This day will be forever etched in our memory for some obvious reasons and lessons that we learned about planned travelling. As much as impromptu plans sound interesting, there is nothing that can beat the comfort, contentment and satisfaction of planned travel. We woke up early to visit the Kempty falls as suggested by the locals without paying much of a heed to our transportation arrangements. We started walking on the deserted morning roads as the shops remained closed without a clue of how we were going to reach our destination which was around 15km from Mussoorie. Luckily a local shop selling maggie and hot fuming tea came to our rescue as we had our breakfast and enquired about the means to reach Kempty falls. The clock was ticking as we had an onward return train leaving at 9 pm on the same day from Delhi which required us to leave Mussoorie latest by 2 pm. Still we would reach bang on time without any mishaps or delays on the roads factored into our so called plan.
As we had already made up our minds there was no turning back now. We hoped on a bus after walking for couple of minutes that dropped us at the falls in a descent time frame. We literally ran down the steps on the mountain slopes towards the spot stopping for some intermittent pictures. The falls were majestic in every way and something that pleased our eyes at the very first sight. We sat there for a while listening to the sweet sound of water falling on the rocks from a height of over 50 feet.
We were glad that we didn't give this place a miss but not so glad as we waited for over an hour for the transportation back. It was already noon as we we waited for our ride desperately with no signs of lady luck smiling our way. We enquired around the town about any alternative to the local bus and as we were waiting for some miracle to happen, a local milkman with its open roof tempo heard us and was kind enough to let us ride with him as he was already on his way to Mussoorie for a delivery. We hoped on the tempo without giving any second thoughts standing in the trunk filled with milk cans. The 15 km ride was nothing less than a roller coaster experience as we went past the hairpin turns on the mountains swaying on both the sides and trying hard not to get thrown out of our ride down the mountain like a rolling stone. The views were simply amazing as we rode on a desi convertible shouting and hooting at the top of our voice at every turn and climb over the entire journey. The chill in the wind pierced through our face leaving it numb and our eyes all watery as we reached Mussoorie. We thanked our Milkman saviour and rushed to our hotel for check out before we waste any more of our precious time. We got a shared cab again till Dehradun from Mussoorie to board a 2pm bus for Delhi which generally to took 6 hours to reach ISBT.
We have been running the entire day helter and shelter for rides and the end of the day wasn't any different. We got got stuck in the evening traffic of the city and the bus driver asked us to get down and take a private auto if we wanted to stand a chance to catch our departing train from Hazrat Nizammudin Railway station. We intentionally fell prey to the greedy autowalas of Delhi who looted us without any remorse to drop us at our destination right within time at the Railway Station.
We rushed on the platforms to see if we had made it on time after all the trouble we went through and all Jugaads we orchestrated to reach our destination. We were not dissapointed as we boarded our compartment with high spirits and thanking heavens to assist us in successfully completing our first bagpacking trip and tons of memories to cherish for years to come.
Total cost : 7k per person
Commute : 2k
Rishikesh package: camp stay, 2 breakfast, Lunch, dinner, river rafting, snacks and bonfire for 1350 rs pp. (off season prices)
Food for thought:
1) Ideally a day more in Rishikesh (Ganga aarti, Bunjee jumping, Cafes, Rajaji national park) , a day more in Mussoorie is needed. One can even visit Dhanaulti (mini scotland ) 25kms from Mussoorie.
2) While impromptu plans are thrilling, planning is really important so that you don't have to run helter shelter worried which at some point takes a toll on your spirit to travel.
3) Wollen clothes are necessary when travelling via public transport to protect yourself from the harsh winters in these regions.
4) Do experience staying in the Riverside camps in shivpuri instead of hotels in Rishikesh to experience the tranquility the place offers.
5) Kempty falls has recently become a dumping ground for waste. You could see heaps of plastic and metal cans lying on the slopes left by the deluge of tourists visiting this sensitive region. Please carry your waste back with you to dispose it properly and help keeping the Himalayas clean and free of plastic pollution.
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