Thursday, 29 July 2010

Trip to Valley of Flowers (Part 4)

According to the lonely Planet, which has become the bible for many of us in India (me included), there are approximately 300 different species of flowers that can be found in the Valley of Flowers. So after having climbed up another 4 even more dangerous km of rocky mountain paths, over the last 13 km climbed yesterday; I expected to see some magical scenery or some sort. But if India has taught me anything; its that I should never have high hopes, because I would most likely be deceived and disappointed. So going back a bit, past the ticket booth check point of last blog, I had to walk another 3 dangerous km up before actually entering the valley. Because it was uphill it took me sometime. But this allowed for the skies to clear up. From a distance I was able to see the valley. It looked magnificent. It was a vast field of green (the largest I have seen in India up to then) surrounded by towering gray mountains with threads of waterfall flowing down their surfaces and then across the valley. Filled with awe, I expected this feeling to continue as I pass through the valley expecting to see exotic flowers of all shapes and sizes. So at the beginning of the valley there was a map showing the paths to take. There were no distances marked down (Distances were only marked on stones along the paths) so I simply decided to walk the longest route, to increase my chances of encountering these wondrous flowers. On the first km or so I wasn't too surprised to be only seeing the same few flowers that I have seen since my entrance of the Valley of flowers, past the ticket booth. So I kept walking. 2 km later; nothing much. 3 km later; some bushy vegetation... but nothing much. I finally came to a stop near the 4 km mark. Over the last few km that I have walked since I have entered the valley, I have been only seeing the same 20-30 different species of flowers over and over again. Out of those ones, there was only one flower that I found quite exotic and interesting, the others were quite generic. The valley itself was breath taking, don't get me wrong, but it just didnt match up to descriptions that I have been hearing and reading about. There just wasn't enough flowers to see.
So having spent around 2 hours in the valley I finally came back out. With another 4 hours or so I got back down to Govindghat. Got myself a better room for the night to make sure that my cold would go away and got on the first bus next morning back to Rishikesh.

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