Friday, June 27, 2014

Trek to Nag Tibba,Night 1

As we were waiting it began to drizzle.The drops landed on my face and i could feel the cold,rejuvenating drops as they flowed down on my face.I was there high in the mountains,in the middle of nowhere,with the huge forests all around and then the trance like rain.Everything seemed so magical.I was enchanted by it all.I was woken up from this trance like state by bhanu urging me to get into the tent as the intensity of the rain slowly began to increase.We clambered into our tents.It was getting dark slowly and we had to take out our torches.
            We were longing for the maggi now as pangs of hunger grew bigger.While talking my head was touching the roof of the tent.Suddenly something big hit me on the head through the roof.I winced in pain and immediately withdrew my head.Even as I was checking for any cut a sudden sound of pattering rose up.It looked as if stones were being thrown at the roof of our tent.immediately Bhanu unzipped the first layer of the tent and lifted the outer flap.We could see nothing and then I shone my torch over the area.To our amazement we saw a layer of white sparkling ice all over the area.It was a hailstorm.We were mighty excited now.It was ice and huge balls of it were falling all around.I immediately took out my camera and started filming the whole thing. Bhanu gave a running commentary.Like I said in my previous post,I love imagining.different scenarios started in my head.I imagined myself to be in a remote Antarctic research station and was caught up in a huge storm.
                With these thoughts in my mind we were wondering what our next plan would be for the night when we heard a low whisper in the sound of hail.I looked at Bhanu to confirm if he too had heard it.He returned my look, nodding.We strained our ears to hear.Another whisper now, more of a shout.It was louder than the previous one.We lifted up the flap and saw a figure coming towards our tent.It was Mr chand and he seemed a big agitated.He told us to vacate the tent and come out.We understood immediately.The ice was piling up the on the roof of the tent and we weren't sure of the tent would hold up the weight.I took out my jacket,stuffed my camera in a side pocket and off we went.It was still raining thought the hail reduced considerably.Sounds of thunder came from far off.With flashes of thunder the entire landscape was lit up and the hills looked majestic in those momentary flashes.
            The three of us clung to each other as we walked over white ice and slippery stones.The only means of lighting out our way was the torch we had.We walked on slowly and reached the forest rest house.As we entered in we found the others already there sitting in the front room.The porters did a commendable job of setting up a fire in the fireplace and setting up the cooking equipment.The others were taking in the warm,comfortable heat radiating from the fireside.I could see the looks of worry on their faces.Mr and Mrs Vinay had every reason to worry.They had little kids with him and this was not a good situation to be in with kids.Raja,Ishani and Shreya sat glumly on the floor trying to get some circulation back into their numb feet. Bhanu and myself were the only ones who were enjoying this unexpected development.But we kept out excitement in check.I didn't want to upset the others.As we waited there I began to think about our plans for the night.I asked Mr Chand about our sleeping arrangement.He said that we have to spend the night there in that dilapidated rest house itself.I was disappointed for a minute.I always wanted to spend a night in a tent and sadly it wasn't going to happen that night.On the bright side I was getting to stay in a forest rest house.I didn't do that before either.So Bhanu and myself began to do a small Recce of the building.We opened the from room door and made our way in.All we had now as Bhanu's power bank with us which showed us the way.One of the porters took my torch to bring back other stuff from the main camp.As we started exploring I began to think of one of my favourite horror movies 'Blair witch project' The famous last scene of the movie involves a similar house in the woods as the one we were in.Our Rest House had a simple layout. There was a small hall which separated the front room from another room at the back.After our little exploration was done the porters cleaned up the place and the kids were immediately sent to sleep in the back room.It was decided that the ladies and the kids would sleep in the back room.Meanwhile we went back to our tent to bring back our rucksacks.All along the way I filmed the whole thing.I covered my camera with a polythene bag and somehow managed to take the video.We got back with our rucksacks and began to prepare for the night.We changed clothes and with Mr Chand's help set up out sleeping bags. Bhanu and Myself took the worst place to sleep.It was right on the path leading from front room to the back room and on top of it there was a toilet room on my left.I could do nothing but close the door and hope for the best.Meanwhile in the middle of all these activities going on we were given excellent hot soup and rice with dal prepared by our jovial cook Mr Yashpal.Both were delicious and this lifted everyone's mood a little bit.Mr Chand told us that in his ten years as a guide he experienced this kind of situation only twice before.After dinner we had nothing to do but sleep.With the rain still drizzling out side, one by one everyone tucked in for the night.

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