Trekking under the Moon

The invitation for the trek had come as a surprise but I did not think twice before responding to it in affirmative. Irrespective of whether I am trekking in the Himalayas or trekking on railway treks, I have always enjoyed them, so saying yes to yet another trek was the most natural thing to do. But that was not the only thing that had intrigued me about this particular one. The fact that the yes came a split second sooner than it would come otherwise was also because of the fact that this was going to be a night trek. Something which I had never experienced before.

bonfire at the Paradise Beach, Gokarna

The bonfire at the Paradise Beach, Gokarna

Leaving puffs of smoke behind, our matador crawled through the narrow roads of Gokarna for what seemed to be hours, with more than twice the number of people crammed inside the vehicle than it was designed to accommodate.… continue reading

Choosing the Right Trek Agency

If you are one of those wonderful people who have been following my blog regularly, you must have noticed that I always travel on my own and have almost never traveled with any travel agency. That is because I always enjoy doing the planning and preparation for every trip I go on myself. Be it the bare minimum and haphazard research that I do before my trips, be it finding the best deals on flight and accommodation or be it hunting for eateries that serve the most delicious of food. To me, all this is as much fun as the actual travel is and I never delegate these things to someone else. But when the trip is a trek, things change.

Choosing the right trek agency himalayas

Choosing the right trek agency

As much as I wanted do the trek to the Hampta Pass me and Ruchi did last year, the sensible thing to do was to join one of the groups going on the said trek by registering with a Trek Agency.… continue reading

Hampta Pass Trek

After completing the series about our Hampta Pass Trek I realized that the posts related to the trek are not in sequence. In between, I have related about my other travel as experience as well, like the post I wrote about my first trip to the Himalayas or, the one I wrote when I decided to go on my first solo trip. This made it pretty irritating for someone who wanted to read the posts related to the Hampta pass trek in a sequential way. So, I decided to put all the links here ordered by day in this post which will make it easier to find the related post.

Camp at Chikka - Hampta Pass Trekking

Camp at Chikka – Hampta Pass Trekking

Hampta Pass – A Trek to the Himalayas

Hampta Pass Trek-Day 1, Jobra to Chikka

Hampta Pass Trek-Day 2, Chikka to Balu ka Gera

Hampta Pass Trek-Day 3, Balu ka Gera to Sia Goru

Hampta Pass Trek-Day 4, Sia Goru to Chattru

In Pictures – The Himalayas at night

Naggar and the Castle

Preparation:

How I prepared for my first Himalayan Trek

Packing for your first Himalayan trek

Have you been on a trek in the mighty Himalayas?continue reading

The failed trek to Doodhsagar

The monophonic sound coming from out of the window became clearer with every step I took towards the exit. A crowded platform waited for me outside, packed with people looking forward to make the most of the long weekend ahead. Most of them carrying everything you need to camp for a couple of days. From neatly packed sleeping bags and tents in their respective bright-colored covers to bananas to a bags full of eggs and breads. Just like I said, everything you need to be on your own for a while. A little ahead, a crowd surrounded two khaki-clad men with a PAS (Public Address System).

Tracks at Castle-rock

Tracks at Castle-rock – PC-Praveen Jangira

The one on the left holding the loud-speaker as the other spoke through the microphone, trying to convey something to the impatient crowd while maintaining a stern demeanor.… continue reading

The lake of the Moon – Chandrataal

Our trek to Hampta Pass formally ended with our arrival at Chattru on the fourth day. The day however was not over yet. What was coming up was much more exciting than what the past few hours until Chattru had been. Soon after a quick but to the heart’s content round of Maggi, I found myself inside a Sumo with five other equally excited people from my group. The Chandrataal lake located 14,100 feet ASL is one of the most beautiful and mesmerizing lakes in the region so the excitement on everyone’s face was obvious. More so because, the visit to Chandrataal was not something which had been decided for sure until the final day.

Road to Chandertaal Lake, Hampta Pass Trek

Road to Chandertaal Lake, Hampta Pass Trek

Given the kind of roads (read no roads in the real sense) it all depended on the weather.… continue reading

Hampta Pass Trek-Day 4, Sia Goru to Chattru

Thanks to yesterday’s steep and rocky descents and the bone-chilling winds, my sprained knee had gone from bad to worse by morning. Ruchi’s was just slightly better. I was not able to join the morning-exercise session and restricted myself to doing flexion which did help but the relief was little more than temporary. The fact that it was all down-hill today, save for a few small ascents, should have made me happy after a full day of steep ascent the previous day but with the knees in bad shape the entire situation was upside down. After-all, it is way more difficult to climb down than to walk up if your knee is not in good shape.

trekking team at sia goru hampta pass

All of us at Sia Goru, Hampta Pass Trekking

Okay! Before I move any further let me go back to yesterday for a moment.… continue reading

Hampta Pass Trek-Day 3, Balu ka Gera to Sia Goru

After a satisfying sleep last night I was in no mood to get out of the sleeping bag. I ignored the first couple of Kama’s whistles but then finally dragged my lazy self outside. After-all, today was the toughest day of the trek and missing the morning exercise would have definitely meant trouble in the steep ascent ahead. Not that anyone of us were ‘allowed’ to skip the morning exercise anyway!

Snow-capped peaks as seen from the camp at Balu ka Gera, Hampta Pass Trekking

Snow-capped peaks as seen from the camp at Balu ka Gera, Hampta Pass Trekking

After some jumping, twisting and stretching the team started feeling much more active and after steaming hot cups followed by break-fast, people in the team started getting for the exciting day ahead. If all goes well, today we will be crossing the Hampta Pass!

In the meantime I hiked up to a near-by rock and away from our camping area which because of being surrounded by high mountains on three sides, was not expected to see any sunshine before it was well past day-break.… continue reading

In Pictures – The Himalayas at night

As soon as I stepped out of the home-stay a gust of cold wind hit me right on my face. It was freezing cold outside. I was at a height of 14,400 feet ASL after-all. Within moments I found myself contemplating whether to continue my walk towards the lake or turn back to the warmth of the home-stay behind me. With a confused mind, I looked up towards the heavens for some help and the heavens answered immediately. The sight of a billion twinkling stars above in a cloudless sky overshadowed any half-a-thought of going back inside that I had in my mind.

Tents at night, Chattru Hampta Pass Trekking

Tents at night, Chattru – Spiti Valley

I found myself lost in the beauty of the sky above in no time, totally oblivious to the bone-chilling temperature and the cold gusts of wind hitting me from the front.… continue reading