For remainder of the journey, we had hired a bus since it was the only mode of transport that could have carried 23 people across the terrains of Uttarakhand. Our first destination was Yamunotri. As the name suggests it is the source of the river Yamuna where one could visit the respective temple and catch a glimpse of the actual glacier but getting there was a difficult task as buses would go only upto a certain extent. After that it's all beg, borrow, steal. Literally! We needed to stop the local SUVs, push our way through other tourists to get into the car, pay them and then we would finally reach the starting point of the Yamunotri trek- Hanuman Chatti. Imagine how difficult it would have been for 23 people to finally assemble at one place after that ride. From Hanuman Chatti is was a 13 km trek to the temple. While the eldest ones in our family sat on a palki (palanquin), younger ones on pitthu(baskets on the back of sherpas), most of us took a ride on horses and ponies, rest were set on foot. Even though I didn't trek that day, a pony ride is a unique experience altogether, you save your head from hitting the rocks, you have a fear of slipping on wet routes and steep slopes. The route was very scary- mountain ridges on one side and deep trench like feature with river rapids on the other. We somehow made it to the temple and witnessed the beautiful glacier too. On our way back, some of us, who were on foot,got lost (including my own mother) as a thunderstom started and suddenly it all became very dark. It may sound like a movie but that's what happened and after a lot of anxious waiting they finally found their way and we all united again, comforting ourselves with the Maggi provided by the dhaabas nearby.
Further that night, when we finally arrived at Garhwal Tourism guest house at a place named Phool Chatti, a bonfire awaited us in this beautiful dormitory guest house( yeah, that means all cousins together in one room), surrounded by mountains on all 4 sides and a cloudy yet starry ceiling. We all sat together around the bonfire after recalling all our childhood memories for hours, we literally had put our feet almost in the bonfire as it had become numb from all the trekking and chiding cold weather. It really was an unforgettable night.