Sunday, June 16, 2013

Relishing the Challenge in the Himalayas

The Challenge: How to enjoy trekking in the Himalayas after losing track and walking in the wrong direction for 13 Kilometers.

“This is Rahul from Creativeland Asia. I would like to talk to you regarding another Cinthol Campaign. Is it the right time to talk?” Rahul spoke in his graceful voice over phone.

I looked around. It was about to rain. Me and my friend were en-route a mountain pass, 3500 meters above the sea level. We had lost our way.

“Yeah Rahul. This is a good time to talk”, said I.

Then Rahul went on with his stories. How Alive is Awesome Campaign was a huge success. Why did they choose Virat as their brand ambassador for ‘Relishing the Challenge Campaign’. I listened but could not understand a thing.

It’s not easy to concentrate when you have lost your way in the Himalayas. Especially when you realize that you have walked 13 kilometers in a wrong direction. Did I mention that we were 13000 feet above the Mean Sea Level?

We were en route Waru Pass (14000 feet) that connects Chamba to Palampur region. Both these destinations are popular tourist spots but not much is known about this mountain pass. Nobody but the shepherds use this pass. Every year scores of shepherds cross this pass during summers. Their cattle graze in the Himalayas while the shepherds play flute and talk to the mountains.

It all sounds fancy but it isn’t.

Before We Lost Our Way!

We lost our way because there were no trail marks. After walking aimlessly for 5 hours we couldn’t figure our way out. But then there is saying in the Himalayas, “When you are lost, follow the shit.” Sheep shit to be precise.

Shepherds camp at several places before settling finally at the grasslands. If you find no grasslands then follow the shit. It always leads to a better place. And this is a Golden Rule in the Himalayas.
We walked down a steep slope and spotted a Power House. It looked close but it actually wasn’t. 

And this is second rule of the Himalayas. “The mountains and the clouds always appear close. Never underestimate the distance. Never overestimate yourself.” We made the mistake of underestimating and overestimating simultaneously. We walked another 5 KM dragging our feet. Finally we camped at the Power House.

And then we were told that Power House Station was the point where from the trek actually starts. And the Power House was connected to the main road. So effectively, we had covered only 6KM after walking for more than 15KM. Soon it started raining adding more to our misery. We couldn’t complete the trek. Or rather, we couldn’t even start the trek.

When We Completely Lost It!
And then comes into picture the third rule of the Himalayas. You have to be patient with the Himalayas. These mountains have been waiting since times immemorial for someone to scale them. They can wait for another summer. We have to incorporate that quality in our lives. Relishing the Challenge of trekking in the Himalayas is an ‘Alive and Awesome’ experience. But you have got to be patient.

You have to believe in yourself. You have to believe in the Himalayas.

We couldn’t complete the trek but we visited another interesting place dating back to the Mahabharat Times. Temples submerged in the Pong Dam. These temples remain drowned underwater for more than 10 months in a year. Only for two months these temples come out.

Probably missing the trek was meant to be. The Himalayas will wait for us. The temples will soon go down. And they wouldn't be visible after a week, at the most two weeks. 

A lesson well learnt!

What We Relished!

This post is my second entry for Cinthol’s Relishing the Challenge Campaign

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