Mountains have always charmed me since my childhood. But visiting a hill station as a regular tourist was never going to be enough for me and soon, I developed an intense liking towards trekking in high altitude.
Where is Goecha La? And why is Goecha La important?
Goecha La (La means pass - like Nathu La, Bomdi La, Parang La etc.) is a Himalayan pass at an altitude of 15,100 ft in Western Sikkim between India and Tibet. It provides access to the Southeastern face of Mt. Kanchenjunga (28,169 ft), the third highest peak on the earth.
I had just completed by MBA and I had more than a month free before joining work. I am quite a restless soul. Hence, staying in home for an entire month was never really an option. I had saved some money from my pre-MBA job and was barely left with much remaining in my account. Treks are always a good idea when you are tight on budget, but you do not want to compromise on the travel part. So, I looked for the available options with one of the popular trek organizers and decided on Goechala. Based on the reviews from other trekkers, it looked like a decently challenging trek which covers a variety of terrain and could easily consume half a month of my available time.
The trek organizer had arranged the trek from Siliguri. There are two major ways of reaching the place - by train (till New Jalpaiguri) or by air (to Bagdogra).
I took a train from Kolkata to arrive at New Jalpaiguri station by 4 in the morning.