July 28, 2016 (Day 6) – Dharchula to Sirkha via Pangu (around 7-9 kms)
Today I started my journey on foot and trekked from Dharchula to Sirkha, which is about 7-9 kms. Woke at 4 am and it was drizzling outside, little did I know that rain would be my constant companion. Prakash was our guide on Indian side who was very well adept and strict so that we left each day by 5 am. Narinder was my porter who was highly efficient but shy and would rarely talk. Many different people make up the batch but people whom I most connected with were Rishabh (our youngest Kailashi), Chander, Chandrakanth, Kapil, Vaijanti aunty (my room mate), Goel uncle, Anil (Domex was his moniker as he would call Diamox as Domex and that became a joke throughout the yatra) etc. The liaison officer for our batch was Balaji Majumdar.
|crossing over to Nepal from Dharchula|
|Beginning of yatra at Pangu|
|Rishabh and me..soul brother 🙂|
Rain God welcomed us so not sure when we would leave. After breakfast we were told since our luggage would arrive by 11am, we would start our yatra by 12pm as some people had shoes in common luggage. So, I took off my shoes and started penning down my experiences about the yatra. Dharchula is the last town in Uttarakhand and yatra starts from here. We were not able to go via Narayan Ashram due to landslides and would go via Pangu. Crossed over to Nepal via bridge. I hadn’t taken any pony and would be doing the entire yatra on foot. It was about finding that inner strength, hidden energy that we never explore and mental ruggedness. So, finally we left at 12pm from Dharchula by jeep and reached by 9pm at Pangu. Met my porter at Pangu.
Started our trek by 2pm and reached Sirkha by 5pm covering around 6-7 kms. It was cloudy all through the trek and rained towards the end. Mountains were engulfed by blanket of clouds and looked very scenic. All through the path of the yatra, we had children welcoming us with Om Namah Shivay.Reached KMVN guesthouse at Sirkha and were served juice and tea which was welcome after trekking in rain.We were served sumptuous dinner and we retired to bed after singing Bhajans.
Ujjwala from our batch had a twisted ankle and everyone chipped in to help her. I had been wearing same clothes since 4 days and hoped to get our luggage at Gala. Called my mother and husband and shared my experiences for the day.
|My porter Narinder|
Before starting the yatra everyday – all of us would sing Om Managalam bhajan and that would be our anthem throughout the yatra. My another constant companion was my stick, which supported me like an anchor.One can drop extra luggage at Dharchula.
July 29, 2016 (Day 7) – Sirkha to Gala (around 14 kms)
Started at 5.30am and arrived by 12pm. It rained whole day and made path slippery. Got up at 3.30am..bed tea was served at 4am and we left at 5.30am after having Bournvita milk. I was motivated to complete yatra on foot.Enroute we had breakfast of chana and pooris. Last 2 hours it rained heavily but we did not stop. I just kept moving..no pain or breathing problems..just enjoying all vistas, fog and clouds. Got my luggage finally and had a hot shower, changed my clothes and had lunch. We might not get our luggage tomorrow so it’s advisable to carry all essentials in backpack you carry. If road is in good condition, jeep goes till Gala.
|Me and Vaijanti aunty|
|clouds and thoughts|
|bring some colours…|
|Chai ki chuski|
Tomorrow will be the toughest day from Gala to Buddhi around 22-25 kms.
To be continued..
IMPORTANT ADVICE: We should be blessed that we are chosen for this yatra and it is our responsibility to not litter and keep Devbhoomi clean. Carry your plastic wraps that you use with you and dispose them later. Try to clean the trail. Tell your porter not to litter. Gutka and chips packets lie everywhere. Particularly distressing was to see shores of Manasarovar littered with used underwear packets, ghee packets, used sanitary napkins etc. It was distressing and abominable. A place, which is so pious to us must be respected by all of us and deserves a conscious effort by all yatris to lead a cleaning drive as and when possible. Don’t forget to do your bit, even if others are not doing it.
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