Trek to the land of flowers
My first Himalayan trek – Valley of flowers with Wanderers
So this all started when a friend of mine Puneet just trekked Markha valley with team Wanderers. I remember clearly he used to go on and on for days talking about the beauty of the mountains, simplicity in the local lifestyle, star gazing in the nights, camping – sleeping in sleeping bags and soon...!! It is then I thought of exploring trekking for myself.
I connected with team Wanderers on phone and they quickly realised i had no idea of trekking. It was then they invited me to one of their workshop in a traveller’s cafe in Hauz khas where they gave info regarding treks and trekking opportunities in India. I was impressed by their in depth knowledge and their way of presentation. Having about a million doubts about trekking, I spoke to Mr. Bir. He patiently responded to all my queries within a few minutes only. He invited me to join their Valley of flowers batch for the July18th to which I agreed. Not knowing that I’m going to experience a journey of a lifetime, I made the online payments with about 2 weeks left for the trek.
4 th July – I called Mr. Bir and asked if there were any other females going for this trek. He connected me with a couple of them. I spoke to Shruthi and was happy to know she too was a first timer. From then on we used to speak with each other to see to it that we are getting ready for the trek together. From our running regime to our things that we carried were almost same.
18 th july – I boarded the train from Delhi to Haridwar and met Shruthi and the rest of the team. Jai (the trek lead) welcomed us all and we boarded the mini bus (tempo) and started our journey to Govind ghat. By the time we reached Govind ghat, we all were familiar with each other and were comfortable. This was a surprise to me being a first timer but I enjoyed it. We met Lokesh (technical expert from team Wanderers) at Govind ghat. He allocated us into our respective rooms and shared briefly the timings and schedule to follow. I must say, the professionalism of keeping us updated each day was managed quite well by team Wanderers.
The next day we had our team briefing and were driven to poolna, just 4kms from Govind ghat. From here we started our trek. The trail was beautiful and so was the weather. It was cloudy, just enough to make us comfortable trekking. About 5 hours trek through the beautiful valley and greenery around us and we reached Gahngria. Here we were allocated rooms on double sharing basis which was a surprise to us. All the other company’s were offering rooms on triple sharing or also on quad basis. These rooms were cleasn, hygienic and comfortable for a place like Ghangria. Team Wanderers kept a check on all of our health’s this evening. We had a small team briefing in one of the rooms with tea and pakoda’s, where we discussed the route for Valley.
Next morning after a good breakfast and some biscuits and chocolates as dry rations, we started for the Valley. This was an amazing experience. Walking through the greenery patches and deep valleys, we witnessed some of the most beautiful flowers. Our leader Lokesh briefed us that the Valley has about 520 different types of flowers. We spent about 45mins to an hour and had lunch in the valley. We trekked a little further down to witness the tombstone of the English lady Margarett. We started back by 3pm and were back to ghangria in a couple of hours. We had tea and popcorn which tasted yummy after the day’s long trek. We all played antakshri in the evening till about 8 pm followed by dinner. The food as usual was tasty and filling.
Next day we started for the Hemkund Sahib gurudwara. It was a longer trek than to Valley of Flowers National Park. It is a gradual climb initially and then about 1800 odd stairs to the top. On reaching the top the felling was amazing. We saw many local Sikh families walking along as for them this was a pilgrim walk. They were wearing normal/ regular shoes, shirts and jeans. Most of them had the powdered glucon-d in their hands and were licking it for instant energy. At the sarovar (water body) I dipped my hands and legs for about 3 to 4 seconds. It was freezing cold water. And I kid you not, there were people who were taking a dip in the water. It was freezing cold yet eliminated all the tiredness and sore muscles. I gave away my packed lunch that team Wanderers had given and ate the langar inside the gurudwara. We got back to Ghangria by 6pm.
The next day we had to trek from Gahngria to poolna which we completed in about 3 hours flat. The previous 2 day’s trek made us a lot stronger and fitter to get down. Most of us were eager to get down as it was the last leg of the trek. On reaching Govind ghat we checked into the hotel and got the bucket of hot water for bathing. Most of the guys didn’t bother bathing stating they’ll bathe after a couple of days only on reaching home. We 3 females took a bath and rested well.
On the 6 th day, we had our closing ceremony from Team Wanderers before leaving for Haridwar. I got emotional over the feeling of not trekking anytime soon just like many others. The journey to Hariwdar took us 9 hours and all we were discussing in this time was the next trek to do with team Wanderers.
From day1 to the day6, we all in the group became close and almost like a trek family. We have decided to go for the Har ki dun trek with Wanderers in the next season and are happy to have met them. Extremely professional and caring trek leads (both Jai and Lokesh). Wish all the very best to these guys and will recommend people to trek with them (especially for first timers).