A thought of a trek in the Himalayas was always lingering in my mind ever since V and I got back from our honeymoon in Leh. We had seen the majestic lands and landscapes of a rugged terrain, now it was time to explore the greener part of the Himalayas.
And so we contacted some of our friends and put together a nice fun bunch for the trek. We booked a 7 day trek to the Pindari Glacier organized by a Govt body called KMVN since none of us were familiar with the Kumaon area for a self supported trek. The whole process of getting people together, the pre-trek shopping and the packing to optimize stuff for the trek in our backpacks was a whole lot of fun.
Here are some snapshots from the trip
Day 1: Bangalore – Delhi – Kathgodam
Day 2: Kathgodam – Bhageshwar
Day 3: Bhageshwar – Saung (where the trek started) – Loharkhet
Day 4: Loharkhet – Dhakuri – Khati
Day 5: Khati – Dwali – Phurkiya
Day 6: Phurkiya – Zero point (Pindari Glacier) – Dwali
Day 7: Dwali – Khaati – Dhakuri
Day 8: Dhakuri – Loharkhet – Saung – Bhageshwar
Day 9: Bhageshwar – Kathgodam – Delhi – Bangalore
All in all we did a 90+ kms on foot in 6 days!
Day 1 and day 2 was mostly traveling to get to a place called Bhageshwar. We flew into a scorching hot Delhi, had some awesome parathas at Haldirams and took a train to Kathgodam. The train journey was quite eventful in terms of behavior of people. We had a lot of people stand in reserved compartments waiting to share already reserved seats!
At Bhageshwar, we were awestruck to be welcomed into a 10 bed dormitory and a disgusting bathroom that was to be shared by all guests. The very thought of using that bathroom sent a shiver through my spine, but even before I could react to anything realization dawned on me that the next couple of days are going to be even more basic considering we are going to be spending the following nights in wilderness.
On Day 3 we were transported to Saung in a rickety bus where the trek began. It was a steep 5 km uphill climb that we completed in about and hour an a half. The route took us through numerous village homes and we could see that people were busy with their daily chores and that they were used to seeing hikers. We were accompanied by the chirping birds and whooping langurs throughout the route.. the WOW moments had just commenced 🙂
On a daily basis we did an average 15 – 20 km steep trek which was extremely taxing. It took the first 2 days for the body to get used to a couple of things – waking up at wee hours, starting the trek at roughly 6 AM, spending the night in a not-so-spacious sleeping bag, keeping one baby step at a time and yet maintaining a pace so as to reach the designated points without which you are left out without a meal and most importantly skipping a bath! Not one, not two but for 6 consecutive days!! 😀
Each day would start with an enthusiastic brisk climb followed by a comfortable pace for while and finally at a snail’s pace post lunch. But as I walked through the highlands, the deep valleys, and meandered by the roaring rivers, I discovered timelessness. I couldnt tell how long ago I started walking or when I would reach the next destination. Hand in hand with V’s I would just admire the majestic nature around us, soak in as much as I could, try to capture the frames and just live the moment. 🙂
All the painstaking journey just seemed totally worth it when I saw the magnificent glacier, high and elegant. In the broader picture the mighty himalayas made my existence feel infinitesimally small.