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राजनीति नहीं, निर्णय करो, राजधानी गैरसैंण गोषित करो.....!

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Har Ki Dun trip - Day 2

day 2 started with me waking up early, n rushing back to the forest rest house, coz there was no loo in the village dorm. in the morning the rest house looked very pretty. the sun rays first touch the mountain tops, almost seem like kissing them.. and then come down to the valleys. there were small cherry blossoms, wild buds and many flowers - all signs of the incoming spring season.

pretty soon, the chowkidar also came by. he prepared some warm water for me to take a bath. now it was really cold up here n i did not feel like taking a cold water bath. so i decided for a hot one.

there were many small flowers n buds all around. well, i had an amateur camera. still, i tried to zoom in and focus on em. i guess the one of the bud came in nicely. still, i had to lean in from the railing to try n capture it.

then the guard was not in a mood to write the entry in the register. anywyas, i was not sure of the procedure, but suspected something hanky panky. still, i did not want to argue with him. as i was going down, the other forest deptt guy asked me about it. i said that i did not write it in the register, simply gave the guard the money . umm, he said u shld. so he asked his kid to get the register, asked me to sign n said that u shld sign further up also at the other guest houses. well, i guess he was the only honest official i met during my whole trip.

pretty soon, i packed up n went down to the town. had a good breakfast at the gorkha lady's dhabha. then i tried to ring up home, but the std booth was not working. there was another telephone booth but that guy was waiting for the power supply to come. i told him to ring up my relatives n gacve him some bucks for the same.

now, the jeep that was to go to sankri was waiting for passengers. i asked him how much time will he take n he said that it might be even 2 hours before he gets a full jeep - load. so i hired the entire jeep to sankri for 200 bucks. the way was very beautiful, but not good enough to drive in the night. also, at some parts, the road is really narrow due to landslides. but the beauty of that path is just too good. very soon, we were able to catch the first glimpse of the snow clad peaks of har ki dun and swargarohini.

some kids an an old lady asked us for a lift. since i had paid the driver the full amount, i could order him to stop whenever n whereever i wanted to take a pic.

after about 12 kms, the village of sankri/saud came into view.

the jeep driver took me straight to the gmvnl guest house.

there were 2 ppl over there - the guest house caretaker, an old man, and another guy who was helping him bring some plants. i pay the jeep driver n he leaves. then i ask these chaps if they know of any guide ... and the guy who was helping him bring the plants says "arrey sahab, main khud hee ek guide hoon" :-). this guy's name was rajender singh. he is otherwise a fair enough chap, but make sure that he does not drink during the trip. otherwise things can get bothersome. next time when i go there i will take someone else as the main guide and keep him just as a porter. anywyas, he arranged for some stuff like pressure cooker, etc at his home. in the meanwhile, i waited in the market place and also spent some time in the guide's sis' house (a pretty nice, typical pahadi house, made up of wood with beautiful carvings). there was a school next to the market place n i got the opportunity to snap some pics of the local school kids.

for the first day, we were to go from sankri village to taluka village. the path to taluka was full of beautiful forests all around. u could also catch a glimpse of the chaukhamba/swargarohini range and the kedarkanta range. also, there were some beautiful mustard fields around the village. like a said before .. a fairyland on this planet.

the guide met some village kids n he stopped to chat with them, while i went ahead, soaking in the views.

the journey was overall very beautiful. not much of a steep climb. there were one or 2 places where the bridges had been washed away. so u had to take a detour. here r some more pics from the way.

i started getting pretty tired after going for 9 kms (with the rucksack). 1 more km to go. met plenty of sheep, shephards and cute dogs along the way. a dog from this region was mentioned in the mahabharata ... he was the one who had followwed yudhishtira all the way up to heaven via swargarohini peak ..... and i noticed that many dogs in this route follow visitors for long distances.

ahh..seeing taluka village brought a smile to my face..coz i was feeling really hungry by that time. in the pic above, u can see the forest guest house. we went to the gmvn guest house and booked 2 beds in the dorm (the guide knew the gmvn chap, so he did not have to pay). there was a canteen outside the gmvn guest house, which is run by another gorkha lady n her family. nice ppl. they made some really tasty lunch which i gobbled up. later on, i spent soem time roaming around the village n taking pics. a doctor had come up all the way with her compounder to give all these kids some anti tt injections. so everyone in the village was pretty excited about that. har ki doon was towering ahead, in front of u.

i took some time taking pics of the village kids also, who were extremely naughty. finally, after adinner with some "pet hens" for company, i went off to sleep.


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