges

Colors they add spices to your life as well as your vehicle. Red, green, yellow, pink, you name it he has it.

“Bhayyaji, aapka naam kya hai”(What is your name Sir). Small talk, yeah I was doing that and certain extend I had mastered the art. “Kamiless”our thin but strong driver said spitting nth time from the window. Sweet, innocent people have only “Sha” problem, which they turn into “ss” while pronouncing.

NH58, one side rock and other side pit, but the drivers there are very skilled. Every turn he took I jumped from my seat thinking that is my last minute. There was a lady in the vehicles who started puking in Rishikess sorry Rishikesh, and went on , never stopping.Curvy road, rocky road he never cared, from start to end he drove in a same speed. With his driving skills I am sure he can bag first prize in auto racing, spitting through out the race, multi talented guy. 

I didnt utter a word when I saw the food, I started swallowing it. I on a scared journey to the mountains, If I want luxury I can get it at my door step in Chinaware.

The place is so beautiful it start to grow on you.

Lohajung

My prayers were on, asking my guardian angel to protect me, with sign cross over my broken bones, yes, I was cautious. 

I met my trek mates, most of them were in their early 20’s, most of them were Gujarathi’s, Tusssssss!!!!. Its better to have a similar age group or mixed one where the conversation just flows and you have to be you. At the end of your trek, the trek and your trek mates leaves a big impact on you so I suggest kindly consider this point

Mountains were calling, whispering, soothing in their enchanted voice. It wasnt a mere trip for me, it was a scared journey which I was longing to do since 4 years. Do or die, I was going to the summit, there was no looking back, I was stubborn like a mule. 

 

To be continued

https://snlworld.com/2018/06/02/mountains-are-calling-day1-rishikesh/