Thursday, August 11, 2005

Chefna to Ghuni

We woke up at around 6 am and went for a walk near the river. Wanted to click some early morning photographs of the mountains around us. Disaster struck; as soon as Sandeep clicked the first photo using the Sony DigiCam, we heard some kind of a “bang” from within the camera and saw smoke coming out of it. I thought “gaye beta”, no photographs possible now. However, we went about clicking anyways hoping they come out all right. There was no way to check except after getting back home and fortunately as you can see, the photos have come out all right.
Sandeep started climbing a hill around there and I followed. This was a tricky climb and I kept on urging him to come back. However, he kept on and at a point I could see that he was stuck. Neither could go up nor could come down. I got totally scared but still followed. After a point he just went up and disappeared. I got stuck myself and started shouting for help. Fortunately there was an early morning riser returning to the village and he came to my help. THIS WAS IT. I got really mad at Sandeep and had a straight talk with him. From now on he was to do exactly as I say and no mucking around in the mountains. The guy nodded sheepishly.

After finishing our breakfast, at around 9 am we began the first day of our trek. The destination was “Ghuni”, a quaint little village we were to camp at later in the day. The climb, though moderately steep, was a little bit of challenge. When we took our first break after walking for about 2 hrs, we saw the peak of Nanda Ghunti. We passed “Lower Ghuni” just before lunch and were surprised to find very few people in the village.

We met Badri, our head porter and mules man at his house here. He served cucumber freshly picked from his small vegetable garden. Also met his eighty-year-old mother who after some cajoling posed for the camera.

After lunch, we passed through upper Ghuni at a height of about 2600 mts. Upper Ghuni is more developed than lower Ghuni.

There’s a school too in the village and our camp was on the other side of the school. We reached the camp at around 1.30pm. So the first day was quite easy for us. Both Sandeep and I thought there should have been more. Till the evening the school children visited our tents and made a lot of noise. As the evening progressed, it started getting colder. We talked with Arvind for sometime as he told stories about his older trekking stories. After dinner we went to our tent at around 8.30pm and slept or rather tried to sleep.


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