When my husband and I started visiting mountains together, I used to break into a song and dance about any snow capped peak I could spot even if it was at a great distance. Seshadri, who had trekked before would tease me a lot and always brag about his experiences of walking on snow for hours on end. I never paid any attention, I was happy with whatever I could see!
Finally, in the year 2002 we trekked through Sar Paas in Himanchal Pradesh. On day four of the trek, I spotted a brown dirty patch of snow for the first in my 30 years of life. It was a bit off the track, but I took pains to go near it and touch it. I again broke into a song and dance about it. When I now see others doing it, I understand there feeling, I have not forgotten that first thrill at all.
But even in my wildest dreams I could never imagine the sight that waited for me a few hours later, when we reached our campsite, Nagaru. As far as the eye could see, there was snow everywhere, even beneath my feet. Even though it was a feast for my eyes, it posed a few other problems. First off, I was not wearing proper trekking shoes, and for that day and the next, I slipped and slipped whenever I tried to walk, which on a trek is pretty often! Then it was so damn cold. And when the sun comes out the sown becomes a slush, which makes it very difficult to walk. I remember we started early in the morning, around 3.00 am so that we could cross the snow before it became slush and arrive at the other side! Still, seeing snow for the first time. is one of the most cherished memories of my life.
Along with my husband and two nephews, I trekked in Goa, in the month of December through YHAI. The photo is of the Devil’s Canyon and it is from an era when I did not have a digital camera.
Goa is a fabulous place but gets too crowded for words in December. But by trekking, we avoided the crowds most of the time. It was a first for both my nephews! They had never trekked before. For us too, we associated trekking with mountains and not with a place like Goa! So we went to Goa in December but with a difference!
There was a point on this trek when we got lost. The saving grace was that we got lost in a big group! My younger nephew, my husband and I got a lift in a truck for part of the way but Dilip my elder nephew had to walk it all! But the good kids they are, they never complained!
But then, I wrote about this trip and it got published at GoNOMAD’s website. Do go and check it out. The story is narrated there in detail.
This is my first published travel story and I hope I will be able to write a few more. The best part is GoNOMAD pays for every article it publishes. I am relishing my experience and I thought I would share it on my blog too. Here is a short excerpt from the article-
For my nephews, it was quite an experience to walk through the dark and mysterious tunnels that they previously had crossed only by sitting inside a train. We arrived at Dudh Sagar waterfalls near midday. After spending an hour and a half at this scenic spot we went ahead. Further on our way was a huge pond where we sat by watching fish swimming in its shallow waters. From this spot our campsite was only one and one-half hours away.
We trekked in Har-Ki-Doon Valley in the year 2004 though Youth Hostel Association of India (YHAI). The picture was taken on the route from Seema to Har-Ki-Doon. I still remember our walk through the paddy fields.
On the way we met some women working on the field and their sweet smiles. Living for a few days in nature, when there is no electricity and the source of water is a stream or a river, is my idea of paradise. Of course, the food was provided by the YHAI kitchen at various camps. If you are new to trekking YHAI is a very good option. Generally their treks are safe and give you a reasonable level of comfort.