The second day was spend mostly in transit. My trek tour with IndiaHikes began today. Originally, the whole tour was mean to be 6 days long, but because of the how much it had snowed (visited in February), the highest campsites were all inaccessible, so we had to cut short a day of our hike and we never made it to the Kedarkantha peak.
The day began with all people who were joining the group meeting at the railway station. The tour company had arranged vehicles that would pick up up early in the morning and drive us to the trek base camp village- Sankri.
The drive was around 8 hours long, as the roads were narrow and not in very good shape.
En-route, we stopped for food at Mussoorie and a small village in the hills called Purola. This was the last village where we got cell-phone reception for the rest of the hike.
The drive was very scenic and the road ran parallel to various rivers (including the Yamuna) most of the way. We got to see the changing landscape along the way, from the mostly plain Dehradun to the mountains of Sankri.
We reached Sankri by late afternoon. The tour included accomodation for us at a guest house in the village (shared rooms). The guest house was very simple with shared toilets. There was no warm water to shower, and given how cold it was, that meant nobody showered for the next 4 days.
They served us simple and wholesome Indian meals. In the evening we were briefed about the trek and those of us who wanted to rent any equipment or buy anything from the village did so. After an early dinner, we went to bed.
Days 3 and 4:
The next day we woke up early and had a small breakfast at the guest house. We set off on foot with our bags to make it to our first campsite by afternoon. A couple of dogs that lived on the mountain decided to follow our group and stuck with us for the rest of our time there.
We quickly ascended into the snow covered areas, and very soon, we had to put on our crampons, as we were all slipping and falling. The snow was clean and fresh and was quite delightful.
We reached our first campsite in time for lunch. The tents had already been set up by the tour company, and they had a semi-permannet kitchen tent where their staff had already cooked up lunch for us.
After eating, most of us either napped, or wandered around close to the campsite until evening. In the evening, everyone gathered in the kitchen tent to chat and swap stories until it was time for dinner.
The next day, we started off from our campsite after a quick breakfast. We carried packed lunches, that we had en-route.
On day 4, we hiked past a frozen lake, and some incredible scenery with the Himalayan mountains.
Bye evening we reached out camp, which was located just over a vlley and we had a stunning view of the mountains opposite. All of us sat and enjoyed the sunset with a hot cup of tea.
The next day we headed back down to Sankri. This would have been the day we went to the Kedarkantha peak, but we had to skip it as it was completely inaccessible and dangerous.
We reached the village by lunch time and after food, we headed off to see the village with its traditional houses. We also got the chance to do some zip-lining across the river valley!
The night was spent at the same guest house we were at the first night.
Another day in transit, mostly spent driving. The tour company had arranged this as well. Since all of us had an extra day because of the new itinerary, we decided to head to Rishikesh, a town famous for its temples on the banks of the Ganga, and for yoga.
We reached there by night and booked a room in a yogashram. There were some other guests here who were staying longer and were learning yoga from the owner of the house.