Before this trek, I always had this image of the Himalayas in my mind. It's covered with snow (obviously), it's romantic (because Bollywood) and it either snows or is sunny. These misconceptions about the Himalayas were far less harmful, when compared to my Himalayan trek ideas.And when I registered for YHAI's Bedini Trekking program, I wasn't a bit worried.
I started from Delhi, on the previous day and reached Haldwani Railway station in early morning next day. Gwaldam was my destination for the day and it was no easy task to reach Gwaldam. At around 7:30 in the morning we boarded a small public bus from Haldwani. Most of the passengers were locals and nothing was tourist like (or Himalayan like) along the way.
I got a proper window seat and I got bored after one or two hours. When I looked around, there was this local man sitting next to the driver(because the bus was full) on what seemed like to be the part of engine of the bus. So, I asked him whether he is cool with the idea of swapping seats and he gladly obliged. I Sat in there for another two hours and then went back to the 'normal seat'. After around eight hours and innumerable greetings from the locals, me and me bus reached Garoor, a big village. The driver informed that the bus won't go to Gwaldam and we can easily find jeeps and pool our way to Gwaldam which is only 50 km distance from there. Until this point, the topography of Uttarakhand looked like hill stations in South India. It's green and there was no snow! I was curious to know how much would the topography change in the next fifty kilometers. The bus ride costed me 215 rupees and the taxi would cost me another 50 bucks.
The jeep took us to deeper forest and I could make out that we were gaining good altitude. At around 4:30 we reached Gwaldam. From the village We had to walk for another one km to reach the base camp. The day was long. The road trip was tedious and tiring. I was already feeling like day to day life where even the slightest surprise can make you happy. And, then I saw the camp! The moment I saw the camp, I could feel happiness and excitement rushing through my veins, from head to toe. There are people talking about mountains, valleys, their travel experiences and everything else under the sun. The camp leader helped us to get registered and allotted tents to us. and just when I was standing at the edge of a cliff near the camp site, the fog just gave way to this magnificent view of Mount Trishul.
After the Tea, there was campfire (without fire), where people just sing and dance. I was feeling very excited and a bit left alone. The camp leader handed me the entire schedule and I didn't read much of it. It kills the suspense, y'know!