Day 1 - Bangalore to Rudraprayag

As the day of the trek approached, the excitement was almost uncontrollable - shopping trips to buy thermals, frequent phone calls and even a pre-trip dinner where the original group of seven met to share the agony and ecstasy. Finally on Friday, the 7th of August, by evening 6:30 ROb, Jayan, Yuvi and myself met at Bangalore airport. We had managed to avail the monsoon offer from Indigo Airlines and had booked the much hyped "Rs. 1" ticket to Delhi. Though the ticket price was just one rupee, the final price was about 2,750 with all the taxes and surcharges. The two hours flight were the most boring moments of the trip, but it did save us a lot of time.

Subbu had reached Delhi by the morning flight and was trying to co-ordinate our travel from Delhi to Rishikesh. Our plan was to cover this distance overnight. According to the information we had gathered, the last bus to Rishikesh left ISBT Kashmere Gate by 11 in the night. As we were supposed to reach Delhi airport only by 10:30, we were trying to get a taxi to Rishikesh. But fortunately Subbu found out that being a weekend, there were some bus services to Haridwar even after midnight. So we took a taxi from the airport to Kashemere gate.

Our taxi driver was qualified enough to replace Philipe Massa at the Formula One racing. For him Delhi had one straight road, extending from the airport to ISBT, made and maintained exclusively for him, devoid of any kind of traffic signals or sign posts. He drove all the way with that slight sarcastic smile on his otherwise worn out face; even when other drivers yelled at him at every cross road. Anyway, we found ourselves standing live and kicking at Kashemere gate by 11:45 PM. Delhi was steaming hot even at that time of the night and we all were sweating profusely. With the big bags on our back and sweat all over the face, we looked like some refugees looking for a sweet spot to spend the night at the bus station.

After a quick dinner, we managed to get a bus to Haridwar at 12:15. The 200 kilometers journey was covered in a little more than 5 hours by our 'ordinary' bus. Haridwar bus station was already buzzing with activity at 5:30 in the morning but we managed to fresh up and get ready in an hour's time. It was then a new villain, the 'flat worm', entered our small world. Rob had this theory of flat worms entering the body through your toes. He was referring to me using the toilet without a slipper. I had to cook up a story that you just need to put some soap water on your feet, to counter the worms. The explanation kind of satisfied him for a while. But with this one small episode, flat worm had become a synonym for any kind of threat throughout the journey... like somebody yelling 'Watch out the rain.. there might be flat worms falling with the drops'. I can almost hear Rob yelling "What bollocks !!"

We soon found a bus to take us all the way to Joshimath - about 300 kilometers. The private buses at Haridwar operate from a junction few minutes away from the government bus station. We passed Rishikesh in half an hour and it was then we got news about multiple landslides on the ghat road to Joshimath. Our driver decided to go ahead under the expectation that the roads would be open by then. But by 9, we found ourselves part of a big queue of vehicles. To add to the misery, one truck smashed on to the side of our bus. After two hours of arguments between the two parties, we were all transferred to another bus whose driver decided to try an alternate route. But the fate was the same once we reached Shivpuri. Finally we decided to take a third, longer route to Joshimath by paying Rs. 50 extra per head.

Soon we realized that we won't be able to reach Joshimath that night. So after passing through Narendra Nagar, Champa, Tehri and Srinagar we finally stopped at Rudraprayag for the night. The route offered us some majestic views of the Tehri dam and Hydro Electric project. We stayed at Hotel Krishna in Rudraprayag - a room for five at Rs. 300. Though it was a vegetarian hotel, we managed to get some chicken for dinner, to go with the Rum. Our original plan was to reach Joshimath by night and start our climb to Ghangaria early in the morning. But now we had another 4-5 hours of travel left in the morning to reach Joshimath. But somehow we were confident to make up the lost time the next day.

The day-long journey and the rum worked in unison to usher in sleep quite early. Soon we were snoring away to glory, dreaming about the good times ahead. End of adventures of day one.

Money Matters:
Bus Fare (Non-Deluxe) : Delhi to Haridwar - Rs.117
Bus Fare (Non-Deluxe) : Haridwar to Joshimath - Rs.250

Click here for more..

Day 0 : Valley Trek - Team & Itinerary
Day 1 : Bangalore to Rudraprayag
Day 2 : Rudraprayag to Ghangaria
Day 3 : The Valley of Flowers
Day 4 : Hemkund Lake
Day 5 : Auli
Day 6 : Badrinath, Mana & Vasudhara Falls
Day 7,8,9,10 : Haridwar, Delhi & back to Bangalore

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...