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Published: November 11th 2008
We are back in civilization! It's hard to sum up the experience in words, but two hyphenated ones come to mind: life-changing and life-affirming.
We endured a week with no cars in sight, a tent for a home, and a bucket of water for a shower. But then again, 8 guys took very good care of us: our guide, Prithvi, who grew up in the region; a shepard and two assistants who led 6 donkeys carrying all our supplies; two cooks, who prepared hot breakfast and dinner each day, not to mention packed lunches and soup and other snacks; and for good measure, two other assistants to set up tents and bring us chai in the morning.
Our Czech friends were a great addition, always in good spirits. We couldn't have asked for better travel companions. Lucas kept Itay company as they documented the whole trip, while Mirka shared her expertise in botany. Did we mention they just started a year-long journey around the world? That's our kind of people.
The day before starting the hike, we stopped over in Haridwar, one of India's holiest hindu cities, primarily because of the Ganges river running through it. We hiked
Pit stop at Devprayag
Day 1 of the trek: plenty of scenery, if you can stomach looking out the window
to a temple high above the city, and after that took off for Rishikesh, another holy city with a decidedly more hippy vibe. Jaspreet's family recommended us to Paddy, who runs an outdoors adventure company there. He hosted us for dinner the night before our trip started.
On Day 1, we bumped along for 9 hours in a Jeep, through steep and often unpaved roads, until we reached the outpost city of Joshimath. It felt like the end of the world and we hadn't even started hiking.
Day 2 marked the start of our walk after taking the second highest cable car in the world to a height of 2,800 meters (9,000 feet). The landscaped turned from forest to clear meadow and we glimpsed the first of many Himalayan sightings.
On Day 3, Jaspreet's altitude sickness lingered, just in time for our passage through the highest point of the trek over the Kuari Pass, at 3,500 meters. Luckily, the storm clouds passed by without harm. On this day, we hiked almost completely above the tree line before descending to camp at a high altitude meadow.
Half the trip done, but plenty more to share. Stay
stop at ~3,500 meters to catch our breath and admire the panoramic view
Tot: 0.367s; Tpl: 0.028s; cc: 10; qc: 58; dbt: 0.026s; 1; m:saturn w:www (18.104.22.168); sld: 1;
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