Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Roopkund Trek,Uttarakhand. Day 2 (Didana to Bedni Bugyal)

Day 2

In Brief
Distance to be covered today- (~12km)
Change in Elevation-from Didana(2600MSL) to Bedni Bugyal(3354MSL)
Scenery-Through Oak forests and later through grasslands
Duration- Around 4-6 hours depending on your speed
Difficulty- more difficult than the first day

In Detail
Today was to be the day we would be seeing the famed Bugyals. Mr Durga upped the excitement by claiming that we would forget everything when we will lay our eyes on the bugyals.This declaration speeded up our preparation in the cold morning and we started off by 8am.Today we were to gain a height of around 750MSL.The path was steep right form the beginning.We walked among tall trees surrounding us from all sides.Today angkan was leading the group behind Mr Durga as he had no bag to carry with him.Abhishek and arun were also much more relaxed and sprightly today as they too had given their bags to be carried by the donkeys.Only nitesh,satya,bhanu and myself were carrying our bags.The path was steep for a while and eased out gradually.
      We reached a place called Tol Pani after an hour.It was a quaint village glowing in the morning sunshine.There were a few villages scattered around a beautiful field.This was to the last water source for the day till we reach bedni bugyal.That means a total of around 4 hours without water.We passed by this place and from here another steep ascent started.
      After another stretch of walking through the oak forests we reached tol top after an hour.Here the whole group sat down.Today all of us were walking with not much distance between us.As some of us were without bags we all could keep pace with each other.This stretch was very exhausting for us who were carrying bags.We had some chocolates here and took ample rest.The trees above offered us nice shade from the bright sun above.Here and there the leaves parted to create spectacular images of the Tyndall effect.
    We started after everyone had rested to their heart's content.The trail passed through the forests for a while then slowly the forest spread began to recede and grasslands started.To our right were the forests and we were walking on the grass.We walked on this pleasing spread of grass for sometime and then took a break again.We took some pics here meanwhile Mr Durga and satya went in search of some water.They came back with bottles of brownish water citing this was the best they could do as filling water from the water source was very tricky as well as risky.
   After another stretch of walking we found ourselves amidst the Ali Bugyal.The sight which lay before me was one of the most stunning landscapes I ever saw in my life.An exquisite carpet of green grass was spread all over the place.There were gentle hills sloping up and down.The snow clad peaks in the background completed the whole picture.I was speechless for a while.This is what drives me on treks.This is why I trek.The happiness that I got there on seeing the beauty of nature in front of me was unmatched.I just wanted to lay down there on that welcoming grass,close my eyes and think of nothing.But that was not possible.Not with the group that there was with me.Not without some wisecrack coming my way.I thought better not risk it and moved on.
     Once again we sat down amidst this wallpaper perfect place.To me this reminded me of Windows XP default wallpaper.After we had our fill of the place's beauty we started off for Bedni Bugyal.It was hard, not the walk,but leaving Ali bugyal.I wanted to camp there itself.But there was no water for miles around this place and camping here would be foolish. Bedni bugyal was not far away.The walk till there produced some more stunning views.We could see the path zig zag on the hills before us.All this while we could see Mt Trishul towering over us.As the time passed I grew more and more tired.A slight headache began to start.Over time it grew and by the time we reached Bedni Bugyal I had a raging headache.It could have been because of the Altitude or it could have been my Migraine acting up.
       At around 2 pm I saw a faint greenish colour ahead of us on a edge of a hill sloping down.This was our second campsite Bedni Bugyal.I was relieved beyond words.Somehow this view reminded me of the Tintin books that I used to read during my childhood.The location of the campsite was,once again excellent.We had superb views all round us.On reaching the campsite we threw our bags on the ground and dashed to the dining tent where hot soup was served to us.After the soup I had only one thing in mind.I went to my tent,took a paracetamol tablet(Dolo 650) and tried to catch some sleep.Wind started blowing outside and it was very cold.I had already changed into 4 layers of clothing.This kept me warm.With the sound of the wind,the shaking of the tent and the voices of the group drifting in and out in the background I slept very uneasily.Now and then I woke up with a start when a particular sound increased.Somehow by 8 pm I was sound asleep when a voice calling out my name woke me up.It was Mr Durga inquiring about my health.He told me to getup and get some dinner in the kitchen area.I woke up with foggy eyes but surprisingly my headache had subsided.I ambled towards the kitchen where I was given some hot soup.I told Mr Durga that I was Ok and maybe it was the altitude that caused the headache,He agreed and as a precaution gave me lasoon(garlic) to eat.The guides and the locals believe that lasoon is the best remedy for any altitude related problem.I had the soup and a little bit of rice and dal. That was enough for me and I declined to eat any more.I wandered off to the kitchen area where everyone else were having their dinner.As my headache had subsided I was back in form and joined in the banter that usually accompanies a dinner.
          After dinner we all strode to abhishek's tent and crammed ourselves inside.Yes thats 7 people inside a 3 man tent. Abhishek took out a bottle from his bag which he had dearly carried right from delhi.It was a bottle of Jack Daniels.As satya and myself were the only teetotalers we had a pack of frooti with us. Abhishek poured everyone a small glass of the famed whiskey and everyone drank it heartily.It was very limited as alcohol tends to amplify the sickness associated with Altitude. After this session was over we all withdrew to our tents to tucked in for the night.There was to be no bonfire that night as a cold wind was blowing and we were in no mood to spend any time out in the open.During the whole night the wind howled and shrieked.It shook our tent now and then.The ground was also uneven and I had a quite restless sleep.

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