Goodbye Blue Skies
June 22nd – The journey back
The next morning we woke up, Bhavika usually begins to give me a tough time when its time to leave, I always seem to look at the brighter side. We balance out like that, though its tough at times. Chai and Parle G again and we set of on our 13 km trek down back to Govindghat to catch a bus to Joshimath. The last bus leaves Govindghat around 4.30 pm so we would have to hurry, unfortunately we woke up around 10.30 am.
By the time we were done with breakfast and began our walk it was nearly noon. We did not have a porter this time, so we had to walk down with our bags. The funny part is that while flying to Delhi Bhavika’s bag was a kilo less than mine, on our way back surprisingly, mine turned out to be around 3.5 kilos more than hers.
The glacier, which was covering a large portion of the path on our way up a few days ago, had melted quite a bit.
Fractal mountains, and the moon (at the top left corner) showed up early in the day.
While trekking up from Govindghat to Ghangaria we had come across an injured calf on the side of the path, the porter told us that he had probably slipped down a section of the hill. While coming down the calf was still there, with a piece of cloth tied around its leg and hundreds of flies feasting on it, although he seemed healthier than before.
We were walking down with our heavy bags, we seemed to be having a kind of space between us, Bhavika’s sad mood has rubbed off on me and I seem to be a little annoyed. We bumped into two nice people who cheered us up, one called Ola (Sweden) and one Nissim (Israel), Ola was an avid traveler, he had been to 20 odd countries in Europe, twice to India (his first visit was to the Andaman Islands), Pakistan, China and so on …
Nissim was visiting India for the first time, both of them said that India is paradise and felt that we urgently needed to tackle our garbage problem. They asked us why we do not segregate garbage, it’s the first thing they are taught in school. The conversation went on and we covered 4 km with them just talking continuously. Nissim told us about place in Israel that we should visit and what it’s like over there.
This helped Bhavika and I get back to our usually selves, we were tired due to the bags and told them about the last bus. We needed to rest for a bit, they dint have bags of our size just small ones, we bid them farewell and they were off. While coming up I was the one lagging behind, this time it was Bhavika (even though she had the lighter bag he he, I’m gonna get kicked for this).
Around 4 km left and we decided to rest at a stall and rejuvenate ourselves. We had Amul Kool, a chilled milk drink, which cost us Rs 35, its actual price is Rs 10. On our way we came across a village where few of the locals were working on their farms just by the river.
We also spotted several peach trees, although we didn’t get a chance to taste any of them.
Beggars were a rare sight on this trip, except the time we were in Hemkund, where the sweepers/cleaners were begging instead of doing their job. All they did is chant “Wahe Guruji, That God will bless you and your children for helping the poor” (In punjabi).
Another 2 kms more to go and we took a short halt by the river-side. We had to fill our bottles as well, but after seeing a dead calf floating in the water we didn’t drink it.
On the mountains we got to see some really pretty and diverse plants. Imagine the variety of cactus here has some beautiful multi-colored flowers on it.
So it was 5 pm when we reached Govindghat, one of Bhavika’s legs were giving up, she also lost her sweater on the way. As soon as we reached we saw lots of people moving around with their luggage. This time too we found no place to stay at Govindghat, the only thing left was three-bed room that cost Rs 1500. So tired and drained out, and all the hotels were booked. So only option was to go to the same place where we stayed the last time – Hare Krishna guest house, Pandukeshwar. A hotel manager of Bhagat Hotel called up Prem Bhatt, the owner of Hare Krishna guest house, to ask him if there were rooms available there. He said yes, and agreed to pick us up from Hotel Bhagat. Bhavika was too tired to walk another one and half km to Pandukeshwar, although I could manage to do it, but we both found the lift was very comforting.
As soon as we reached his guest house, he gave us his best room and thanked him for coming to our rescue once again. He really was helpful to us. We had dinner at the dhaba next door, a delicious meal, and went to chat with Prem Bhatt. He suggested that we should go to Badrinath, which is around 23 km away, or go to Mana village, which is around the same distance and is the last village before the Indo-China border.
We were in two minds whether we should visit these places, although it sounded really tempting. So, we decided to wake up early the next day and then take decision, as we both wanted to crash.
June 22nd Expenses:
Breakfast at Himalaya: Rs 90
Snacks at a stall (during the trek to Govindghat): Rs 80
Lime Juice: Rs 20
Accommodation: Rs 500
Dinner at a dhaba in Govindghat: Rs 90
June 23rd – Back to the Pavilion
Although Bhavika wanted to stay back a little longer I told her we needed to get back to work as well as update the blog. On our last vacation to Hampi, I had a week to update the blog. Here we just had a day left, and to my misfortune when I came back the broadband Internet was down.
We woke up at 6.45 am, got ready bid farewell to everyone. Took a bus from Joshimath to Haridwar that would take a little more than 14 hours to reach. It was nice watching all the familiar rocks, hills and structures go by. We stopped for lunch at a village called Gauchar.
After lunch everyone in the bus went off to sleep, a couple of women got off their seats and slept on the bus’ aisle. These guys below were sitting besides us and the one on the extreme right had his head resting on Clyde’s shoulder for a good hour.
The sun was out today, the sky was at its bright blue and the cloud formations were awesome. The bus ride apart from the bumpy roads was a visual treat.
Bhavika had the window seat throughout and I was just going berserk trying to look at all the clouds. The shades of blue in the sky I have never seen in my life, the clouds were big and the sun giving them a silver lining. The shadow of the clouds on the hills, the river also had banks made of white sands. People camped on these banks on the outskirts of Rishikesh.
Bhavika managed to get a couple of shots of the sunset as we passed by in the bus at Rishikesh. Since most of the people from our existing bus got off at Rishikesh, the driver told us he would not go to Haridwar. He asked us to take another bus that was just behind us.
We got off at the Haridwar bus depot, and walked to the Haridwar Railway Station, there were people sitting and sleeping all over in the massive compound of the station. The next train to Bombay would only be in the afternoon. It was around 9.30 pm now. We walked back to the bus depot, buses leave from Haridwar to Delhi every half an hour. We boarded the bus around 10 pm. The journey was fine although we got held up for nearly two hours in a traffic jam on the way to Delhi just before Meerut. The picture below is of a shiny disco light at the side of a truck.
We were suppose to reach Delhi between 1.30 am to 2.00 am, but unfortunately we reached only around 4.20 am. We then took a rickshaw immediately to go to the airport to see if we can fly to Bombay. The cheapest flight we got was of Spice Jet at 6.30 am, hardly a wait from the time we got to the airport.
Take off from Delhi, we were early but the weather conditions in Bombay made our plane hover over the runway for quite a while. Touchdown Mumbai, its pouring and its just total chaos in Mumbai, its been raining over the last few days.
We had breakfast at a restaurant close to my house and headed home. We do hope you enjoyed reading it as much as we enjoyed writing about our experience in the mountains. It was a great trip and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.
June 23rd Expenses:
Bus ride to Haridwar: Rs
Food at Gauchar (on the way): Rs 60
2 bottles of water: Rs 27
Snacks at Teen Dharna: Rs 40
Bus ride from Haridwar to Delhi: Rs 228
Snacks on the way: Rs 40
Rickshaw from ISBT to Delhi airport: Rs 190
Air tickets to Mumbai: Rs 6400
Previous posts about the trip:
Share and Learn: