How about detoxing in the woods without cell reception, no internet and the cleanest of oxygen to hit your lungs?
We signed up for something exactly like this.
The journey began from New Delhi towards the pine covered mountains of Himachal Pradesh. Tickets booked on a AC deluxe volvo bus from ISBT Kashmere gate, we were all set for a long road ahead of us. We reached Auth at around 10.am in the morning. It's approximately a 12 hour journey from New Delhi to Auth, but due to the roads not being smooth, sometimes it gets delayed.
The next part of the journey was to take a cab from Auth to Jibhi where we had our reservations at Latoda guest house. A place where I have stayed before and the location is beyond dreamy. We reached Jibhi and looked ahead to a relaxing day, saving our energy for the big trek. We sat by the river, had some amazing food and watched movies in the comfort of the wooden rooms. We lit a bonfire under the bright moonlit sky and watched the endless river flow by. We called it a night and excitedly waited for the morning to arrive.
One of my favorite things to do when I am in the mountains is to wake up early and stroll amidst the beautiful pine trees. Glistening with fresh dew, nothing feels more gorgeous than the sun playing hide and seek. We had a nice cup of tea by the river and read a book soaking under the warm sun. Another amazing thing about the hills is this- no matter how warm the sun feels on your skin, it is also breezy and chilly to create the perfect balance. Post a delicious breakfast, we began our mini trek to the Jibhi waterfall. I have been to this place before and only wanted to keep returning to it. The waterfall is situated in the middle of a dense forest. Wooden bridges, narrow roads, taking literal stepping stones until you reach the waterfall. The waterfall acts as a sprinkling water cooler even if you are far away from it. We had to make a quick exit from here as the grand trek awaited us.
We hopped on to a taxi which took us from Jibhi to Jalori pass via Shoja. It takes about 1 hour to reach Shoja and from there another 50 minutes to reach Jalori pass. The roads are steep, sharp turns but with an experienced local driver, you have nothing to worry. One can also trek from Shoja to Jalori pass if they plan to camp overnight and continue the remaining trek the next day. The view en-route Shoja to Jalori pass only got better as we reached higher grounds. Pine trees, apple trees , landscapes right out of movies, it was as beautiful as one can picture. Once you reach Jalori pass, there is a temple which one of the main attractions there. There are a few small tea shops where you can eat and pack up wafers and chips for the journey ahead.
Without wasting much time, we started our trek from Jalori pass towards the Serlosar lake. It is a 6 km trek one way and you cross through narrow muddy passages. The nice thing about these treks are the strong roots of the trees that gives a very strong support to the passage. Once you cross the initial 1 kilometer, the forest starts getting dense and covered with fog. There are all sorts of trees, branches dangling spreading itself far & wide. The willows covered with moss gives you a very mystical experience. The roads get difficult in between but isn't that the exciting part after all?
There are not many signs on the way to show you if you are on the right track, so make sure you go in a group. We went on and on for almost one and a half hours, felt lost and were almost chased by a group of white langurs. Imagine yourself in the middle of a forest, trees above you, below you, on your left, on your right and no sign of any human beings around. The excitement and dedication to reach the lake was on top of us. We were tired, doubted the route but we kept going. It was almost close to two hours when we almost lost hope but saw a dense blanket of mist enveloping us. When we walked up the meadows, at the bottom of the hill, covered in fog, was the beautiful Serloskar lake. The last few miles before you are about to give up are always the hardest, but yet once we reached the destination, we knew how all of it was all so worth it. There is small tea stall near the lake where you can celebrate your victory and can enjoy the beautiful weather. When I asked the owner of the shop he told us that in the winters, it would snow upto 9 feet up there. I knew I would come back during the winters and this time probably complete the trek sooner! On the way back , we struggled through our physical pain and finally reached Shoja and back to Jibhi. Luckily, we had our tickets booked and the next stop was only New Delhi. We boarded the bus around 8 pm and reached Delhi next morning. The owner of Latoda Guest House in Jibhi takes care of all your requirements including your return tickets if you want. The only place you end up spending more is for the food and hot beverages. If you love the serenity of the mountains and have an interest in adventure, Himalayan treks are the best to begin with.
The woods are lovely,dark and deep. But I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep, miles to go before I sleep.
Until my next adventure... happy traveling!