The past few months have been quite boring with very little action and almost no traveling. The exams added on to the lethargy and the only new excitement came from the horrendous question papers. We planned a trip to Kedarnath, Badrinath and Gangotri to get over all this boredom. Bookings and reservations were dealt with and right after my exams I boarded the New Delhi-Dehradun Shatabdi. The idea of a trek and a trip in the mountains away from the heat of Delhi was so exhilarating I could hardly sit and write the answers (DON’T TRY THIS AT HOME) and now I am wondering if I will pass or not.
Anyways, with the exams left behind my holiday finally began. We reached Haridwar at around 8.30. Tired after so many sleepless exams night I needed to refresh myself for the adventure that was about to come. And there is nothing as rejuvenating as sweet slumber. After a ten-hour long trip to the world of Hypnos and Morpheus I was all set to tour the Shivalik Ranges or Deobhumi as they are reverentially called.
We began our journey in a group of 14 in a 14-Seater Mahindra bus. Our first destination was Rampur almost 300 kilometers from Haridwar. Rampur is the most affordable human settlement for people who come on pilgrimage to Kedarnath. As the altitude increased the temperature decreased. After a long 15 hour bus journey we finally made to Rampur at around midnight. The small village was lively with small time businessmen and children. Everyone was trying to make the most of this pilgrimage season. The rooms, that are otherwise available for only Rs. 200-400, in this season cost around Rs. 1200. No matter how much you bargain it is impossible to spend a night under 1000 rupees. A bus journey on such roads can prove just as tiring as a 10 mile trek. We were all zonked out and after a light supper everyone slept like a logs. Everyone except me.
I sneaked out of my room without waking up the ‘log’ in my room and went for a stroll. I have heard there are spirits in the mountains and the cold misty night leaves no page unturned to convince you that you are amongst spirits. The cold wind whispers like ghosts. The insects chirping and the woods and leaves whistling produce an eerie atmosphere. I decided to keep my stroll short and headed back to the hotel room, where the ‘log’, my brother had entered an even deeper trance of sleep. I followed him in this trance. The next day was going to be very hectic. We had to start a 14 km trek to Kedarnath.