The Trek - How Hard Can It Be???

One pair of clothes - ✅

Extra pair of socks- ✅

Toothbrush / paste/ soap / cream / towel - ✅

Sweater - 😑

Shoes - converse 😔

Water bottle - ✅

So, we walk till the starting point, it’s all easy peasy till here and we buy one stick. A lot of people have this long stick in their hand while trekking which helps while trekking. So we follow our guide and walk down the road. We first have to climb down this slope and then climb up another one. I think “that’s it.. if it’s going to be like this, then it’s a piece of cake”.

We cross a bridge and go up a narrow road with lots of bushes around it. We climb up another slope and reach the first break point.. Maggie point!!!! Snow gets busy in rolling a joint, Rain & I talk about the view, the weather, how nice it is here to be together (he tends to get extra senti sometimes) till our Maggie is being prepared. Our first Pahadi Maggie!

Once the Maggie is ready, Snow is still busy with you know what.. so I have to feed him the Maggie. Now begins the trek, we have taken few puffs of the stuff and start going up the way. In that trance we don’t even realise that 1 hr has passed and we are crossing a small village (yes, in the middle of a mountain), we stop there to admire the view and click some pics and move on to the second break point. It is a small café for chai & Maggie. We pull the chair away from the group and sit and look out of the balcony to the valley below us. The view that meets the eyes is nothing less than breathtaking. Range of mountains, greenery, a valley below us. It is little cloudy now and when you look up you see this small patch from where the sunlight is coming out of the cloud, it is like a spotlight from up above on the goats there in the valley below us. We relax for sometime, another puff of the stuff and start the trek.

We have to reach the point before it gets dark. It is quite a risky path since there were landslides earlier. There is a patch that we come across where only one person can go at a time and one foot at a time. We have to hold on to the side of the mountain wall and a branch poking out of there to cross the path. This is the point where I was scared and I had thoughts “What if I slip and fall”, “What will happen to me?” etc. Snow crossed it first and then Rain, followed by me. Another 2 hours of trek and we reach another break point at Rudrang. We were buying water bottles when we saw this really cute guy with whom we started talking and it turned out that he is a journalist, stays in Delhi and was there with his family. He has apparently done this trek some 10 times. So this guy & I start talking and walking (Rain is behind us talking to a bunch of girls). While trekking up we realise Snow is missing and he has gone way ahead of us. There is another roadblock where the path is all washed out and there is a tree that has fallen over there and there is a stream going through it. Now we have to cross this by going over the tree. Here, the journalist guy gives me a hand and helps me in crossing it. My shoes are all wet & heavy. The weather slowly was becoming colder as we were going up. I wanted to give up and go back. My feet hurt like crazy and I was cold. Rain kept pushing me saying we are almost there. We had to cross 3 -4 more roadblocks and we finally reached the top. We see a vast area with multiple tents put up.. people all around us and then our guide tells us that we still have to go up another Km for our tent. Snow is still missing. Rain & I decide that we will first put our stuff in the tent and then go out and look for Snow. We reach the tent and throw our stuff in the tent. Now I am shivering, the temp is 0 degrees and all I have is a pull over with me. Rain gives me another tight and warm hug and then we are about to go out and search for Snow when we hear someone calling our voice. We follow the voice and there is Snow. We are finally relieved and this calls for a group hug. :)

I change my socks but my shoes are still wet. I left my slippers in the car (*Face Palm) .. I half drag my feet in those wet shoes were dinner is being served. We eat our dinner and are entertained by this group of men who are way older than us but really sweet. There is this one Uncle, who started singing old songs and sharing some of the stories from his previous treks. Once dinner is done, we move towards the bonfire. Rain makes me sit closer to the bonfire. I remove my shoes and put them a little closer to the bonfire so that they can dry. The heat from the bonfire is a welcome warmth for my bones and body that was numb with cold.

We are sitting under the open sky, surrounded by mountains and it is pitch black. Imagine this, Mountains around you, sky full of stars, bonfire, bunch of people, your friend and you. Then slowly the moon comes up from behind one of the mountain and it lights up the entire sky. Just close your eyes for a minute and imagine looking at the moon coming out from behind a mountain and lighting up the entire sky!!!!! I don’t think I have seen anything as beautiful as that & neither have I seen so many stars in the sky. We are sitting with strangers, drinking, smoking and enjoying the warmth from the bonfire and in that moment, I realised it was worth it, putting yourself through that danger of trekking up all the way till here. We talk and laugh around the bonfire till it goes out. We slowly walk back to our tent, 3 of us have to fit in one tent. It is quite spacious, we curl up under our blankets, wish each other goodnight and go to sleep. Rain & Snow are asleep, while I am dead tired, sleep still eludes me. I listen to the wind outside and think about the last 48hrs. This trek brought a sense of peace in me and in that second, at night while trying to sleep, I thought “If I could do this and reach here, I will be able to get over the thing that has turned my life upside down”.

I finally sleep and wake up in couple of hours. Rain is already up and missing. I go out of tent quietly so that Snow doesn’t wake up. Its bright and sunny now. I see Rain coming back from where ever he went. We wake Snow up and Rain tells us there is this natural warm water spring. We got to hike for a Km to reach there. We grab towels and go till there. Snow & Rain get into the warm water spring while I look around and admire the view from there. I look down and see the tents. It’s such a pleasant view, like a painting. In the backdrop there are mountains, green grass and colourful tents on them.

Once Rain & Snow are back, we go back to the tent and pack our stuff. We have to start our way back down now. We start trekking down and what you guys need to know is that if trekking up was difficult, trekking down was even more tougher. We are trekking down and hit the first roadblock where there is no way to go down. There are just tree branches and space for you to keep only foot at a time. While climbing down, your ankles hurt like crazy because when you have space for only one foot at a time, your entire body weight is on that foot. Slowly and carefully we cross this patch and continue on our way down. After 3 hrs of non-stop trek down, we come to a break point. Time for another Maggie break. While we are sitting there and eating Maggie, we look at the way ahead, it is not a path down the hill, it is like a vertical wall you need to climb down and again there are just tree branches and one-foot space. We finishing eating and start climbing down. This is even more crazier than the one before, but we cross it safely. We continue down the way, crossing few small waterfalls coming out of the mountain due to landslides earlier. We have to ensure we reach the base before it gets dark. We take a break once or twice in middle. I remember there was one place where there was just a log in middle of a small river kinda thing.. it was a waterfall coming out of a mountain above us and turned into a small river at the ground level. There was a log in middle kept there to act as a bridge and to enable us to cross it. We stopped there to click few pics and dip our legs in the water and continued. We finally reached the lowest level (or so we thought) and there was another bridge that we had to cross. We found a hidden waterfall behind this big stone joined to the mountain and beside the bridge. We stopped in middle of the bridge to admire the water flowing beneath us and then continued. After crossing the bridge we took a wrong turn and ended up somewhere other than where we were actually supposed to end up. We crossed this patch and realised there was a shortcut for us to reach the base point. This shortcut required for us to trek Up for a km and that entire path was quite slippery because of the rains earlier. Rain, Snow & I held hands (like a chain) and decided we will trek this last 1 km without stopping and in one go and we did that. When we finally reached the base, we looked at the mountain in front of us which we have climbed up & come down and this called for another group hug (yeah, we hug a lot). There was a small dhaba there, were we sat for sometime, ate some Maggie, called our car and went back to the hotel. Our feet were sore and hurting because of the trek, mine even more because of the converse that I was wearing. Once we reached hotel, we took turns and showered, finally! Before we reached hotel, we made a pit stop in middle in search of an ATM. The cold air was literally freezing my bones :D.

After a nice long warm shower, we again stepped out in search of some interesting food, we roamed on the roads of Kasol, came across this place which looked kinda shady but said had amazing pizza. We bought 2 pizzas, some momos and came back to our hotel room. We ate, drank, talked and then decided we are going to make some changes in our original plan. The original plan was to do Kheerganga trek and then go to Manali. We decided instead of Manali, we will do another trek – Malana, Magic Valley!! With the plan decided for next 2 days, we went to sleep while Snow stayed awake for some more time. The hurting feet, cold weather, tired body helped me in falling asleep immediately.

We woke up in morning, got ready, packed our stuff, vacated the hotel and started for our second trek to Magic Valley. I will tell about this trek next time. :) :)

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