I woke up early in the morning and was joined by Ramana on a morning stroll. We were enthused enough to climb steep roads and watch dogs and monkeys play fetch and monks climb down from their monastery.
Shikha woke up in a bit and we got ready for the city touring. It began with breakfast that was supposed to take place at Jimmy's but it hadn't opened yet. Hence, we had pizzas at the clay Oven. Shopping followed and we moved towards the Dalai Lama monastery. And we felt nothing like a hill station anymore, it was crowded and we were feeling hot. We decided to not explore the place and proceed towards Triund. On the way, Shikha and Ramana were stopped by the hotel broker, who asked for his service charge of Rs 200 and after putting a threatening stance was able to reclaim it.
We hadn't begun our journey that the other guys ran out of smokes and went back to the market to get it. And then, we began our trekking. 1 hour further, we were in deep Deodar woods walking on a path made my human feet that it began to rain. Thankfully, we had bought plastic raincoats which came in handy. The rain stopped in a while and we continued trekking. 2 hours hence, taking enough stoppages, hearing Shikha lament about how she is going to die, we reached Guna Devi temple from where the actual trek had to start. We had covered only that part of the trek up till which vehicles were available.
The next phase of the trek was more beautiful, Deodars led way to the Rhododendrons and we could see Mcleod and the stretch of woods we had walked through down below. We hadn't covered more than 500 meters when it began to pour. We were ready for this, and took out our raincoats. But it didn't stop raining, and it was getting difficult for us to move ahead. There were patches with shed leaves that were damp and slippery and we had to walk carefully. And someone got sarcastic, about how it would have been better for the rain god to cast us to hailstorm. And dear god, no longer than it was said, pellets of ice began hitting our face. And they were big enough t0 hurt my nose and ear. I couldn't stop laughing at our predicament. The hail lasted for a good half an hour and brave or stupid as we are, we didn't stop. We found some guys on the way, and they said it was another 5 kms. We were totally annoyed and called those guys stupid as we had traveled quite far. The rains never stopped until we reached a tea shack ad found some guys from Delhi resting there. We too had tea and chocolates, the rain had receded. We began walking further. Our bags were totally wet and heavy and it was difficult to pull the weight of the entire luggage that we had stupidly brought on the trek. Another kilometer might have been covered that it began raining heavily again. This time it wasn't safe to continue the trek and we took shelter in a cafe which overlooked the valley and was quite an old and popular one. We had Maggi and biscuits there, it was about 5.30 pm already and we had about 3.5 kms still to cover. Nevertheless, the rain stopped for final now and we could carry on. As we walked further, we realized that we were too tired and had to keep encouraging ourselves. And amidst silent stretches, moos of cows and glucose provided by biscuits we entered the last phase of the trek by 7.30pm and thankfully, it was still bright.
As we climbed up to see Triund, we just lay on the ground. We got a Quechua tent from one of the shopkeepers there and asked him to install it then and there. All our stuff was lying around. And everything was wet. We took out our stuff put it on the tent to dry them, hoping that it wouldn't rain; ordered rice plate and Maggi worth 120 bucks that was only available there. Got back to our tents and stayed there forever. The two other guys had no warm clothes, I had a jacket and all of us were freezing inside our sleeping bags. We tried a lot of tricks to warm ourselves, eventually we just curled in together. But then, there was loud noise coming from the tent next to us with distasteful music blaring through. And we felt that there were cows outside moving our tent and sheep feeding on our clothes. Among these thoughts, we slept.