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

Monday, May 28, 2007

Milam Glacier Trek Part 2 - Bageshwar to Munsyari

Day 2

one of the staff memebers woke me up the next day at 6:30 am. wow!!! 6:30 am. i never knew what the clock looked liek at 6:30 am :-). had lots of dinner yesterday night, so going to the loo is not a problem. u shld look after ur stomach on road trips, otherwise u might be caught witout a loo in times when u need one. i got ready, took a cold water bath ... mazaa aa gaya. it was soooo refreshing. paid by bill, a grand total of 123 bucks for 1 day stay and meals. there is a small hotel near the bus stand, called ananpurna hotel. he makes really wonderful and jumbo sized paranthas. biger paranthas than any other paranthas i have seeen in noida, delhi, varanasi, kanpur, lucknow, bangalore, chennai, kozhikode or any other place in india. 1 is enough for a normal person. i had 2. the bus came a little after 9:00 am. most of it emptied out. i took the last seat. the cost is around 120 bucks from bageshwar to to munsiyari.
soon, the driver nad conductor got in and we were on our way. there was a small adventure right at the beginning of the trip. there was a truck which had broken down on the road. and it was covering only a small portion of the road. so we had to steer around it very very very carefully, otherwise the bus might fall out on the other side of the hill. it took a total of 15 mins. as i was sitting next to the window, i could feel the vibrations as the bus scraped across the truck. finally, the driver got us safely on the other side. there r many pine forests after bageshwar. and soem beautiful yellow green fields. theroad climbs up steadily and the air gets cooler. slowly, more and more ppl get in at every vilage and finally the bus was very crowded. on the way, we couldspot the himalayan peaks from soem vantage points. the driver stopped at a place with some beautiful forests around so that everyone could pee and i could take some pics of the mountains. he told me that we would reach munsiyari by evening, not before, since it is a hilly path. by lunch we reached thal. it is situated at the bottom of the valley, so it is pretty hot. i was almost sweating in a t shirt. all the buses stop there. u can get many jeeps also for other nearby places. the food was pretty decent, but the loos needed some improvement.
finally, we were on our way from thal. the road follows a stream and now the mountains start looking really tall and imposing. there was a small village with a school. the kids were playing outside in the field. there was a really huge rock in the mountain face overlooking them. it almost seemed as if the rock was keeping a watch on them. there were some really cool sights, but since the bus was moving, the pics did not come out so great. it was a bit difficult to photograph them from the moving bus. there was a small village called quetee on the way. mr. soban ram from the herbal deptt. got in at that place. later on, we were to becoem good friends. i was asking some ppl for some info and he turned around and simply asked if u wanna gotrekking till milam? sure dude, i replied! and then slowly, our conversation built on and on. his uncle, who works at the trc in munsiyari, was also with him. we tried to fix up a time table for the tek. and then the bus gained altitude. up up and away, we went, going higher and higher and even higher. the scenery was just out of a fairy tale, and it was growing colder also. finally, we reached a place called birthi waterfalls. really pretty high. the driver accepted my request to stop so that i can take a few pics of that place, and i did take. i also took a pic of the driver and a few fellow travellers in front of the waterfall. one ofthe guys had got a bottle of home made mattha, and he offered it to me. i was abit hesitant but after having a sip (which was very tasty), i almost snatched the whole bottle from him.
the road climbs straight up and the nenters the johar valley from a pass where there is a temple called kalamuni. a single sage runs this temple. there was a wonderful view of one of the panchchuli peaks from this place. he gave us some good prasad and we were finally on the final stage of the jouney.
after crossing hte pass, the buss descends to the other side of the hill where u will find munsiyari, located below the ridge. soban ram got off before the bus stand at his friend's house. i got off with the trc guy near the trc. as soon as i came to the trc, i found that those chaps were sittign there, waiting for me, including ganga ram ,the guide. the bageshwar guys had already phoned the mand told them of my arrival. i talkd with ganaga ram and fixed hs rate as 200 bucks per day. we also fixed our return in 6 or 7 days. but ganaga had to be paid for 10 days as the normal trekking time is 10 days and these ppl charge 10 days fees minimum. we discussed the equipment and ganaga adviced that i should buy a blanket from the market. so i just put my rucksack in the dorm and headed for the mkt. there were soem cute kids playing outside and i took their pics and gave them some candies. there were some beautifully designed blankets in the small mkt below, which were prett ywarm too. munsiyari is the last major town, after which there r all villages on the route to milam. we took a long path back to the guest house, with ganga showing me some important landmarks. we met mr. soban ram, just roaming around. he also fixed up to meet us tomorrow morning at around 7:30 am at the trc.

the road from bageshwar to munsyari

view from the munsyari market

flowers on the roadside

first view of himalayan peaks

terrace farming

due to a moving bus, the pictures did not come out nicely.

scenes on the road...

the journey starts with a steep ascent from bageshwar

the famous birthi waterfalls. our driver and conductor took a small break over here

the hills near birthi

the bridge at birthi falls

another pic of birthi falls

the winding road through some lovely pine forests

bus stop!!

snow clad peaks---but they are very far away...

munsyari market at evening time..

sunrise at munsyari

early morning at munsyari...this is the view from the bed int he dormitory

kumaon mandal vikas nigam tourist rest centre

good morning munsyari

the clouds settle below in the morning

the panchchuli peaks

another view at panchchuli peaks

kids playing in the trc garden

taking a break at the famous kalamuni temple

a temple on the way to thal from bageshwar

a village market

hills near bageshwar

bageshwar bus stop


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