The mood at the camp on the fourth morning had become increasingly chirpy. People were throwing snowballs at each other and weren't even cribbing about waking up early in the morning in the punishing cold. The two reasons for it were – 1. It was the last day of the trek, 2. The trek was majorly descent only. The only issue was that we were scheduled to cover 8.5km in one go. That sort of a distance is massive on the mountains.
Since it was mostly downhill, the knees were punished. But the strange sights and stories of the yore were motivating enough. The Indiahikes guys kept us engrossed by telling us mythical tales of the creator – Brahma – and how the Brahmatal Trek was named. There was even a tiny temple of the god at around 11,000 feet, which we visited. Although I'm an agnostic, but even I was affected at such an altitude and circumstance. The places that we saw on our way back were of outworldly proportions and geography. There was a slippery stretch of melted ice where we were walking right on the edge of a mountain and beside it was a valley of no return. Everyone was more than helpful to everyone else and there was no envy, no pride involved. The concept of team building that I learned here, were never understood by me in my management classrooms or my workplace.
Finally, after continuously struggling with my limbs for half a day, I got a whiff of the basecamp from where we originally started the trek. Even though there was still over an hour to the destination, just a sight of it was comforting enough to bring a sigh of relief. My feet surprisingly started moving faster and I was at the basecamp in no time thence. I had never been happier at having achieved something in my uneventful life than I was at Lohajung that evening. I had come full circle; my first Himalayan trek was a success despite all the external and psychological adversities.
A Life-changing Experience