Thursday, June 19, 2014

Trek to Nag Tibba,Day 1

(This was the second day of my Adventure trip to Uttarakhand.This trek journey started off from Dehradun.)

Part 1-
5am.I woke up excited thinking the big day has finally come.I got ready with thoughts of trek swirling in my mind.I was expecting bhanu around 6am.Time for departure for the trek was at 7am.Meanwhile I met Raja,fellow trekker who had arrived just then.He came from delhi after a hair raising journey by bus.As he couldn't catch a moments sleep in the bus he wanted to take some rest.We chatted for a while and then I went out to guide bhanu to the guest house.Soon bhanu arrived and got ready.We found out that the vehicle which was to take us to Pantwari was late and we had some extra time with us.Raja and bhanu took the news happily as they could get some more sleep.After they had their sleep there was an ice breaker session, though it didn't break much ice.Our guide introduced himself first.His name was Sreechand and he had been in the business for the past 10 years.That was reassuring for all of us who were,which I later found out,first timers.There were a total of 9 people with 1 guide and 1 cook.We all introduced ourselves though I didn't remember anyone's name.After this little session we started off in our vehicle tempo traveller.Our vehicle was late and this time gap affected our trek later in the day. Anyway we had an uneventful journey to pantwari.We took the herbertpur route.The journey was picturesque and I was getting all excited for the trek.We reached Pantwari at around 12pm.

Part 2- Start of the Trek
The trek started off in real earnest.There was a small trail leading away from the village up the hill.Initially there were a number of steps leading up along a temple dedicated to Nag Devta.We passed along this temple and up the steps.After about 5 minutes my breath started heaving.I looked around and sure enough everyone was out of breath.I was surprised with myself now.I was wondered if took the trek too lightly as,in spite of my thorough and careful planning,I paid no attention to the physical demands of the trek.Then I thought maybe it was the initial stress one feels when one is suddenly thrust into doing hard physical work.Sure enough slowly the rhythm got into us and we were feeling better.Meanwhile little conversations began to start with us and the rest of the group.Out of the nine,four were a family,Mr and Mrs Vinay and their kids,gautam and siddharth.The kids were all excited and racing ahead of everyone.They had to be regularly kept in check by their parents.But I liked how discipled the kids were.One command to stop and they did.No fussing no whining.Also both were adorable.Then sometime later I got to know about Ishani and Shreya.Both were studying law in Nalsar in Hyderabad.This Hyderabad part served the fuel for the initial conversation and slowly the group was getting along nicely.

After a walk of about half an hour we gained some height and we could see the village down below to our right.It was a beautiful sight.From here the pics session began.After a brief halt we resumed.
Mr Chand told me to tighten the straps around my shoulders and chest.He told me to keep in mind one basic thing about rucksacks.The whole weight of the pack shouldn't be taken up by the shoulders.It should be divided between the shoulders,the chest and the stomach.After he adjusted the straps of my rucksack,I could feel the difference.I could move better now.As every martial arts movie says 'the weapon and the person holding it should feel as one',I felt one with my bag.It felt as it were a part of me.With these funny thoughts I moved on. Inspite of Mr chand's repeated advice to not drink more water we all did anyway and soon our bottles were running low on water.Luckily we reached a water stream which to the dismay of some of us was nothing like a stream.It was flowing out of a tap and this destroyed the mental romantic notion we had had of a mountain stream.However,We were to find more natural and beautiful streams the next day.


Along with us trekkers and Mr Chand, we also had porters with donkeys with us.They carried our tents and food supplies.With their superior speed they moved ahead of us.Watching them go I couldn't help but think of Dr Livingstone and his various expeditions.Also the novel King Solomon's Mines,where the lead character goes on an expedition into the interiors of Africa.They all had porters and donkeys with them.I imagined myself to be on such an expedition.That pumped in energy into me.I have this habit of imagining.I believe they make the trip,any trip more thrilling and enjoyable.For example when I was going on a safari in the jungles of Achanakmar in Chhattisgarh I imagined myself to be a famous hunter in the likes of Jim Corbett or the time when I went to the very underrated Bijapur in karnataka, I imagined myself to be some 18th century explorer searching for lost cities. Irrespective of what people tell me I enjoy imagining.I do it all the time.Coming back to the trek.The rocky terrain was disappointing us.For different reasons.reasons. Bhanu for example was complaining that this doesn't seem like a proper trek.He wanted a barely recognisable trail with dense forest all around.For shreya,the path was making it more difficult(than for others) for her to walk on.

Stopping,chatting and taking in the views We trekked away in the afternoon sun.Slowly sweat began to form on my face.Beads of perspiration trickled down from my face onto my shirt and The weight of the rucksack was pulling me down with every step.It was getting more and more tiring and we were getting quite restless to reach the base camp.We kept asking Mr Sreechand the same question again and again,when will we reach? And irrespective of the distance we covered or the distance left,his answer was always the same 'thodi der me'(soon).In her frustration Ishani jokingly threatened Mr Chand and he just laughed it off.

We walked along flower beds,besides dropping slopes,on rocks,among herds of goats grazing,in dense forest cover before finally arriving out into a clearing with some smooth stones.Mr chand gave out a stop command and declared that it was time for lunch.Relieved and happy,we took out our packed lunches which had been given to us at the start of the trek.The lunch consisted of a boiled egg,a banana,a mashed potato,two parathas and a tetra pack of frooti.Hungry and tired we gorged down on the food.After the much needed lunch break we again set out.We were in a hurry to reach the base camp before dusk.Shreya's problems compounded when she tripped and her leg got cramps.Mr chand showed her some exercises which eased the pain a bit.She nodded her agreement but I oculd clearly see the pain in her face.But we had to move on and slowly we did.Ishani was the photography enthusiast amongst us and she kept taking pictures of the scenery and of us.She took a number of awesome pics.The views on offer were amazing.The hills stretched away into the horizon.The sound our feet made as we stepped on the leaves coupled with the forest and the hills around was mesmerizing.I had always dreamed of going on a proper trek and here I was out in the hills with a fine group of people.I was happy and content.

We passed by many beautiful places.There was a small,quaint abandoned hut right beside a steep drop.I wondered how a person could live there.Sometime later shreya tripped again and wincing in pain she sat down declaring she wouldn't be able to move for some time.Raja helpfully offered to do some accupressure massage and that eased her pain for the time being.With Mr Vinay and family racing ahead and Shreya limping behind we made progress as fast as we possibly could.We passed by beautiful fields, carpets of flowers,abandoned huts,some beautiful birds we couldn't identify,fallen trees and small water streams.Sometime in the afternoon when bhanu and myself got a bit behind the group,bhanu suggested we take a short cut and we did.We bypassed everyone and got to the front of the group.When the kids caught up they started calling us 'buffalo cheater'! I was perplexed as to what exactly a buffalo cheater meant? That still remains in my own Unsolved mysteries list.With these little bits of humour and fun we kept on walking.As evening approached Mr chand suggested we quicken our pace as we wouldn't want to be left on the trail when it got dark.We were very tired by now and nothing could induce us to go faster and we plodded on at our own pace.Soon we reached a gentle hill behind which Mr chand told us,lay our camp.


Finally as soon as we crossed that gentle hill,I could see specks of red and blue in the distance.To my delight it was our base camp.The location couldn't have been better.A small trail ran along the gentle hill towards the tents.In front of the tents away some distance was a drop,with lots of trees.Behind the tents the hill sloped up with forest cover starting after some distance.The tents lay in the middle of a clearing.We had five tents with a master tent which served as a kitchen and also as dining hall.We reached,just threw our bags and sat down on the cool grass to relax.We were given hot tea and that refreshed us.Hot maggi was being prepared for us when suddenly something unexpected happened that just threw our schedule for the night in disarray.More about it in my next post.

2 comments:

  1. hi Razzaq, the way u express ur tour is awesome, its just like watching a live cricket match.
    Enjoying ur life in ur own style. nice buddy.

    ReplyDelete