Three old friends...
One FaceBook post...
Thousand bucks of shopping...
Multiple travel tickets....
Three months of non stop planning
which resulted into a breathtaking experience!!!
Where were we going?
Hamta Pass lies at an altitude of 4270 m (14009 ft) on the Pir Panjal range in the Himalayas. It is a small corridor between Lahauland Kullu valley of Himachal Pradesh, India. Hamta village is located below Sethan village and from there it got its name Hamta Pass. This pass is frequently used by shepherds of lesser Himalayan region, seeking for high altitude grassland in the dry cold desert of Lahaul during summer time. Numbers of wild flowers and herbs grow at the altitude between 3000 to 3800 m. Vertical rock walls, water falls, hanging glaciers, tiny lakes, peaks rising above 6000 m are main characteristics of this trek. people need a proper guide to cross certain glaciers. From Hamta pass one can extend their journey towards the beautiful Chandrataal Lake.
Almost three months ago, my friend came across a Facebook post from Kailashrath. Kailashrath is trekking company based in Rumsu, Himachal Pradesh which organizes adventure travel and treks.They had mentioned the itinerary for Hampta pass and Chandrataal Lake for the time period 14th August to 19th August.We were quite excited for this as it would have been a very new experience for us, and the time frame was quite suitable due to the independence day holiday.People had scared the hell out of us saying that august is an inappropriate season to go to Himachal as one might experience heavy rains or landslides.But as they say, ''Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations", we started our planning and packing.
For me it was going to be a very long journey,starting from Pune to Mumbai,Mumbai to Delhi,Delhi to Manali and finally from Manali to Rumsu, our base camp.This perhaps made me travel in all the possible modes of transport:-P
The Adventure Begins!!
Finally after a lot of excitement, my journey started, and trust me it literally was adventurous!I had a train at 3:15pm from Pune station to Thane(Mumbai).A friend of mine had to join me at the station till Thane for the night.We guys were meeting after a long time so had planned to party all night!Usually it takes 20 mins for me to reach the station from my house, so I left accordingly for the station.Surprisingly that day the roads were super crowdy. It was 3 and I was still stuck in the jam packed road.I had a strong feeling that I was going to miss my train. The poor rickshaw wala guy was finding different routes from here and there, but his efforts went in vain.Somehow we managed to reach the station, it was 3:15 already.I called up my friend to ask where she was,she replied,"almost there".I ran towards the platform without any hopes of catching the train.The train was at platform number 4, to my suprise there,it was still there.I started running towards the train, confirmed it was the one I wanted to board, found my compartment and boarded.Phew...'aaj tak life me, ek train miss nahi hui hai meri!'.Record tutane se bach gaya.I immediately called my friend, poor coverage,too much hustle bustle we were unable to hear each other.She reached the station,but was unable to board the train.I was constantly telling her to get on platform 4, but she was so nervous that she was unable to find the platform.The train started.I was still coordinating with her, and asked her to take a bus or the next train.She got into the next train, but a wrong next train!!She landed some where in Daund(a station that is one hour distance from Pune and in the other direction from Mumbai).I sat alone laughing till my destination came.She was left with no option other than going back to Pune. Somewhere close to 8pm I reached Thane.I reached my friend's PG,she was stuck in the office and said would only be able to come by 10pm.So, for me, the party was one packet of Kurkure,shuffling bewteen channels on Tata Sky lying on the couch in an unknown apartment.
"Agar shuruwat hi itni excitement bhari thi, to ant kaisa hoga!"
After an eventful journey till Mumbai,I slept with this thought as tomorrow was going to be an important day for us.I was quite eager and curious for the very first trek of my life.
The next few chapters of my blog,will describe my experience at the Himalayas.Till then keep Traveling!!!