Day 7, 14 Jun 08
My stomach is grumbling, I feel bad, need to go to the loo, I wake up, Its dark, everybody is sleeping. Probably its still night. I need to go. The loo I remember is not in the room, I need to get down walk and there is something built over there. I don’t have time to find a torch, I wake up Vj and aks for a torch. I get down the stairs, and walk towards the toilet scared of leeches jumping on my foot. Its liquid ! I return back and get into the bag, its around 2.00am. I’ve added myself to upset stomach list with Mallik and Vj.
6.00 am, Sound sleep in a nice warm rest house always has enemies. Rajo’s alarm, heartless. We somehow manage to fight our sleep and start getting ready. Viki will never start the day without some food in our stomach, ‘Daliya’ is the morning’s breakfast after a request by Mallik. We come outside all geared up for the last day’s walk, the owner of the house has a air-gun that we play around with and finally bid Bebra Ghat a final goodbye around 8.45. Down the hill and up again changing mountains for Agora. At Agora we gave a small halt as Viki returned the mattresses. Agora was yet again shining the early morning sun, with a lovely valley in the front, and itself being on a terrace field, Agora was one of the most beautiful places I’ve seen. There were many flowers that had blossomed and none missed an opportunity to captivate the nature.
Along the way, Viki showed us the Bhang plants, and various flora. At Agora he said, is a split for Bugiya Dayal, which on route towards Gangotri and Valley of Flowers. The Valley of Flowers blossoms best in August. Viki continued on his trek-adventure-talk, that during the peak season of Valley of Flowers the smell is so intoxicating that someone can get dizzy and fall. So to prevent that they keep smelling Garlic and chew it, just to fade of that fragrance of flowers. On our way I saw an Apple tree for the first time in my life. The apples were small and green in color, with just a haze of red pushing through.
My legs were tiring, and it felt I was climbing down with more than 20kgs. I now felt that a little climb could do some good for the legs. But what goes up must come down, so did we, kept descending… Finally around 11.00am we saw the Asi Ganga the rivulet that joins Bhagirathi at Sangamchatti, which meant Sangamchatti wasn’t far enough. 15 minutes later we were there, back in the civilization, roads, motor vehicles for transport, dry shelter, tapri for chai and more. We crossed the road and waited, Soon enough Viki came running, he had arranged for a Commander/Jeep to take us to Uttarkashi. We were moving through the jeep along the Bhagirathi river, for the first time since 5 days, we were travelling and yet not walking or climbing. The Bhagirathi continued to flow, shaping up people’s lives around it.
12.30 pm, The town was familiar, It was just a few days since we’d left from here, but felt like a year or more. We waded through the civilized world’s hassles, traffic jams, Bad roads, dirt, etc. We kept looking for an ‘affordable’ hotel/lodge, but didn’t find it easily. Finally we settled for one called ‘Devlok’. Had a ‘clean’ bath after many days, all these days it had been just a fast water flowing, I had a neat shave. And the last bath had been at Bebra Ghat while we were climbing towards Dodital. A neat dry set of clothes and we felt fresh instantly. We sent Nikhil with Viki to arrange for a cab for the next day’s Gangotri visit.
4.30 pm, Most of them are ready and we leave for food. We go to Bhandary hotel and have omelette bread and tea. Mallik has a slight fever. The omelette is wonderful ! Vj didn’t come and is busy washing clothes. We get back to the room with Paneer pulav and Dahi. I went to the top of the hotel, was just a concrete roof, with no boundaries. It was a splendid view from there, the towering hills on the left side with Bhagirathi and the ‘Zula’ or the bridge on it. I waited there for almost 2 hours till Rajoba came and got online with his phone and many others came up and were online.. While just stared in the hills. Viki sincerely called back, We had asked him if he could accompany us to Gangotri the next day, But he said it could be difficult for him, as he has to prepare for another big trek with group of army men.
We came downstairs, and started watching the snaps, it was close to 7.30pm, we didn’t realize how time passed and it was 10.00pm and we yet had to have our dinner. we rushed back to Bhandari hotel and have Dal, Paneer bhurzi and roti. Back at the hotel, we went to sleep on the bed, something I hadn’t done since leaving home. But while we slept we had next day’s alarm already ringing at 3.30am for Gangotri.