Sunday, 18 July 2010

Trip to The Valley of Flowers (Part 2)

So finally after the endless bus ride I ended up in Govindghat on the evening of the 13. At this point I still wasnt too sure what I was getting in to. So I was shocked to find out that this city was all ran by Sikhs. Everystore sold Sikh attires, items, trinkets etc. They all played Punjabi music. And all the pilgrims around me were Sikhs (and my were there a lot of them!) I later found out that at the top of the mountain there was another Sikh temple called Hem Kund where all the pilgrims were going. It's apparently on of the highest pilgramage hotspot at an altitude of around 4300M. Anyhow, after finishing my tour of the town, I got settled in a cheap hotel and had dinner. It was at the latest 7PM, but with nothing to do, I tried going to bed early. Unfortunately the noise and the party outside didnt stop till maybe half past midnight and started again the next day at 5 in the morning. Wost of all is that, on that night I had the chills, which was the start of the small fever that I had.

July 14
I got out at 8AM, seeing that I couldnt sleep through the noise anymore, and started my ascent to Govinddam. I didnt take any breakfast either for the fear that it might come spewing back out from my other end midway through my hike. But regardless, with/without breakfast; sick/not sick; that was probably the most painful hike I had ever done in my life. Even at midpoint I felt like collapsing from fatigue. And near the end, I just coudn't take more than 10 steps without needing to stop and catch my breath again. It was completely exhausting! But at least I met two other Sikh pilgrims that joined me for most of the way. Ohhh... I just noticed that I never described the route that I had to take:
-Its a 13 KM hike uphill
-Altitude of around 3500M
-Paths are covered of donkey shit
-Some parts paved, other are jus muddy beatten paths
-Endless zig zags up the hill
-But at least has stalls that vend refreshments.
I didnt really have a chance to enjoy the scenery much on my way up, because I had to concentrate on the road or else I would stub my toe (which I did plentiful). Also I had to avoid the donkey shit which made me want to puke a good couple of times. But by gods, when I got to the top and in to the vallley,I sure did take advantage of the view and the beautiful scenery...

More will come on Part 3

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