Most of us believe that random unplanned trips are the best and this is exactly how this hike happened. A trek which started off as a hike initially turned out to be one of the most amazing experiences for each one of us. The best part was the combination of various people in the group — brought together by this trip which remains etched in our hearts.
We started walking from Sundarijal which is an hour’s drive from the city. We were to meet at seven in the morning at a particular point and surprisingly everyone reached on time. We were total of 11 in the group, some were experts, some had no idea how long would it take to reach the destination and some wondered if we could come back the same day. We estimated a time of four hours to reach the spot at Chisapani.
Since it was the first time, the estimation differed as all of us were new on this track. While we walked the first flight of steps many of us did not complain of tiredness and were energetic while some of us needed rest. We came across this beautiful waterfall and decided on this spot to pose for a couple of pictures.
We started walking and after about 20 kms, the hike started getting tough and our body was tired. We kept walking uphill, on the rocks and pebbles at some paths, crossing the Shivapuri National Park. We came across Mulkharka village in between, a less populated area. The walk was downhill for a while and then came a flat surface where we loved to walk. Hours passed by so quickly and our estimated time of four hours went by swiftly as we took breaks to get our breaths back. We energised ourselves with energy bars and drinks.
We were each other’s support and gave in all the willpower and determination to keep moving and enjoying the next step rather than focusing on the end. The sight was beautiful and each path made us fall in love with the trail. We could not think of walking back on the same route, not the same day. We were waiting to reach and get the glimpse of the most wonderful view of the Ranges. It was interesting how we would calculate the timing to get to the end. The locals would state an hour and we would double the time that would take us. We saw hundred shades of green, loved the fresh air and the sound of the wind. We were wondering how slippery the path would be during the rainy season and the number of leeches around.
There are no houses/ buildings to stop at except at the Mulkharka village. There were no shops on the way until we reached the village and I recommend you carry enough food to eat. Finally, after walking for about seven hours, we reached Chisapani. It was unbelievable how each one of us discovered our own stamina and resilience.
We were inspired by two Germans whom we met on our walk. It left all of us motivated as they were above the age of 70 yet walked faster than us. We had no chance of going back as we reached around three in the afternoon and it would surely take us minimum of five hours to reach even if we walked fast. We had no option other than to stay back which showed us the best sunset and sunrise. We found a couple of inexpensive hotels to stay at. The campfire and the talks were perfect end to our tiresome day. Waking up to the clouds with the orange tinge in the sky was bliss in itself.
We were hoping to find a jeep to drop us back as the effect of the long walk was weary for many. Luckily we did not find one, because it was one of the most treasured moments as we walked back the same trail. It did take us six hours to get back and we were equally tired as the first day. It’s all worth the ride as each travel is an adventure and there is so much that we learn from each outing.
A version of this article appears in print on February 04, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.