Monday, June 13, 2011

Himalayan Hangover!

After numerous status messages on Facebook, texts to friends and generating major PR on how much I’m looking forward to the trek;  I suddenly went off the radar. I don’t have excuses this time. I’ve kinda run out of excuses myself, so it would be awesome if you can chip in with a couple of plausible excuses.

I wrote a really sad looking rough draft during a client call only to realise that my handwriting has gone to the dogs for good this time and the same applied to my blogging skills. Pretty sad I must say.

So here’s an attempt to rekindle the almost dead blog of mine.

Last month this time a bunch of us boarded a train to Delhi. We had our own reasons to be out of work, one had chicken pox while the other was attending a workshop. A couple of us had told our respective bosses the truth – we were on a trek. And I had only 5 days leave sanctioned, so I conveniently got stuck in a hailstorm for 3 extra days ;)

If I were to sum it up in one word I’d say “Awe-inspiring”. Honestly speaking, I’m really not much of a trekker or a fitness freak. Wait a minute; I’m not even an outdoorsy person. There was something about the itinerary that pushed me to accept the challenge. I wanted to give it a shot with the sole purpose of pushing my limits. I had to do something to get out of the comfortable inertia I was settling into.

With that began the journey of 10 days from Delhi. Delhi is by far the “hottest” place I’ve been to. I thought Hyderabad was hot. And all you people who crib about Chennai being hot – give me a break. Seriously!
Now that I mentioned Delhi, we visited Akshardham. Of the two odd hours we spent there; the best part was the boat ride where we travelled through the history of India. Awesome stuff! And we were made to watch this documentary on Swami Narayan; the kid who played the Neelkant was adorable.

A 14hr bus ride later, we reached what we called this picturesque place located on the banks of the river Beas. We were rather shocked to look at a wobbly wooden bridge, crossing which we would get to the camp. I would like to call it the terrorizing bridge. Walk on it a couple of times and you’d agree with me if I call it a perfect location for a fight sequence. And once you lose your balance; you may go on your free rafting ride, only without the raft.

The next couple of days were Adventure Sport days. Rappelling - where you climb to the top of a huge rock and climb down. I did not do it – thanks to the fear of heights. I really thought I’ll go sliding upside down on the rock. Next day we went River Crossing. Hoist yourself horizontally, then hold on to the rope like your life depends on it, move in the same direction and you’ll be done.
Paragliding is like the best thing in this whole wide world!! Everybody must seriously try it! I loved it :D And then there was zorbing, you go head over heels; heels over head and all you need to do is scream.

Just when we were settling into the routine, they decided it was time we go onto the real trek. Out came rucksacks and sleeping bags. We were to trek to Camp-2 and 3 by foot. I was a little apprehensive about this part – I kept asking Uncle and G if there was a charted path. I went there to figure out that a trekking trail in trekking terms was a nondescript path with lots of rocks and unbelievably scary terrain.

We changed two camps in three days. Walked through paths where I’ve never imagined. I slid into a gushing stream, slid down the wet near another stream.  I literally went sliding down, holding onto little pieces of rocks for support and I could literally feel the sand slipping out of my fingers. That was the scariest moment of the trek.  I thought it was the end, because had I lost balance I would have reached the rock bottom only to meet my dead grandparents.

On the whole I’d rate it 8/10. I loved it every bit of my stay.  The people were warm and friendly – especially the Bhaiyya(s). Those guys were the best. Amazingly genuine people, God bless them. I managed to strike a convo with all of them. And there was this particular dude who had deep blue-green eyes; I could stare at them all day long! **Sigh**

I would call this an experience of a lifetime; simply because I did things I would’ve normally never attempted. Sleeping in a sleeping bag; sharing a tent with 5 other girls; walking downhill to wash my plates in a stream; Staying in tents without electricity for 3 nights; attending to nature’s call in the open (read: behind huge trees and bushes). It truly helped me appreciate the little joys of life.

You don’t get to wake up to the neighing of horses at 5am or with dew drops on your sleeping bag. It’s an experience of a lifetime. Something you’ll totally understand only if you attempt it.

No matter how many vacations I go on, this one will remain close to my heart forever, because not everybody  gets to go White Water Rafting on a Monday Morning!
Three cheers to the Himalayan Trip.

PS: Thanks to all those people who were supportive. Thank you for putting up with my mood swings and being damn understanding. Special thanks for screaming out my name when I went River Rafting; it really helped.
PS1: After churning out close to 970 words, I realise I have not mentioned the best part of the trek – Food. If you are a foodie or a southie or a deadly combination of both like me – this is *the*  place to be in!! I still can’t believe I was discussing recipes while climbing up.
PS2: it's 8 because; -1 for not being able to carry my backpack. -1 for not attempting Rappelling and Zumaring.
PS3:  YaaaaY!! I can write! :D

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