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Day 6 (Sabargram to Gorkhey via Phalut)

It was a bitterly cold morning on day 6 ; the wind chill making it worse. Most of us managed to wake up though ; to catch the beautiful sunrise over the mountains.The golden red hue over the sleeping Buddha was mesmerizing to say the least.

Worth the freeze

Nikhil was responsible for the group photos ; the group managed to pose despite the freezing cold. The beautiful sight provided us with the necessary warmth :). After the photo sessions it was time for breakfast and the long day ahead. After a quick breakfast, we departed for gorkhey-phalut. A significant part of this day’s trek is downhill; we were going to give away all our hard earned ‘trek up’ miles. The plan was to go to phalut and then to gorkhey; the overall distance being 21 km!
From sabargram , it is completely downhill to gorkhey, almost 15 km ! On the way we passed through a beautiful bamboo forest which was probably the most enjoyable part of the trek.

Through the forest

We were under the cover of the forest ; birds chirping, the sunlight through the leaves and the occasional cool breeze through the trees ; it was fantastic. We were given lunch on this day, freshly made fried rice. The idea was to reach a intermediate checkpoint and have a lunch but we were walking pretty fast ; so we ended up deciding that we would have lunch directly at the destination.

Samandan visible in the distance

After almost 5 hours of trek,  we finally reached Samandan village ; under the impression that this would be the end of our trek. The ends of my toes had already gone numb. But shirin informed us that gorkhey was another 2 kms away from samandan; fate had spoken; I would lose my legs on this day !
Samandan itself is a beautiful village; almost too picturesque to be true.

Samandan

Me and kushal used up our last bit of energy to reach gorkhey;  an amazingly beautiful village located in a valley between two mountains.

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After off loading our luggage, all of us gathered at a “shack restaurant” providing providing food to travelers. Hot Wai Wai noodles tasted heavenly at only 50 INR a bowl ; “how come this taste is missing in bangalore”, I pondered. Maybe it is the himalayan water. Regardless, I ended up having 2 full bowls.After checking in into a dormitory,  it was time to just relax and have some hot tea and macaroni, courtesy indiahikes evening snacks. We were now below 8K feet and there would be no more BP measurement; Naman, karthik and karun rejoiced at the very thought of that. A part of the group decide to split up and head to the nearby stream cool their heels, literally. Others decide to hike up the hill to get some mobile signal to book the tickets back home.  I just wandered around taking snaps of the beautiful village and the river stream.

Trek up to get the mobile signal

Come evening Vivek asked for some IH feedback regarding the trek; he heard no complaints as expected. Buddhaji narrated stories of his experience in the mountains and history of Sikkim ; his “talk” was pretty long and I fell asleep for a few minutes in between. The sound of the dinner bells woke me up though ; specially prepared country chicken curry was enjoyed all but I stuck to the vegetarian though. The night again was bitterly cold but the dorm was nice and warm. Thankfully I had run out of battery only on the last day ; we tried to enjoy the group company to the maximum ; after all this was a going to be our last day in the mountains;  the next day was the trek back down and home.
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