I love walking, there is so therapeutic about it. To me a nice holiday always includes a walk. And the holiday with Hail Himalayas (on invitation) was super nice because it included a trek to a waterfall. It was a nice, clear day with blue skies. While walking it is also never too cold. Jeevak, Vinod and I did the Waterfall Trek with the Hail Himalayas. Vinod was the local boy, our guide.
It was a fascinating trek in a way. The path crisscrossed a shallow stream. The only way to cross the stream was by leaping from one stone to another. I have already fallen once with my camera in sea, I had no desire to give a watery death to my new love. So, I was extra careful while leaping from one stone to another. The path must have gone across the stream at least 20 times (not really but that is how it felt). At the most difficult places the camera went into the bag and the bag went to Vinod. There was no chance of him falling in the stream!
The stream was quite shallow which was a good thing. It meant at the most the shoes would get wet, if I took an uncoordinated step! I came very close to getting some real cold water into my shoes but at the last moment I somehow managed to leap that extra two inches to land on terra firma! Even though it was a sunny day there were parts where the sunlight was blocked by foliage and that meant frost.
However, there were not too many patches like this. The path apart from the stone leaping bit was easy. It was a gradual walk for most of the way. Quite close to the waterfall there is a temple and that bit was uphill. It took us 45 minutes each both ways. However, that afternoon another group of youngsters tried walking to the waterfall and I was told they gave it up mid way. Maybe they were short of time. The walk is not difficult if you ask me.
There was a group of Sadhus at the temple. They offered us water and asked if we would like to have tea as well. As we had a cup of tea before we started and we were yet not at the waterfall we declined. The way goes sharply down from the temple. I would not have been able to climb down it but for the wires fixed along the way. With the wires it was quite doable.
I was really lucky, I got the waterfall with a rainbow. There is a small shrine devoted to Lord Shiva right next to the waterfall. As it was December I was content watching the waterfall, it looked cold and uninviting. Jeevak told me that in summer they approach it via the stream and not through the temple.
While coming back we rested at the temple again. This White Caped Redstart was quite at home near the temple. It would let me get quite close. The sadhus lighted a chilum and asked my companions if they would like to have a puff which they declined. They offered chikki as prasad which we gladly took. After another glass of water, we were ready to head back to lunch.
The day was still sunny. I didn’t expect much of vegetation in December but I was happy to catch the sunlight on these white blossoms. It was a beautiful walk, unusual too because of the stone leaping involved. If you wish to give trekking try I would say try this (or a similar) small walk. At Hail Himalayas you get a tented accommodation too. If you like it, you may decide to go for longer treks and sparser accommodations. Otherwise you could write it down to experience and just enjoy the tents with hot water and a bed and other luxuries.
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