Thursday, November 8, 2018

Gaumukh Tapovan Trek!

Beginning of this year, a holy man looked at my birth chart and told me, 'You have life threat from Mountains'. I smiled, and said, 'You shouldn't have said that in front of my mom' ;-)

In my head, I thought, we all have to die one day and for me what can be better than mountains.

Today, sitting here, in the second last month of this year, I would like to admit it's not as rosy as it sounds, the whole ‘Dying in Mountains’ idea.  I have seen it very close, twice, this year.  It’s not that I am terrified or something, but I am not very excited about it, anymore.

To summarise my trekking trips this year, I have done quite a few treks in Bali for waterfalls, volcano, and rice fields.  Coming to the mountains, specifically, I have done 3 treks.

Nag Tibba in January, Everest Base Camp in April and Gaumukh Tapovan in the month of October.

I have mentioned briefly about the first 2 in my earlier post and had no intention of writing about Gaumukh Tapovan.

Last week, I was generally talking to my mom and out of the blue, she asked me, ‘Have you blogged about your recent trek?’

 It was surprising for me because she never ever asked about my blog.

I was a bit reluctant, I said, 'No, I didn't write about any of the mountain treks this year. They were not my best.' On which she replied, 'You should, good or bad, it's your journey and experience and it's your blog. It's all about learning'.

I told her about my blog, I think some 7-8 years ago. She is not very tech savvy but to my surprise, she remembered it. Though now she is a pro in online shopping on Myntra, Amazon, Big basket and other apps, this was unexpected.

So, I would like to give all the credit of this post to her. And I am going to skip the bad experience part for the post.

Coming back to my recent trek, Gaumukh Tapovan, it was an unplanned trip which I thought of sitting on Mount Batur in Bali and booked 4 days before the departure.

I didn’t intentionally plan Gaumukh Tapovan, it happened.

I don’t know where to begin.

It was an 8 day long trip with 4 days of trekking itinerary. 2 days for to and fro from Dehradun to Gangotri and vice-versa, 1 additional day at Gangotri and 1 at Bhojwasa Campsite.

Though, I changed my plan a bit and decided to descend alone a day before the trek officially ended.

The trip started from my favorite Dehradun, so much I am in love this place now and it’s like my second home.

As always, I reached Dehradun a day in advance.  This time I met an old friend who shifted to Dehradun sometime back. We went out for dinner and a movie before my trip started.

Day 1- Dehradun to Gangotri drive

After a long day on the road, we reached Gangotri at 7 pm. Had our dinner and slept.

Day 2- Relaxing day at Gangotri

This was an extra day at Gangotri. We roamed around, visited temples and attended Ganga Aarti at Gangotri temple in the evening. Blissful experience it was. The place was damn cold which gave me a fair idea of cold in upcoming days.

Day 3- Gangotri to Chirbassa- 9kms

It was an easy walk. We started around 9 am and reached our 1st campsite by 3.30pm. The views were mesmerizing and the campsite was good and clean. I discovered a beautiful white sand Ganga beach in the evening and spent an amazing time there.

Day 4- Chirbassa to Bhojwasa- 5kms

A short and not so sweet walk. This day I felt blisters on my feet and the pain was terrible.

In the evening, I covered them with surgical tape but it was of no good. It was in really bad shape.

Plus in the afternoon, I saw some people from other camps were playing cricket so I couldn’t stop myself and joined them and we played till it was dark, for almost 4 hours. At that moment, I absolutely forgot about my blisters though it was paining, but, I was alright.

Day 5- Bhojwasa to Gaumukh to Bhojwasa- 10 kms

It was a long day and a bit tiring as well. For me, it was additionally painful because of my growing blisters. This day we had to cross three ice-cold rivers and my blisters made it worse for me. I am in pain even when I am writing about it, right now.

For the first time, I felt I am losing conscious while crossing the river.

In the ice-cold water, the blisters were hurting like someone was cutting my toes inside the water with a sharp knife, and the tape was all wet and washed off. After crossing the second river, tears started flowing and after crossing the 3rd one I refused to walk. I just sat down on a big rock and cried for I don’t know how long.

I honestly felt I am going to die and will never be able to walk again in my life.

I couldn’t move because of blister-pain, my legs which were wet in icy water till upper thighs got froze and I was unable to feel any sensation in them for almost an hour. I failed to stand up, multiple times. Gosh! It was damn crazy.

Day 6- Bhojwasa to Gangotri

This day was supposed to be our Bhojwasa to Tapovan trek, but, I decided to descend back for 2 reasons- my blisters and the cold. I was dying to be in warm weather.

I descended alone and lost my way in between, but luckily, I found my way back and reached Gangotri around 5pm.

I was feeling blessed, I found a room and booked it. And for the next day, I decided to go back to Dehradun.

Day 7- Gangotri to Dehradun

I checked for the available mode of transport and boarded a local bus to Uttarkashi and from there I took a shared cab till Dehradun. Pheww!

By 7pm, I was in Dehradun, and I was very happy. It was perfectly warm weather.

Once again, I met my friend in Dehradun and since I had one extra day we celebrated my birthday in advance with another movie and lunch and dinner at an exotic place. And also, I stayed at her place for the extra day for which I never booked anything.

Though I love all weathers, this trip made me realize I can’t bear the excess cold.

For my last day, that was 20th October, I had booked a nice place for myself and there I got a surprise upgrade so I had an amazing birthday celebration. :)

Overall, I loved my experience. There were certain bad elements I am not willing to talk about.

No, no, the blisters were not the bad part. They were for learning. :)

And yes, no more mountain trips this year. At least, for right now, I think so.  ;-)

Dear God, I love you. Take care of my people. Muuah. :)

Pictures from the trek-

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