Day 6, 13 Jun 08
6.00 am, Rajo’s alarm is sickening. We get up and find a place for a food-dump. The guard again points that do not do it near the stream that feeds the pool. We find some good place, after that, I was feeling a lot better. Others too finish off, and start doing the ‘packing’ business. With a big backpack and loads of things to carry, the whole packing takes around 5 minutes or more. Viki as usual was up and running, around 8.00 we have our breakfast of Rice and Dal, Viki encourages us to push in as much as we can, as there is a lot to climb and so lot of energy to be consumed. Vijay is feeling nauseatic and drinks two glasses of Salt water, but that doesn’t help him vomit. The strange feeling continues to spoil his morning.
9.30 am, We finally leave for Darwatop. That was our first night halt between Dodital and Hanuman-chatti. Within 1/2 km in our route, and the rain plays spoil sport. It had been so sunny all morning, and now !!!! We stop under a big rock, The rains make it worse for trekkers, with the water in the bags, its even more weight to carry. 15 minutes into our first break, and the rain still hasn’t stopped, but worsened. We discuss the plan of a trek in these rains. We decide against the porters’ wishes and continue in the rain. Me, Vj and Mallik are still apprehensive, but Amey is fixed on the plan. So we continue ahead in the hard rains, Its not even a minute after we’ve moved ahead, and Viki finally calls for a stop. This time he orders that we should not move ahead. He continues that It would be too risky ahead in the rains, There is no stop from now right till the Darwatop. So we have no place for a break. The ration too would get spoilt and there would be nothing for food right until Hanumanchatti, So we’d be left with no food and shelter ! .. and we decide to return back. Its raining cats, dogs, elephants, aligators !! We got back to Dodital in 15-20 minutes, I headed straight for the tapari for some tea, while others went to the temple. The porters soon followed, one of them was drenched. He quickly came to the fire and started drying himself. I too followed.
12.30 am, I’m still at the fire, the rain is till bad, Rajo comes to call me and I follow him with my sack to the temple where everyone is busy drying themselves and packing their bags. Soon we had put the foot on the accelerator and heading downwards in the direction of Manjhi. Somewhere around 2.30 its Manjhi, the hazy, chilly Manjhi. The rains had disappeared as we descended. Probably they just didn’t want us to go further ahead. Our stomachs were crying for food, so Maggi was on the menu. Vj got out his wax stove and prepared maggi. While he did that we had some hot tea at Premsingh Ranwat’s tapri, it was the same place where we’d stopped for the night the previous day. There were some kids helping him, on of them was Manisha, she was from Agora village and had come here for vacations. We were discussing whether these kids came here for some work. The kids almost all girls were named like heroines, Priyanka, Rita, Sonam and more. We take snaps of our bags all lined up, our dirty and mucky shoes and leave Manjhi by 3.45pm towards Bebra ghat, which was going to be the night halt.
Coming down from Manjhi we had to change mountains which meant some climbing, our mind was now set on ‘Rest – Go back’ mode. So a little climb was uneasy for us, but we continued through the rainy coniferous forests. Kacheru was on the way by 4.20pm, We discussed the correct pronunciation of the place, Kacheru, Kachori and so on. We halted for few minutes refilled our water bottles and floored the pedal again. Bebra village’s boundary invited us close to 6.00pm. We descended a little further in the village and found a rest-house 2 rooms Rs. 300 a night. Viki was asked to prepare everything tonite, Dal, Roti, Tomato chatni, all that he could manage. We didn’t have any other night halt now, so the ration could be used away.
10.30 pm, No food yet, we were already resting, planning our future tip details, arguing over whether we should stay in Mussoorie or not, etc. We had finally come back to the civilization mode, planning trips in Buses, cars, taxis etc. Viki finally came calling for food, but we were now too lazy to easily jump off our sleeping bags and beds, Yes the hut even had 3 beds ! quite a luxury. We forced Viki to tell some ‘bhoot ki kahaniyan’, something that Viki had himself promised but never implemented. At food, everybody was relaxed, noramlly the porters always seemed strenuous after the days’ porting and thinking about the next day, but today everyone was joking, enjoying. After food we went back to ‘our’ room and laid back. Viki came back again, with his Sherpa smile of his on the face.
आप लोगोंको कहानी सुननी थी ना !
And he narrated two incidents of his, one when he was carrying a cylinder on his back to his home, when the cylinder suddenly swayed and he felt that somebody had put a foot on his slipper. He is still recovering from change in motion when he feels a thorny hand on his back. He turns back to see nobody around. Another one he passed us was about his walk back to his home, which he feels is full of ghosts. He was walking through the ‘Shamshanghat’ when he saw a Bear-Man like creature on the corner, He tries to look properly in the dark but is dazed by the bright red eyes of the creature. He is scared to death and runs back. After that the every curious Vijay keeps asking Viki a zillion questions on ‘Bhoot’, ‘pret-aatma’. Viki finally departs and we fall asleep by 11.00pm.