My First TrekIt was 1993. I was in my 9th standard. Anshuman Sengupta, a school friend of mine, said to me one day - "There is a trekking club through which I regularly go for treks in the Himalayas. Would you want to join in this year?"
And, my association with the trekking club in India started. It lasted for quite a few years. It was only after I moved to Pune for my higher studies, that I lost contact with them.
Anyway, back to the trek.
I had some experience traveling in the hilly terrain near my home in Pune, so I definitely knew what trekking was. It was a completely different fact that I didn't own a single piece of equipment. So, here I was - with two small suitcases full of stuff - standing at the DB Gupta office of the trekking club, on a Sunday night.
Anshuman came, dressed in a pair of jeans, and a white kurta. And, he had a huge backpack on his back. It was the backpack that fascinated me the most. I had not seen a backpack like that before. He had bought it from Nepal, and he was already pretty familiar with the knowledge of how to load a backack, how to distribute the weight etc. So, he was all set for the trek.
Our journey started at night, when the bus left New Delhi for Kathgodam, a small-sized town in the Himalayas. At Kathgodam, we had a small break, after which we continued to the base camp "Song" via Almora. Almora is very famous for a sweet called "Baal-Mithai". We all bought some of the famous sweet, and continued with our journey towards the base camp.
Base Camp - SongWe reached Song somewhere in the late afternoon. The team of organizers were ready to help us de-board the bus, take us to the main campsite, and offer us a cool drink.
After some time of resting, we were all called by the base camp instructor, to come and attend the mandatory introductory session. The introductory session consisted of briefing about the base camp and its periphery, the toilet areas for males and females, the route for the trek, distances involved, hazards involved etc.
Also, those people (like me) who didn't have a backpack of my own, were given backpacks (those typical Army kinds). This way, we could pack whatever was necessary for the next 10 days, and leave everything else behind, at the base camp. We all interacted with each other more, decided on who all are going to be our tent-mates, got backpacks assigned, and after a hearty dinner, resorted to our tents for our last night at the base camp, as the trek was to start the next day.
The campsite at Song is very pretty, with a small village school building made up of stones, and erected by the river. The campsite tents were pitched by the river, so that the sweet sound of flowing water was a constant music to the ears, while sleeping.
Day 1 - Song to Dhakudi
Song - Dhakudi - Maliadhor - Dwali - Phurkia - Pindari Glacier.
Will add the details in some time.