The cab was scheduled to pick us up at 7 a.m,. Man, was it cold but we couldn’t possibly miss out on the last bath before the 8 days of arduous journey. Modern tech aka geyser helped us out here. Whatsapp was already buzzing with messages with people already at the meetup point, while we were busy heating water up for a bath; yeah. that’s us alright, late as usual. Anyhow at the very least, the messages nudged us to hurry up with our morning routines and catch an OLA cab to ISBT, the meetup point. Atleast half of the group was already present at the meetup point by the time we got there. We met our first trekker, JD, a pretty experienced trekker and traveler in his own right. By the time we were done with our own ‘introductions’, the driver honked to get us into the bus.
9 of us huddled into 1 bus , akhil, vaibhav, karthik, sparshard, neha , anant, shrihsti and satyendra and yours truly. Rest of the group , not sure who were present, got into a jeep. Whatsapp indicated that rest were seriously late due to train delay and would arrive much later. It was going to be a long ride ahead.
After quick nap of an hour, we reached mussorie and time for breakfast. It was already pretty cold in broad daylight. And what is awesome when its cold ? Maggi, paneer paratha and tea. It was pretty crowded in there but the waiter was pretty quick to get our order. The hot veg maggi and parathas were absolutely amazing. We took our first trekkers photo before taking off again.
The view on the way was amazing ; passing by a beautiful river canyoning through the mountains but it gets same after a while. So we did the only we can; slept. Somewhere midway we stopped for quick snap by the river before pushing off again.
2 hours late, we stopped for lunch at purula at a tiny restaurent. Folks ordered their last non-veg people of the week and gorged on an entire chicken I think. I stuck to my veg variant as usual but the food was fantastic. The bill was only 200 per head. At the end our meal, we were in for a surprise; i ended up meeting prajakta (from my previous sandakphu trek) who too was heading to kedarkantha for her year end trek. A very pleasant surprise indeed.
So anyhow , by this time i was already quite exhausted (not really fan of bus travel) but our destination i.e sankri was still 2 hours away. Finally after a hard day’s travel of 8 hours, we were at sankri by late evening. The temperature was already touch single digits and it was time to layer up after getting our rooms allocated. We were holed, up 5 in room. With some liquid down our throats and warm food in our bellies, the group introduced itself during the briefing session. Our guide for the trek would be venkat , assisted by co-guides subhash and tony. As usual the junta was split between bangalore, delhi and mumbai; almost an equal split as a matter of fact.
>> DAY 2