In the morning the weather was clear and we got excellent views of Mt Trishul and Nanada Ghunti towards the east and Chaukhamba and Mt Neelkanth towards the north east. The morning was very beautiful and I was feeling very fit and fresh. There is a small temple near the campsite where we made a small prayer and started for the day at around 7 AM. Our destination for today was Baghubasa ( abode of the Bagh – or tiger ).
There was a small climb from the campsite towards the well marked trail via the Bedni Kund. The initial climb to catch the trail was good but after that it was a gradual walk on the trail. I really liked the terrain because on the left side the huge Nanda Ghunti was clearly visible and on the right side was the Trishul massif.
We were gaining height gradually. It took us close to 2hr to reach a place called Ghoda Lotani. From Ghoda Lotani the trail goes towards the base of Kalu Vinayak via the campsite of Pathar Nachoni. The top of Kalu Vinayak was visible but it looked too far and too high. On the way Mahendar also pointed out to the village of Tatada on the left side, down in the valley and said, that is where we would be headed to during the last part of this trek. On the right side, he said the bugiyal was called Kurmtoli. By the time we reached Ghoda Lotani, Manoj was not looking in good condition. After Ghoda Lotani, it was a gradual descent till Pathar Nachoni. Pathar Nachoni is also a good camp site but because water is not easily available, most of the trekkers go towards Bhagubasa. There is indeed no visible water point between Bedni and Bhagubasa. We took another hour to reach Pathar Nachoni. Manoj ‘s condition was getting bad now. We thought if he would rest for some time, he would feel better. Sandeep had decided that he would wait with Manoj and all of us should go ahead till Kalu Vinayak. I had never liked the idea of going ahead but Sandeep insisted and I had to go.
The climb to Kalu Vinayak was really steep. On the way to Kalu Vinayak, I was thinking if Manoj wouldn’t feel good by tomorrow then he could rest at Bhagubasa. Sandeep and I would go till Roopkund and then would return with him.
As soon as I reached Kalu Vinayak, I was awestruck by the views from the top.
The Lord Ganesha temple was small but indeed very beautiful. I bowed to the idol in the temple and clicked some photos there. After that I was waiting for some news from Sandeep and Manoj. I could not even see them down below. Meanwhile I met another trekker Arti at the Kalu Vinayak shrine. Her husband had gone ahead till Roopkund and she was waiting for him. They had both started from Pathar Nachoni in the morning, but she couldn't go ahead because of a bad knee. It was good speaking to a fellow female trekker.
After sometime, I saw Sandeep coming up to the top - alone. He came to the top and informed all of us that Manoj had decided to go back due to ill health. This was indeed very disappointing. I thought Manoj should have come till Bhagubasa at least.
We all took some rest at Kalu Vinayak. The views kept stopping us from moving ahead. They were enchanting – it was more than 180 degree view of those majestic mountains. In the meanwhile Arti’s husband also came back from Roopkund. We spoke him and got firsthand information about Roopkund. We said good bye to Arti and her husband and started for Baghubasa (~14000 feet). From Kalu Vinayak, it was nice and easy walk on the marked trail till Baghubasa where we reached at about 1 in the afternoon. We had left the green bugyals and beautiful green campsites far behind and were at respectable altitudes now. We could feel the slight change in the oxygen levels as well. The campsite at Bhagubasa was extremely windy. We decided to pitch our tents within the stone enclosures here.
Rajeev was feeling little tired so he decided to take some rest inside the camp. Ajay and Sandeep were chatting for most of the afternoon. We were also waiting for Hira Singh who had gone back with Manoj till Bedni Bugyal. Hira singh came back at around 3:30 in the afternoon. He informed us that Manoj was much better after reaching Bedni Bugiyal. All of us were relieved to hear this, but we still missed him.
There was another group of about four guys who had camped at Bhagubasa with us. Only one of them had decided to go till Roopkund. Later in the evening, all the members of other group and the porters were singing songs and that was really a good entertaining evening.
We decided to get back to the tents and go to sleep a little earlier. The next day was going to be long day for us.