Today our destination of was one of the India’s remotest villages called “Bara Bhangal”. I was very happy because I would be able to see some civilization after 6 days. We started from our campsite early at 8.15am. Rinku helped us to cross another small stream.
Today’s trail was going to be little easy, that’s what Rinku said. First we have to ascend for about couple of hours and then descend down till we reach the village.
While ascending we met the same South African couple whom we had met with at the Kaliheni base camp. Yesterday they had camped at a little higher altitude then us. After chatting with them for sometime, we started again. On the way, whenever we looked towards, the Thamsar Pass, weather was looking bad near the pass. Keeping our figures crossed, we were making good progress. After sometime, we saw fresh pug marks of the famed “Himalayan Black Bear”. This was very scary. It seemed, a bear had just crossed our path. We also saw a red fox running across the mountains.
And it was then, that disaster struck. It started snowing. It started of as a light fall with a few flakes falling in the path. This changed into a heavy snow fall and we were not even at a very high altitude. We put on our raincoats. If this had been any other day, we would have enjoyed this weather, but not today. Everybody was thinking if it snowing at this altitude, what would the weather be at the “Thamsar Pass”. I was so scared that I didn’t even allow Sandeep to take any pictures. We just kept walking towards the village in silence.
As we were descending down, the whole trail became muddy. In the mean time the other group also joined. The faces our horse man Prem and Rinku were telling the complete story. Rinku also proposed an alternative plan. He told the other group’s guide that if the weather stays bad till tomorrow, then lets go together from “Bara Bhangal” village. This way, he said, it will be safe if we all are together.
Fortunately the snow fall stopped after couple of hours. We also got the first glimpse of Bara Bhangal village.
There was a small primary school and next to it a small helipad, where children were playing. Rinku told when he last visited Bara Bhangal during the trek, on the same day one of the Himachal ministers’ was there to inaugurate the electricity in the village.
We reached our campsite at 2.30 PM. It was a good Campsite on the bank of river Ravi.
The river itself originates from one of the glaciers above the Bara Bhangal village. We camped on the school grounds.
The weather also became clear and I could feel the warmth of sun. Sandeep and I went near the river to clean up. By the time we came back, Rinku prepared the “Pakora’s” and Hot Tea.
Kaushal and Prem decided to go to the village to bring some food for horses. Sandeep and I also went with them. But from the half way we decided to come back as we were feeling very tired and wanted to take some rest.
We came to our tent and took some rest. I was getting worried too much but Sandeep told me one good thing. He said “let’s not worry about those things which are not in our hand and take things as they come”. I totally agreed.
After sometime when Kaushal and Prem came back, Rinku served the dinner. Today, he prepared “Rajma-Chawal”. I think Rajma-Chawal is the staple diet of all Himachalis. Bara Bhangal is famous for its rajma fields. Rinku and Prem both bought the Bhangali Rajma from the village.
While having dinner, we all decided that lets wait for tomorrow morning and see how weather is and depending on that we will decide what is going to be our plan. If the weather was good, we had decided to stay at the village for another day.
We came back to our tent and tried to sleep.