Camping in the Himalayas
When the journey of life gets annoyingly demanding, one chooses (or he must chose) to take up his own personal journey and travel. What could be better than taking this journey with your childhood friends.
We left Roorkee at sharp 6 in the morning. There was a considerable traffic till Hardwar.
However, once we left Hardwar and headed towards Rishikesh (by pass), the traffic reduce considerably.
On the way we saw an endless lane of cars parked from Shivpuri to Byasi. It was quite obvious; they were all there for rafting. The camp looked quite crowded, I must admit.
Our first stop was at Byasi, had the most easily available meal in the mountains – instant noodles along with Pahadi chai. It was refreshing. We took out our camera and started taking pictures- our first pictures!
Having recharged our bodies, we moved ahead. We stopped for a while at Srinagar and had some refreshments and then we were quickly right back on journey. The roads were generally fine with long patches of mud intermittently.
As we crossed Rudraprayag we saw a change in the landscape. The altitude was subtly rising. We reached Ukimath via Syal Saur. Our local coordinator, Negiji, gave us direction to find a liquor shop. We also bought him some rum. We saw a vegetable vendor nearby. Though vegetables did not look fresh, we went ahead anyway to feed ourselves.
We finally met Negiji on arriving at Sari, a notably beautiful village. Another round of chai and instant noodles followed.
I took a small walk in the village the beauty of the place was slowly sinking in. At around 4 pm in the afternoon, we started our climb on a 2.5 kilometre stretch foolishly carrying with us our entire luggage.
The breaks became more frequent often as we climbed higher. Constant friendly banter kept our energy rolling. About 6, we reached the top. The first view was simply breathtaking.
My next one hour was spent mounting the tripod at various locations while other two sat in the calmness of the Tal.
We were a bit annoyed at not getting the undivided attention of Negiji. Being a Saturday and the growing popularity of Deoria Tal, there were about 4-5 other groups there which eh was handling.
All of a sudden it started raining. It rained for an hour. It was also starting to get dark. We settled inside a tent in the middle of the forest. Hard rain, three friends, some Scotch and lots of drunk philosophising until! The rain stopped. We came out of the tent talking a little louder… in English. The Scotch was starting show its effect!
We arranged for a camp fire by asking one of the guys there who was also providing us with food. The bottle was empty and so was our energy. We decided to retire for the day.
I was up around 5:30 in the morning and cautiously opened my eyes after unzipping the tent and getting the first view of the mighty Himalayas. It was a stunning sight.
I left the tent and walked out with my tripod and camera and tried taking pictures with all possible angles and setting. I wanted to share this view with the others. I woke them up threatening them with pouring cold water. The morning was bright, shiny and sunny which gave us a clear view of the magnificent peaks in all their glory.
Every good thing must come to an end. Yet leaving the place was hard. After a cup of tea, we packed up and started out descent.