Being a newbie to trekking, I approached Chadar with some apprehension mixed with a lot of anticipation.My first steps on the ice didn't seem that bad, and we all tried out the "penguin" walk.It was surreal to walk between these towering edifices, barren of any life save a few straggling shrubs and an occasional bird flying overhead.The river meandered in some places, while becoming a raging torrent at others.Where we couldn't walk on the chadar, we had to climb the rocky sides, which was no mean feat.While it was fun and games for the most part, all the slipping and sliding frayed my nerves, and at one point of time, i wished i could turn back. But that wish was regretted instantly, and replaced by a determination to finish what i'd started.And having amazing friends encouraging me, and a guide who was with me throughout was all i needed (oh do i make it sound dramatic!)
The barren yet vivid landscape stays with you, even when you are back home or in your office.And given the trek will not be there a few years from now, it has a special place for all who have experienced it.
Our accommodation for the first day.... we were greeted with some very welcome hot tea. Flying from Kolkata didn't prepare us for the oh-so-cold Leh weather.Didn't spend much time indoors though, as most of the time went searching for gumboots of the right size for Prashant, and some heavy duty hogging at Friends cafe.