There and back again..


The honking is the first thing that reminds you the trip is over‘, Bigfoot had said. It does have a ‘bring you back to reality’ effect, I thought sitting in the comfort of the majestic Kalka-Delhi Shatabdi Express enjoying chai and Marigold biscuits.

I, along with nineteen other hapless souls from across the country, subjected our bodies and minds to a test of endurance and grit. They delivered. At 15,255ft above sea level, gasping for air, we rewarded our senses to the beauty and permanence of the Himalayas.

Rupin pass is a Shepherd’s trail that takes, those who attempt the shortcut, from Udaknal straight to Sangla via the boundless and plentiful grazing meadows. This makes it a luring experience for sheep, blessed with natural sweaters and hooves, and also their closely related, AMS prone cousins: the amateur trekkers.

So armed by my own hooves that arrived by FedEx (thanks sportsIndia for a quicker than average delivery time), a borrowed jacket and a Quechua backpack, a timely off-season gift (lov’ya sis), I set off with steely determination to face my first and most fearful challenge of the trek, the New Delhi Railway station.
I won’t get into where we went, what food we ate, or how good the arrangements were, this isn’t that kind of article and I am not that good a writer. Standing there on the summit, I did write. These words just came to me as I thought of this inevitable blog post..
There I stood, looking at everything: from the meagre me to the undying abyss of permanence. I could look at every tree, leaf and stone for hours and not see it to heart’s content. My body knew where I was. These are not pixels spread on a screen to pinch, I was really there, I existed. With each frosty blast of wind I was receiving the ultimate validation: of myself, my existence in this world.
Thanks Indiahikes, I am still learning about the fascinating work, its focus on documenting the many beautiful trekking routes across India, the care for minimal environmental impact, empowerment of locals, and that this is a not for profit organisation. I felt secure and in good hands throughout the whole trek. Oximeter readings were like exam results! I agree very much with their vision statement, everyone must trek, kids especially so. I do hope this chance encounter with Indiahikes will blossom into full-blown love affair. Goecha la here I come!

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