Mostly things which are not planned are the best. And this hike was one of them. A trek which started off as a hike initially turned out to be one of the most amazing experiences for each one of us. The best part was the combination of various people in the group, some had met each other for the first time, and some had caught up after years being in the same city. It made all of us closer and a memorable trip etched in our hearts.
So we started off from Sundarijal which is an hour drive from the city. We were to meet at 7 a.m sharp which I was sure we were going to be late, but surprisingly we were the first one to reach the point. And there after we met everyone we reached our starting mark of the trek. We were 11 in the group, some were experts, some had no idea how long would it take and would it even be possible to reach the destination. We estimated a time of 4 hours to reach the spot. Things just don’t go as estimated, and since it was the first time, all of us were new to this track, except our sweeps (Abhishek and Avi who gave in all the willpower and determination to keep moving on and enjoy the next step rather than focusing on the end). Couple of us did not complain on being tried and some of us needed a rest after every 10 minutes. It was tough and since we walked for 20 kms one way, our body was giving up. We kept walking, uphill, crossed the Shivapuri National Park, on the rocks and pebbles, and came across Mulkharka village- not much of population and civilization, a bit of downhill, and then finally some flat surface where we loved the walk. Hours passed by and 4 hours went by after taking couple of breaks and getting ourselves energized with energy bars and drinks. But there were couple of times where our body especially legs did not want to take the next step.
We were each other’s support and gave in all the strength we had. The sight was beautiful and each path made us love the trail all the more. But we could not think walking back the same route. Not the same day at least, or say never. We actually wanted to know when would we reach and get the glimpse of the most wonderful view – THE RANGES!! Whenever we would ask the locals how long would it take?? They would just say an hour and finally we knew we need to double the time of what they tell us. The combination of green, blue and white was perfect. We saw thousand shades of green and thankfully it wasn’t raining or else the way would have been slippery. There are no places to take rest except the village and we could hardly see ten houses. Wonder how people stay there.
We could see the K-town from far away and trust me it looks so congested. We were in a land where we could hear the wind blowing, greenery all around, a scene of the hills and we were only hoping that we could reach on time and see the Himalayas more closely once we get there. As the tradition follows, we clicked pictures in every pose and the clicks started to decrease as the hours went by. We were sure inspired by the Germans who were above the age of 70 and were faster than us, left all of us motivated. As we saw the tea house and knew we were about to reach, the sign of relief was reflected in each our faces. We walked for 7 hours. That was unbelievable. We discovered our own stamina and resilience.
We had no chance of going back as it was getting dark and we would surely take 5 hours to reach even if we walked in the fastest speed. It was impossible. So we decided to stay back and we saw the best sunrise and sunset ever, waking up to the clouds with the orangish tinge in the sky. The campfire and the random talks and toast for the day made our evenings go by fast.
We were so hoping that we find a jeep to drop us back as the effect of the long walk was tiresome. Now when we think about that morning, it is one of the most cherished moments as we walked back the same trail.
The craziest that could have happened are:
- Imagine your shoe/ footwear tearing apart in the middle of nowhere. Can’t even imagine walking bare feet.
- Getting confused with the directions. We were about to reach back to Chisapani again on our way down as we forgot the route.
- Leeches, mostly all of us were stung and we made ourselves feel better as our blood was purifying.
- When we were returning back we realized that we had taken the longest route instead of the shorter one.
It did take us five hours to get back and we were equally tired as the first day was. I bet most of us are still in pain and are not totally fit. It’s all worth the ride as each travel is an adventure and there is so much that you can learn from each outing.