A quick trip to the hills of Uttarakhand was just the break that I was looking for. So I planned a 5- day trip to the Valley of Flowers, Joshimath and Badrinath. This was all done through thrillophilia.com which is an adventure travel web aggregator. I sent a request to them online to book a package to the Valley of Flowers. The response was prompt and super. A travel consultant called me up and then emailed an itinerary along with the cost and relevant medical documents. The cost of the entire trip was Rs 10,500 and the pickup was from Haridwar Railway Station. The process was very professional and clear-cut.
I was at my pickup point promptly and hopped into the 12 seater tempo traveller which was to take us to Joshimath. The drive was exhausting and lasted nearly ten hours. I slept all the way till we reached our guest house. The rooms were comfortable with blankets and hot water. Dinner was vegetarian with dal, subs and rice. This was, after all, Dev Bhoomi. So no mutton and chicken here, not till the trip ends. I was enchanted by the beauty of the green hills but could not wait for the trek to the Valley of Flowers to start. But before that, I saw the slender of Rudra and Dev Prayag, the meeting points of various rivers and their tributaries in the region. It is the confluence of River Bhagirathi and Alaknanda.
Then we started our trek from Joshimath to Gorsan to see the various Himalayan peaks of Ghoda, Hathi, Palki, Kamath, Neelkanth and Nanda Devi. It did me a world of good. The fresh air of the hills was indeed invigorating!
Then started the toughest part of the journey – a trek from Joshimath to Ghangaria. I was exhausted in the first 3 km itself. The climb can be steep and tiring. I kept stopping to take breaks. I, sometimes, sat on a bench or the local tapri (a tea shop with basic food amenities). The only cigarette available was Capstan and Gold Flake. I puffed a few on the way just to keep me going but by the 4th km, I was dog tired.
Now, I finally decided to take a Khachar (a cross breed between a horse and a donkey) right up to Ghangharia. We reached in the evening and stayed at a local hotel which was not very fancy. It had a basic room with a bed. There were helpers, however, who offered to give me a massage as my entire body was aching from the trek. Then I had a hot water bath and promptly fell asleep. Next morning, we had to trek to our main destination, the Valley of Flowers, and I had to get my camera system ready to capture its beauty and its gushing waterfalls.