Day 2 started very early for us since the tempo traveller was scheduled to pick us up from the haridwar railway station at 6 a.m for the 200km, 6 hours journey to Sari village which was the first base camp for us trek.
We were kind of late though..you know..its because of the cold. 🙂 . Well, we managed to reach the station by 6.30 a.m and found the tempo almost immediately and..located another group of trekkers heading for the same location and part of our trekking group in fact. I had read that the window seat on the right side of the bus is good for scenic views on the way,,so I conveniently located myself towards the middle of the bus on the right. Having said that, I was simply too tired from less sleep on the previous night and just fell asleep instead. I woke up after only an hour or so after having passed rishikesh and the tempo had already started on the meandering roads of the ghat section. The twisting and turning is such that it really sucks the energy out of you even if you are just sitting inside the vehicle.Anyhow, at about 9 a.m or so , the tempo stopped at a really cool restaurant located on the road off the mighty Ganga river. Well, it was cool in every sense of the word, the location and the temperature, it was probably 8 degrees C or so which is actually not so low in the absolute sense but it was for us since we, as in people from south India, rarely experience this kind of temperature.
Hot Paneer Parathas & Aloo parathas served with curd & pickle along with some hot tea was a super awesome breakfast. We had actually planned not to eat a heavy breakfast since it is always advisable to eat light when travelling but the breakfast was simply too delicious.
We were our way again at about 10.15 a.m or so and the group, feeling very bored started played Antakshari. I am not much of a singer , so I moved to the back of the bus and dozed off..again. After about an hour or so, I was woken by hustle in the bus; we had reached the legendary Devprayag. Devprayag is the location where Alaknanda and Bhagirathi meet to form the mighty Ganga. It is in fact a holy place for the hindus since Ganga is considered the holiest of the rivers in Hindu Traditions.
5 minutes and a couple of snaps later , we are en route to Sari again. Somewhere midway, about two hours from Sari, we stopped at a restaurant for lunch. I was still so full on the breakfast that I decided to skip lunch for some more snaps of the location.
2 hours of winding roads and we were at the beautiful village of Sari. Sari is nestled in the mountains and comprises of about 100 homes. India Hikes group leased a 3 floored house here as a base camp for trekkers going on the deoritial-chandrashila trek.
Our trek leader , Jude, greeted us as we got down from the tempo. We were allocated our rooms in 10 mins and asked to come down to get some tea. During tea time, the India Hikes staff recorded our blood pressure and oxygen saturation level. People above a certain threshold of blood pressure(BP) and oxygen saturation(OS) are not allowed to go on the trek; the lower the BP and OS, higher the chances of AMS and other associated mountain sickness.
After some tea, we were called for a 45 mins briefing from our guide, Jude. The trek itinerary, the campsites, the expected behavior during the trek and everything related was told to us. Most of the members in our group were first time high altitude trekkers which was has its positives and negatives (Eg. the group walks slowly but then again sometimes too slowly). We were a group of 21 , the youngest was like 13 and the oldest was in 40’s.Immediately after the briefing, hot food was served to us. Rice, Rajma, papad, Rotis and sabjis, all freshly prepared and tasty. It was quite cold at Sari; many of us got into multiple layers of clothing that night itself. And the water,,,yikes !! It is like nails are driven into into skin every time you touch it. So anyhow, after dinner, we had only like an hour or so. Our group decided to have some fun playing cards; I learnt a new card game in fact. (I forget the name now). By 10.30 p.m or so we were tired enough to fall asleep but still very excited for our first day of the trek.