Sunday, April 30, 2017

My first Summit- Pangarchulla!

Every time I come back to my city from mountains, it takes me few days to adjust back...  I feel different, I feel good. I don’t feel like talking to anyone... And I always want to go back!

Pangarchulla was my first Summit, it was not an easy one though but I categorize it as Moderate-Difficult trek.

It was not a pre-planned journey for me. I booked it 2 days before the start date and had my booked tickets in waiting.

The journey was absolutely awesome, from the beginning till the end. 

It was beautiful and challenging at the same time.

To describe this trek in brief-

Maximum Altitude- 14700 ft

Temperature- Min- minus 10 degrees at night; Max- 5-8 degrees in day time

Weather- Rainy/Hailstorms/Snow

Grade- Moderate- Difficult

Trek distance- Approx. 34kms in 4 days

The Journey-
    HARIDWAR RAILWAY STATION

It was a 6 day journey and starting point was Haridwar.

I reached Haridwar a day in advance so that I can enjoy the city, local food and the famous Aarti at “Har ki Pauri”

Travelling alone in train was always my fear, but this time I decided to face it...I booked a train for Delhi to Haridwar and vice-versa.

To my surprise, I loved my train and the journey J

I reached Haridwar at 1pm and took rest... Since I ate quite a lot in train I decided to skip my lunch, slept for few hours, woke up at 5pm, had a black coffee and decided to go out and explore the city... 

I planned to go for an evening Aarti at “Har ki Pauri” followed by a sumptuous dinner at some decent place. I Googled for the best places to eat in Haridwar and decided to eat at an old Dhaba near “Har ki Pauri” known as “Hoshiyarpuri”.

Yayy! my evening was all set. I left guest house, walked till the time I found a rickshaw... Reached my destination “Har ki Pauri” just on time, it was almost 6pm and the place was flooding with people, aarti started around 7pm and was over by 7.30pm. It was amazingly peaceful experience just to be there.

After Aarti, I switched on my Google maps and started walking towards Hoshiyarpuri which was approx 1 km from there and the walk was absolutely worth it. I loved the food and ate a lot, it was already 9pm. I was super full so decided to walk halfway and took a rickshaw back to the guest house.

I slept early.

Day 1 (Haridwar to Joshimath)-

I got up early and quickly got ready, our assembly time was 6.30am at Haridwar railway station, the moment I stepped out f my accommodation it started raining cats and dogs with a crazy hailstorm, life couldn’t be better. 

I waited under a roadside shed for rain to stop and reached railway station half wet on a cold rainy morning, what a start. They say everything auspicious starts with a rain. :)

We assembled on time but 2 people were running late so we waited till 9am and in the meanwhile we tried another amazing place for breakfast “Mohanji Poori wale”, famous for their breakfast of Poori and Sabzi.

We started for Joshimath which was almost 280 kms and was the starting point of our trek. Reached Joshimath by 6pm had dinner and slept in guesthouse.

Day2- (Dhak village to gulling top)

   CAMPSITE DAY-1

We left around 9am for starting point of our trek which was Dhak Village, first day climb was easy and in just 3-4 hours we reached our first campsite at Gulling top. At our site, we were welcomed by a crazy hailstorm...

We spent our day chilling and chit chatting and the best part of mountains- phones were not working. :D

We roamed around clicked pictures, went for acclimatization walk and talked talked talked followed by star gazing at night... Oh! What a beautiful sky it was...  

Day 3- (Gulling Top to Khulara)

CAMPSITE DAY 2

Again an easy day, we started our day around 9 am and walked for 3-4 hours, covered 6 kms and reached our second campsite.

Again it was very beautiful, clear sky... mesmerizing mountains and an amazing group.. We had great time along with rains.

Day was rainy so most of the time we were sitting inside our dining tent talking and playing random games..

Next day was our Summit day and we were supposed to start by 4.30am for the climb. 

Day 4- (Pangarchulla Summit Day)

    ON THE WAY TO PEAK

Crazy morning, in dark we got up and left our campsite a little late than our scheduled time.

My only mistake of the day was skipping my breakfast, I had no clue this was going to be a really hectic day, we had to cover 12kms, (6kms uphill climb and 6kms descend)

First few kms were very easy but as soon as I was moving up, I was finding difficulty adjusting with altitude and my body started giving up. Since it was all snow and climb was steep..  I was slipping even with my crampons..

When it was just 1 km left I thought of giving up, I was feeling sick because of the poor acclimatization... Plus I realized the importance of proper breakfast and water. I was cutting on to both of these.

I could see the peak close but I was finding it impossible to walk, I was feverish and was shivering because of altitude sickness.

I decided to sit on a rock and to give my body some rest, then again I pushed myself and started walking like a bear on the snow with my hands and feet together but that 1 km was looking next to impossible for me... Every step I took was like climbing a whole big mountain...

That was the moment when my group really motivated me to carry on.

I took one step at a time and felt more powerful seeing the mountain top getting closer... And Yes, I was on the top of the peak despite of all the AMS and poor acclimatization.

Well, going down was a task again, I decided to eat my lunch for strength and again my group really helped me in descending the mountain till the time I was at bearable height where I was acclimatized.

Pheww!! I did it or would rather say WE did it!

We came back all dead, looking like a skeleton but we were really happy.

I just lied down for few minutes in my tent, what a crazy day it was.

We had good conversation that day and I slept like a baby in my cozy sleeping bag.

Day 5 (Back to Dhak Village from Khulara)

It was the last day of our trek, we quickly covered 12 kms in 4 hours.

By 2 pm we were in our guesthouse at Joshimath and had a good long evening to chill.

Around 4 pm, 5 of us decided to go for momos hunt, we were hungry so we boarded a local bus for the nearby market searched for momos and ate tummy full of momos.

Now, since the bus service was not very good in Joshimath, the challenge was to go back, we took a lift from a truck wala and came back standing in a truck.

Of course I loved it. :)

Evening was calm, people decided to play cards and celebrate with drinks.

Day 6 (Back to Haridwar)

    NIGHT WALK BY THE BANKS OF GANGES

We came back to Haridwar at around 6 pm, I quickly checked for my ticket which was in waiting and it didn’t get clear. I tried my best to find some other train but all in vain.

I felt crazily upset for a moment then I realized there were more people in Haridwar without any return ticket and who still had to book their bus for Delhi, I called them and asked them if they would like to go for rafting, crazy we! they all agreed and from there we left for Rishikesh, looking for a hotel till 9pm.

This time I stayed in a hotel which was on the other side of Rishikesh, Near ram jhula, the place itself was amazing, calm banks of Ganges, less noise, better food options. PEACE.

I loved my dinner at Chotiwala which is a famous restaurant there.

Last Day-

WHEN YOU ARE RUNNING LATE, ANYTHING ON TIME IS A LUXURY!

I enjoyed rafting for 3rd time in Rishikesh and loved it like my first time, me and my water love... I can’t get over it. This time I opted for 26kms of stretch for rafting which started from Marine Drive.

 Again, I was too scared to try cliff jumping, may be next time.

In the meanwhile, got my ticket confirmed for the evening and yayy I was going back home.

I was glad I didn’t get a ticket day before.  I really loved this side of Rishikesh and my one more time with Rafting.

And journey didn’t end here, catching my train 2 mins before the departure was another long crazy story, how I got a shared auto and a local roadways bus till railway station and then running with my heavy rucksack towards the platform was no less than a filmy scene :P

In train I was calm. Thanks to my power bank I plugged in the earphones and enjoyed my meals. Reached back Delhi where my brother was waiting for me at 11pm.

It was one crazy journey and I loved every bit if it.

And since the time I am back I am craving for another trip to mountains....

I hope the love story will continue... 


Dear God, thank you for everything and absolutely EVERY THING, just take care of my people and give me strength to have control over my thoughts and emotions. I Love You. Muuaaah :*

P.S.- I didn't carry my camera this time, sharing some more phone clicks-

     EN-ROUTE PANGARCHULLA


    THAT DESCEND


 VIEW FROM MY TENT


 SUNRISE AND BIRDS


 NO ROSES, NO LILIES BUT THIS


 :)


 AND THIS


 WE FIND WHAT WE LOOK FOR!


 SKY


 HAILSTONES


THAT AARTI! :)

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Palomino!

Palomino is a name of a book written by Danielle Steele.

Some stories just touch our heart and we can’t get over them.

Palomino is one such story. It happened to me during my graduation days.

One day, I was casually talking to my friend about books and she suggested me to read Palomino. I borrowed it from her and read it, loved every bit of it.

I read few more books after that but nothing touched me like this one, I sensed every emotion deeply within. I cried, smiled and lost myself in the scenes I visualised while reading it. I lived every word of it with all my heart.

For last 3 years, I was emotionally dead... I missed being the girl I used to be, stupid, dumb and emotional fool. I was searching for the old me again. In quest of finding myself, I was doing things I used to do earlier, I visited my college campus, met old friends, tried cooking again, listened to old songs and blah blah...

When nothing worked, I decided to read Palomino again.

It’s not easy living a life with no feelings when you know it's not you, plus in last 3 years I met people who were way too practical in their lives... which further reassured me that I am a fool who even miss being emotional. :P

I searched for Palomino online and luckily got it on Amazon.

Yayy, I finally had own copy of my long lost love.

I started reading it every night.... I again visualised every word but this time the picture was different than the last time... Yes, I remembered the story I lived years back and every scene exactly how I visualised at that point of time.

This time the rooms were different, the house, the ranch, mansion, the flowers decorated were different, the scenes were picturised more realistically in my imagination and the story looked much more real than last time, this time the emotions were deeper and different... Yes, I cried again, I smiled again and I felt it again but with more intensity. I was happy and my frequencies were different now. (Yea, I talk Radio language :P)

To briefly describe Palomino (since the topic is Palomino, I think I should :P), Palomino is a breed of a horse. It’s a love story with ups and downs, it’s not just about roses and romance, it’s about the thorns and the dark side as well. It’s about losing everything and getting over it, moving on to something which was forever... losing hopes and finding it back... Oh! It’s just amazing.

Palomino is strong story of a tough woman. I loved it again and connected with it at a different wavelength, stronger than before.

I think I should try to sleep now.


Dear God, you know I love you. Please take care of my people. Please help my Grandpa recover soon and please please be there with him. I promise I’ll be a good girl. Muuuaah :-)

Friday, January 27, 2017

Happy-Sad Post!


If Bollywood can have a “Happy Sad Song”, I can also have “Happy Sad Post” :P

I know I can’t just stop being filmy.

I usually try to ensure writing all positive posts but in the end I am also human and when bad things happen... God save the world... no matter how much I hide it... I go visibly mad... Yea! There is one difference I can't be angry for too long.

So, when this year began my first target was to see snowfall and second was to do Chadar trek which happens during January and February every year.

All excited, I booked my tickets in December and paid good amount for the trek. Now, I knew this is going to be in Leh which is at a pretty good height I'll need stronger lungs and calf muscles... so, I started running.

But... it was just first week of Jan and I caught throat infection... Struggling with antibiotics I told myself 'All is going to be super awesome'... Antibiotics failed on me and I caught fever... Changed meds and finally... when I was recovering... I was under the strong influence of cough and cold... Phew... Again a new mission started to beat the same to go for my Chadar trek... It was a countdown for me... 10...9... 8... Days to go... And finally it was 3 days to go... I was not getting any better but I was sure to go.

In between all of this... I don’t know from where I started having breathing issues... And I used to feel breathless while sleeping, driving and walking... and I had to stop running for a whole month when it was the most important. On consulting my intelligent doctor I was assured by him that I am stressed and nothing else and because of stress only I was facing difficulty in breathing. I was assured I was fine.

21st January, the D-day was here...  The day I was eagerly waiting for.. I had morning flight at 6.30 am to catch... super excited... I got up at 3am... Got ready and left... again I was feeling breathless while going to the airport... I assured myself 'It's Stress'...

Aah.. Excitedly... I boarded my flight and in an hour after boarding we were in Leh... What a brilliant sight from the sky it was... Heaven on earth... I had a smile on my face all this while... :)

By 8.30am I was in my hotel... And the group assembled... We had breakfast and short briefing session for the trek which was next day...

It was -16 in Leh and I was living every bit of it... I had my first coffee outside our hotel in chilled weather... Pure bliss...

Till I was in Delhi I used to dream of this... Every day for a month prior to my trek.. I used to read about the weather predictions for coming days in Leh and I was pretty sure I’ll experience snowfall... Day dreaming of the snowfall I was sipping my coffee in -16 degrees...

Post that we relaxed till lunch... After lunch we decided to go out and check out local markets... Every sight of it was just amazing... I have no words to express the joy.

The girl I was sharing room with had to visit someone in Leh... So, she asked me to accompany her... We met her friend and had nice cup of tea... Ladakhi people are really nice and hospitable...

It was almost 5pm and we were walking back towards our hotel... All of a sudden I started feeling deep pain in my rib cage... It was there though for last few hours which I avoided in excitement to roam around in Leh. The pain was growing and was unbearable... I quietly came to my room and slept thinking “I'll be okay”.

I got up at 8.30pm and pain was still there... Not even a slight improvement... Anyhow I had light dinner... Took medicine suggested by trek leader and decided to sleep.

10pm..11..12..am and I was helpless and breathless... Unable to sleep I struggled for hours to breathe... For a moment I felt I am dying... Unable to breath at all... I had no option but to call my trek leader... It was 2am and I was feeling guilty for waking him up...

He came and said the same thing 'You are stressed' and I was wondering “God knows how come everyone is so sure about my stress levels”.

We went to hospital in emergency and doctor examined me... He said I developed some Pulmonary Edema named syndrome which is fatal and it's there since few days... So, the breathlessness I had in Delhi was not stress exactly but this pulmonary issue.

Super! I told him I have a trek to do today... for which he was quite rude in saying, “You can't do it”. As per the doctor, if this will develop into HAPE which I googled later I can die within few hours..

Lying on hospital bed I checked what HAPE actually is... High Altitude Pulmonary Edema... What an adventurous journey... I am sure I was the only one this excited for the trek and I was not allowed to go on it.... And was in hospital... They gave me oxygen and some injection... I impatiently waited for morning.

In morning, my trek leader called my family saying I can't do the trek and asked me to either stay in hospital or go back. I chose the latter.

I boarded my flight to Delhi on 22nd morning... Cried my heart out sitting in flight back. Super annoyed and irritated.

Landed back went to hospital and started with my treatment...

Of course, I had a huge fight with God.. I cried for days... It was a terrible feeling.

I was being told by people to avail my leave which were approved from office and relax at home... but, rebellious I am... If I am not on Chadar let it be office!  I cancelled my leave and continued work.

For 4 days I was checking 'weather in leh/ladakh' on Google every 2nd hour... Every time I used to get up at 2am or 4am, I used to look for Leh weather... Knowing that it's snowing in Leh broke my heart multiple times...

And no matter whatever people may say I know it's just not okay. I fought with people.. I shouted like a wounded animal on them for no good reason... It's truly annoying... And I will never understand 'WHY' for this. I need no sympathy or kind words. I am cruel.

Anyhow, its 27th January and I am not feeling any better... And this will take time to heal.

Dear God, I really hate you for this. And I don't want to talk to you. Kindly be with my people and don’t talk to me! :(

Sharing few pictures I clicked on my phone-

A shot from my breakfast table

My new love interest!

Mountains 

the river!

Golden Sunrise

Ladakhi Hospitality



Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Oh! So Peaceful!



2016 is gone and it was really a short year for me. It was the most peaceful year for me in last 5 years.

And I am glad to say that I am happy with everything, at least, I don’t have anything to crib about. Although if I’ll try to think I still haven’t achieved so many things, things are not moving as per my plan, still so many travel destinations are pending, Disneyland and Bora Bora are still in my dreams; my crazy Goa plan is still a plan and added few more crazy things in my list pheew... I am way too far from starting my own venture, still not started playing squash regularly or mastered Golf or learned swimming but I am still very proud to say I am content. My mind is at peace and for me that’s more important.

So, in 2016, I have mastered the art of falling asleep within 5 minutes of lying down on bed, keeping myself first and prioritizing my family, being alone and at peace, not having an urge of talking and yes, I have started enjoying my food alone without feeling weird, I think I love food more than random people around. :P

I discovered my immense love for mountains than ever before, I can relate every love song with me and my love for mountains :P

I am somehow feeling freer than ever before.

Honestly, being content has nothing to do with my list of things or plans ahead. I am just poised in my present. And I would love to thank everyone who made this year a fantastic one.

Many good things happened for the first time this year and I would like to share the best ones-

My First experience with snow-

Snowline, Triund

Till 2015, it was just a dream for me to see snow in real and I never thought that the beginning of this year will come with snow for me.
I visited Triund and snowline in the month of January’16 where I saw snow for the first time, the feeling was awesome and I doubt words can ever explain it.
Snow covered mountains are pure bliss and soothe to eyes... Like I had done something really good to deserve this sight...

Chandratal-
Chandratal Lake

Chandratal was my dream for last 2 years and every time I was not able to do it for some reason or other. This year I finally got a chance to visit Chandratal. It was again an amazing feeling.. the lake, the trip, the trek and the people I met... everything was just brilliant. I am really thankful for everyone who made this experience so joyful and memorable for me.
It was a blessing for me.

Amazing People-

People play an important role in my life.
I don’t know if it is because of my sun sign which is Libra or what, but, yes, my life is the best when I am around good people.
“Good people” is a subjective term though everyone is good in one or the other way that depends what kind of person we are.
 I am old school. I still believe in things which people don’t care about and it’s difficult for me to find my tribe.
I met amazing people during my travels and realized world is a much better place. I am happy. :)

Trekking-

Travel makes us realise so much about life and diversity in the world, especially trekking.

Trekking taught me that there lies a beautiful life beyond material comfort, you can be at peace while sleeping in camps in wild, survive for days without fone or any internet, drink naturally flowing water from rivers, slide on snow without any gear in your bare clothes, enjoy your own company in nature and a lot more.

And the best one I learnt from mountains and rivers is the times passes no matter what, nothing stops for you, you have to keep moving like a river and stay strong like mountains.. Summer will come, winters will come and so will monsoon... Just stay calm and patient. 

Time is beyond our control but this life is ours. We can make it or destroy it.
                          
Aah, I wish to trek more. :)


Its winters... again.. in Delhi.

When its winters everything is so much better and so much beautiful.

Although, I know I need to travel more and figure out my career plan ahead.

Experiencing a snow fall is still on my priority list. I so wish to escape to Kashmir right now. :P

Thank you God for everything. You know I Love you.. Take care of my people.. Muuah :*

Happy New Year Pearl :)


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