(Only for story lovers. Skip to bottom for itinarary and expenses!)
It was 8 months since she had travelled and was craving to go on a trip. This time she wanted to go for something that she always wanted to do but for some reasons or other couldn't - trekking!
So again she went to her all time best friend(some of you might have guessed it) - Google baba! She explored a few options and decided to go for an easy-moderate trek in Dharmshala-Triund!
Triund is referred to as the "crown jewel" of Dharmshala. She saw the images of so many breathtaking views of mountain from the top and a mesmerizing view of the sky at night with beautiful stars and the moon(she is a selenophile btw :)). Luckily she discovered that her birthday night was a full moon night and that's when she decided, that's what she wanted to see at that night.
She booked the bus tickets, packed her rucksack with some important items that she figured out from a few blogs on trekking and was ready to board the bus. Days passed and there she was in a cab on her way to board the bus from the famous bus stand in Delhi, Majnu ka tila.
But wait, did I mention that her life was no less than the character "Geet" from "Jab we met". That's right, god has a very little mercy on her when it comes to catching train/bus/flights. Anyway, so as I said she was on her way in the cab, by that I meant she was actually chasing the bus which left her behind because she was running late. But she'd never give up, especially on something that she REALLY wants. There's this famous dialogue "kisi cheez ko poore dil se chaaho to poori kaaynaat tumhe usse milane mein lag jaati hai", imagine her in the cab with Shahrukh khan saying this dialogue in the background....
So anyway, she succeeded and finally they met(not her and Shahrukh Khan) on Karnal Highway, it was a scene no less than a Bollywood movie when she ran towards the bus. Thanks to that cab driver who supported her in the quest. She was on board, yay!
She met a wonderful monk who was seated next to her. They both loved talking about life, karma and so many different topics and before they realised it was 4:00 am, she decided to go to sleep as she was to start trekking that very day. She plugged in the earphones and fell asleep while listening to prateek kuhaad and looking at the lovely moon. After a few hours, she woke up and couldn't believe what her eyes and ears were witnessing. Such a beautiful morning with sunrays kissing her, birds chirping, mountains and mountains by her side. "So worth it", she said to herself.
A few hours later, the bus stopped at the last stop, Mcleodganj. She saw many fellow travellers on the bus stand, getting fresehen up and breakfast.
The trek to triund starts from Dharmkot, half a kilometer away from bus stand or few of them start from gallu devi temple. One can go for shared taxi to Dharamkot, but she was too shy to ask any of the fellow travellers to join her so she booked a taxi for herself and it charged her INR 200, so don't be like her and initiate conversation with other travellers and ask them to chip in. It was already 8 am so she went ahead with it without wasting time.
She reached Dharmkot and had two aloo ka paranthas there at one of the cafe. You can also use the bathroom(it was clean) there before starting your trek.
It was a 9 kilometer trek in total. The first 4-5 kms was steep but was easy, but again it's easier said than done as a beginner so be careful. As a beginner it was a bit difficult for her but the only thing she followed was to drink not much water during the trek and take as many less pauses as she can because that would break her flow of trekking. And it actually worked. She took around 3-4 pauses for not more than 5 minutes in between.
Few of the pauses were to stop, sit back and enjoy the view around her which was very relaxing.
Found a travel buddy ^_^
The last 1-2 kms are actually challenging, it is called as "22 curves". The only thing you need is energy and a will to accomplish. It was tough and needed some climbing as well.
She started her trek at 9 AM and reached the top at round 2 PM i.e. 5 hours with a nominal speed and few pauses. One of the best things about solo travelling is that you can go along at your own pace. The plan was to stay overnight on the top and get back next morning and catch the bus in the evening.
When she reached the top she saw two tent vendors and 2 or 3 people in total. She booked a tent in 500 INR(originally 700 INR, bargaining helps everytime!). The tent had a sleeping bag in it whch actually saved her life during the co-old night which she underestimated. She met a few people from different parts of the world on the top, had a chit chat with chai, had maggi(so obvious!) and at last somewhere around midnight when the clock was about to hit 12, her phone's battery was taking its last breaths.
Looking at the mountains
and the beautiful full moon
with soothing music in the background(some guy was playing guitar), she smiled and said to herself "Happy Birthday!" :).
Next morning, she saw the beautiful sunrise from the top. And btw there are no bathroom/toilets on the top, you may find one toilet tent arrangement so be prepared for that. She decided to get back early morning and freshen up at the same cafe she went to at the base camp. She managed to get backin whopping 3.5 hours(you can understand her motivation this time :P). After that she had breakfast and decided to explore the foothills and then she reached the bus stand at exact 6PM(time of departure of her bus). Looking outside the window, she said goodbye to this amazing trip on her birthday!
Things to carry in your rucksack:
- One can of energy drink(Redbull)
- 2-3 cans of fruit drinks and some sneakers
- 2 packets of biscuits and chips or peanuts
- 2 garbage bags
- A cap or hat(to save you from sun strokes while trekking)
- A water bottle(not too big, better mix electral in the water for energy)
- First aid kit(includes bandaids, ointments, odomos, small dettol/savlon, cotton, crape bandage, electral, paracetamol & some antibiotics)
- High ankle shoes(recommended to support your ankles as the trail is rocky)
- Powerbank(must must have - which she forgot!)
- Pepper Spray(for safety ofcourse, one can find it at any medical store or online)
Key is to keep your backpack light. If you are planning to stay overnight, DO NOT underestimate the cold. If you are staying overnight, do stuff yourself with thermals and jackets.
Tip: Wherever you go, be responsible and keep your surroundings clean especially in the places where it's hard for people to go and clean the mess you create.
- Delhi to Mcleodganj AC bus : INR 1270 (there are HRTC buses as well which is cheaper than the private ones)
- Mcleodganj to Delhi AC bus : INR 1465
- Taxi to Dharamkot(triund base camp) : INR 200(sharing recommended to reduce cost)
- Tent on the top: INR 500-700
- Food: INR 500
If you want to go for trekking and have never done any before, I would recommend you to go for this one and trust me you won't regret. Also, best time for this trek is the summers till October. Let me know if you have any questions in the comment section, I will try to answer as per my experience.
Happy travelling folks! - PJ