The Wilderness holds answers to more questions than we have yet learned to ask.
― Nancy Wynne Newhall
Fair warning – Don’t do what I did these past few days. I will not be held responsible for the experience that you may get by following into my footsteps.
Remember Murphy’s Law of Travel? If not, check my other post – the trip to Dalhousie. That law was applicable here too. Nothing happened as we imagined.
There’s an easy way to do things and then there’s what we did. Left Delhi at night and reached Dehradun early morning, i.e 4:15 AM. Took an auto to Railway Station and waited in a queue for half an hour to get tickets to Mussoorie. Then deboarded the bus at around 8 AM. Now, all we had to do was, take a bus or cab to Nainbagh which was at around 41 KM distance. But, the bus had to be boarded from Library Chowk that is on the opposite end of the hill station. So, we started walking and walking is what we did for next 4 hours. Finally, we got to board a bus to Nainbagh and reached there at 4 PM. After having lunch there, we took a shared cab and reached Pantwari village at around 6 PM.
Spent the night at the lounge where we slept like logs. Next morning, had breakfast and rented a tent from the only shop that provides that service.
We started the trek at around 9:30 AM, that was apparently too late to start as the sun was already out and the day was getting hotter by the minute. There we found out that the person who was supposed to bring sunscreen lotion, had forgot to buy it. That guy in blue t-shirt in the above picture is the reason we all got sunburns. The guy in red brought a duffle bag to the trekking trip. So, these are not the smartest brains out there, I’m afraid.
After 5 KM and 5 &1/2 hours of steep ascent and countless water breaks, we reached Kathyani i.e the point where the camps were supposed to be setup, but to our surprise, there was no one, not a single person on the whole fricking mountain. The kitchen that was supposed to be present there was empty and didn’t even have a single spoon. Apparently, everyone got down that day and all the things were carried off on the mules. Now, was the right time to panic and to add to that, there came a swarm of bees and we had to drop our bags out in the open and we ran to the camp like hell, chained it from the inside and waited for it to pass.
There, we did some brain storming and remembered that there is a temple on the top, so there must be the priest, who might have utensils and stove that we can use to cook our dinner that was Maggi, we left our bags in the tent and started trekking again, this time for the top and our stomachs. After 3 KM and 2 hours of ascent, we found the temple and the priest and we told him our situation and requested him to lent us a frying pan.
He took to his place, we called it his Haveli.
and he let us in his kitchen to cook the Maggi, so we spent another half an hour in the kitchen where dinner was prepared and served, as he had only one plate and one spoon, we had to wait for our turn to eat.
After having early dinner, we took our depart and started on the way down to our camp.
The sun was set and it got dark quickly, so we used torches on our phones and slowly and steadily made our way back. In between, we encountered some dogs, but luckily were able to avoid them easily.
As we reached our camp, it was pitch black, we had some time to kill, so we collected wooden sticks and tissue papers and leaves around us and tried to start a bonfire, but due to the wind, it was getting difficult to light it and we ran out of match sticks. As we were about to give up all hope, we found a matchbox lying near the tent. One of us, being a fan of Bear Grylls, brought his bottle of deodarant and sprayed it on the leaves, I found a cloth and lit it up and with repeated spraying, we managed to build a bonfire.
After hanging out there for a while, we decided to call it a night and went to sleep in the tent.
I woke up early the next day, went out in the open and saw one of the most beautiful sunrise in my life. Sadly, I wasn’t able to capture the actual beauty of that morning.
I was out there alone, with no one else around for at least 3 KM, I did the morning routine nearby and changed my clothes, it was refreshing to be out in the open, in your birthday suit. I ran around for a while and then got dressed up.
After an hour or two, when everyone else woke up. We packed the tent and started our descent. We were not able to grasp what we experienced the day before and how did we even managed that kind of feat. It took us around two hours to reach down and from there, we took a cab straight to Dehradun, which was apparently not too straight as the driver was too easy going, he took around 5 hours to cover 75 KM, taking breaks in between.
After that, we got in to the first bus that was going to Delhi and by the night, we were back to our normal lives.
So, don’t do what I did, for you might be interested in a leisure trip where things happen as planned. Book a package and go through a boring camping experience, why do I care.
If you might be wondering, why there is not a single picture that includes me, the reason is –
When I click pictures of my friends –
when they click a picture of me –