Himalaya a word itself depicts its meaning, when heard generates altogether different vibes through your nerves. When Vinod and Gopal asked me about joining them for a trek to one of the popular summit in the ranges of Himalayas, without hearing much of it I simply said I’m in. “Roopkund” a mystery lake this was the name of the trek, which induced a certain amount of curiosity as well as fear. Gruhita our partner in crime during 100km trail walking also joined us. Along with four of us, Prathmesh, Bhakti, Mohit, Apeksha and Piyush completed our group. Being in the company of these guys always a fun. Pranks, jokes, pulling each other’s leg always on high.
I was eagerly waiting for this much needed break. In last 8 years of corporate life, never had a time to disconnect from the routine life and connect with the self to find the purpose of the life. I was not looking only for enjoyment and relaxation, but to experience the essence of life.
Being a non-professional trekkers we booked our expedition through “Trek the Himalaya” organisation. It was a batch of 25 people coming from various parts of India, bringing different shades to our journey for next 7 days. Everyone was so excited when we started from Kathgodam. Journey from Kathgodam to base camp at Lohajung was a roller coaster ride. Being lived so far in the ranges of Sahyadri I am familiar with the mountain roads with full of spiralling loops but here it was altogether different feeling. Sky touching mountains with lush green dense forest, and narrow roads cutting through the Kumaon ranges. Expert drivers who I thought just came from Formula 1 race dropped us safely at base camp. We came out of the vehicle and looked straight towards the mountain, the clouds were just passing by with the wind and suddenly uncovered the snowy peaks of Himalaya for which we came all the way.
In the evening we had our introductory session where we shared our experiences of trekking and other details. Trek In charge gave us the briefing about the trek, which made everybody nervous, but also realized that it’s going to be full of adventure.
Next morning we geared up and became ready to experience the surprises which nature is going to throw on us. It was 6 km trail through the forest of 20-40 meters tall iron wood and pine trees. The trail was not that much difficult as compared to the trails what we do in Sahyadri but lack of oxygen level certainly made us to strive hard. While walking we met one garhwali boy who was selling wooden sticks to the trekkers passing by. He was very cute and his eyes were so innocent. I was very delighted to hear that he is going to school, though there are many hardships they face to sustain their life.
Initially with slow start, I picked up the pace and started moving ahead. So along with exploring various facets of nature, I felt this is a good opportunity to explore various facets of personalities as well. So when I moved ahead, caught up with three siblings Gaurav, Abhideep and Shikhi. Gaurav was much talkative guy among us. Later, through the journey I found different different skills that he possesses and how he harnesses it. He always led the group, not only during the trail, but also during the games, interactions. Abhideep, smart and handsome guy who was throwing puzzles and singing shayaries all the way round. He was a very thoughtful person. Shikhi who was facing these mountains for the very first time, was climbing as if she is in to the business of trekking for a long time. She literally made me realize not to judge any person on its face value and there are more things which are behind it. Then I met the three musketeers of our group Yash, Sarthak and Ankit. All of them were college going exuberant boys, it was hard to find who were Akash, Sameer and Siddharth among them, but I am sure everybody saw some glimpses of DCH in them. I found Mohit as my companion throughout the trek. Over the trek we had very good conversations. Travelling alone sounds terrifying and travelling alone to unknown places is more scarier but, Apeksha- An Adventure Girl having recent experience of Himalayan Trek behind, was relishing this one too. We reached our first camp at Didna village somewhere around at 1 pm. Everyone was hungry, but also happy to reach the first camp safely.