That is a trip we went for during 26 jan 2007. I am terribly sorry for the delay in writing this post. I got a bit lazy. But now since i have nothing else to do, i might as well write the post. This is one of best trips i had ever had.
So, it starts on the very fine evening of 24th. We hire a qualis which is supposed to arrive at 7 pm. All our bags are packed and ready. And as per IST(Indian Stretchable Timings) we get a travera which arrives at 9:30 pm. And to top it up, the travera does not have a place to put our bags (no overhead luggage carrier). Though our luggage was minimal, we all 6 people being guys (gals generally tend to carry more luggage). So we push bags under the seats, keep some on the back seat and finally get packed in the travera. And we start our journey.
Within half an hour the sardarji, our driver reaches the bypass, and starts sleeping. Well not actually sleeping comfortably, but taking small naps during driving. And then we come to realize that the sardarji has not slept in 36 hours. Too bad. Well, so we offered him rest and one of us takes the wheels. We drove for about 5 hours. And then the sardarji takes the wheels again.
Cool, so around 4 in the morning we reach this place - a petrol pump from where we are supposed to start climbing uphill. And the sardarji just drives to the side of the road, pulls a sheet over him and without any word, just goes to sleep. And we all are looking at him with our eyes wide open. Well, we sleep for about 2 hours, and then continue our drive. We pass dharamshala and reach mclaudganj around 10 in the morning.
Here we took 2 rooms and got fresh and had breakfast, and then we start our climb uphill around 1 pm. The trek was good, and we took lots of snaps on the way. We saw a forest fire on the way. And by 5:30-6 pm we are almost on the top of the hill. We start seeing snow on our way. Snow which is still melting. Someway in middle we stopped and sat down and we could hear all the snow around the hill melting with a distinct sound. There was no other sound - except for the snow melting. Too good.
And around 6:30 we reach the top of the hill. It is a nice pleatu. With a population of us 6 people, 4 helpers, 6 horses, 1 caretaker of a guest house (There is a guest house on top of the hill and a caretaker to take care of it), and a dog. That was the population of triund when we reached there. On both sides we have deep valleys. One valley leading to the city. And other valley leading to hills covered with snow. You can have a look at the video below to get an idea of the beauty of the place. I dont have words to describe it.
So we had our diner that day and slept in sleeping bags in a tent on top of the hill. At first, i was a bit afraid that the tent might not be able to protect us from the cold. But the sleeping bags and tent were sufficient to protect us from the cold. Next morning we saw the sunrise from behind the snow covered mountains.
And around 11 started our trek to ilaka (snow line) where we were supposed to see pure snow. The path was very dangerous. We came across small paths covered with snow and slippery and had to trek through that. We were so terrified we were going to go back. But then the guide helped us out. The trek was such that one wrong foot/ one slip and we would have been at the bottom of the valley.
We reached the snow line and had a gala of a time. We played in snow and made snow man. The snow used to melt and get through our clothes. Our fingers were numb. The snow used to get though our shoes and make our feet cold.
We had our lunch on the top of the hill and in middle of snow. We relaxed a little after lunch. Enjoyed the sun and the cool breeze and the quietness. And we saw snowfall on our way back from ilaka.
In the evening after we reached, we saw that one of the shops (there are 3 shops in triund - the local people carry stuff uphill for tourists and sell it at huge profit margins) was open and had coffee there. In the night just before diner, we shouted with our hearts out. Our guide played flute and we made a small camp fire (though campfire is not allowed there).
You should hear this, it might be the best sound album created till date...
And we slept that night. Next morning we had breakfast and treked back from a different and more dangerous route. The route was very steep and at some times we were unable to find the path. The wind was wonderful.
After reaching the city, we tried some tibetian food and some shopping. But we were so tired and exhausted that we found nothing interesting. Anyways, in the end we again packed ourselves in the travera and drove back. Hoping that our adventure was over. But we were wrong. Our sardarji driver was again falling asleep on the way back and so he stopped at some place on the highway - we dont know where and took some drugs (afeem, i think) so that he stays awake throughout the night.
Well man that was the best drive i ever had. The guy was a super hero after he took the drugs. He drove through blinding fog at 80 kmph and then at an average of 110. We covered 220 kms in 2 hours.
At 4 in the morning, we reached home and slept....