Jagdish, negotiated a sharp turn at Karcham leaving behind mighty Satluj which so far flowed along the road leading to Chitkul the last village on Indo-China border. Much has been written and discussed about this trail from Shimla to Chitkul in Sangala valley , being beautiful,adventurous and easily accessible. As you climb up after crossing the bridge on Satluj at Karcham and turn to right , deep valley of Baspa a tributary of Satluj , on one side and mighty mountains on other send shivers down your spine. Many a times on the way, heart comes in mouth at blind curves and culverts.
Object of writing this travelogue is not to bring out the beauty of the place but to take you through the sudden changes that occur in weather which at times prove shot in arm for adventure seekers.
“Bombay ke fashion aur pahadon ke mausam ka koi bharosa nahi kab badal jaye”(both are unpredictable) is an usual comment of porters of Uttarakhand. But I had experienced it in “Parasol Camp” at Rakchham a few kilometers before the last destination i.e. Chitkul
It was dusk when the vehicle emerged out of the valley and approached towards neatly laid down tents in the spectacular backdrop of snow clad peaks.
This camp site was little known and obscure thus proved blessing in the disguise. One can steer clear out of crowd of tourists at this place. Off beat destinations always attracted me as they give opportunity to contemplate self in perfect co-ordination with the nature which can not be manipulated through the modern time gadgets.
Sun was bright through out the journey from Narkanda up to Sangala though it was hot and humid day without any breeze. All indication for topsy-turvy weather in the evening .Gathering clouds with lightening and thunder up in the mountains thrilled us as it was completely unexpected. There were mix feelings as heavy rains could keep us restricted in the tents but expected snow fall on the surrounding mountains could magnify the grandeur of mountains for which Himalayas are acknowledged and in later part of May it could happen only by sheer luck.
Melting snow had given rise to several small streams ultimately feeding Baspa which flows swiftly past the camp site, creating a picturesque view. Entire landscape was charming and tempting . Despite threatened by unpredictable weather no one stayed in the tents.
Clouds became thicker. Droplets alarmed the heavy weather at night. Suddenly piercing cold wave picked up, it was time to dig out warm clothing and make fire too. It is always an unmatched experience to be with family and share the feelings without any barrier but only respect for others’ views and knowledge
With night falling once more the weather defied and moon emerged painting the sky in light orange and yellow. This moment unfortunely could not be captured as the camera had no black beam support but enough rays came out of the clouds as it was full moon.
As we retired to our cozy beds with thick quilts, it started raining cats and dogs. Through out night the rains continued with gushing wind shaking tents all the time, as if it was advising us not to get in way of the nature on account pleasure, without understanding its language of love and fury.
In the morning the peaks were covered with fresh snow, clouds rolling down in the valley as if to breath before departing for the next destination.