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Published: November 10th 2017
Geo: 30.9959, 78.9432
Okay so one of the things we as dedicated Hindus are supposed to do in our lifetimes (we have not converted but we are outnumbered so might as well adopt their beliefs) is to hike to the source of the Gangees. The ganges being the holiest river in India and reportedly the source of all life. The Rumor has it that if you bathe at the source of the Ganges, then meditate Shiva will come and enlightenment will follow. Hmm sounds like a plan. So we drive to Gangatori and camp in a carpark construction site. The night guard seemed quite happy to have us and told us we were the first ever to park in the carpark.
The next morning after shaking the ice off our tent fly so we could pack it up we loaded up our big backpacks with food, sleeping bags, thermal underware and headed up hill. Now it is probably prudent here to mention that Gangatori is located at 3300m above sea level and the source of the Ganges is only 18 kms further uphill at the base of a glacier. The hike is supposedly tow or three days and there are some pilgrim rest
stops at a small village 4kms from the top. The first half day went pretty well, then Darren and I started to slow up a bit. By this time we were approaching 3600 metres, carrying 20 kg packs, oxygen getting thinner and it was obvious we were not as fit as we were. This is difficult to understand given we have just sat around in the car yanking on the steerring wheel for the last four months. Anyway long story short the Germans, (aged early 30's) dragged us kicking and spitting up to the village to stop for the night. Darren and I were both pretty sore, (include feet muscles and ego).
Wee slept overnight in an ashram, the four of us like soldiers on the floor of our private room, slept watching the ice form on the underside of the galvanised iron roof above us. Yep it was cold. The following morning we all bounced out of bed, well almost given we had slept on the floor and it did little to relieve oure tired muscles, and headed further uphill.
Long story short, we did make it. We watched a couple of Itallian tourists, crack the ice
It is not every day you get a cuppa at the source of all life.
off the top of the stream and lay in to bathe. They emerged shortly after shivering profusely. Hmm plan B we just washed our feet and hands and that was painful enough. We sat for a cup of tea, tied an Aussie road flag only the top of the small temple and headed back down the track to Gangtori.
Now for those of you who have done any Trekking lately, you might recall the second day is the worst. Darren and I can only describe the experience as horrendous. Thank God, Shiva or whom ever that Gravity still works despite lack of oxygen as this is probably the only thing that got us down the hill again.
Buy the time we got off the Glacier and back into town it was almost dark. We stopped in one of those road side restaurants, the power was off as always but the sweet old guy running the place took pity on us and prepared a meal for us. After eating we only needed to get up off the wooden bench seats and stagger the 200metres or so back up to the carpark camp for sleeping. One small matter of squatting to pee and
a roof top tent ladder provided a few challenges but fortunately we did manage to groan into bed.
The only downside of a wonderful trekking experience was we are not yet enlightened.
The following morning can only be described as post trekking trauma. Neither Darren or I could move, the ladder was seriously life threatening to descend. It is probably worth mentioning that we have not showered for some time and you always feel better after a shower so we decided to make a bee line for some thermal springs flowing with holy water some 50kms down the road.
Well Gangnani thermal springs turned out to be a winner. The public bathing pools were so hot it was impossible to get in but dunking one leg at time for a short period allowed the muscles to relax somewhat. There was then a public showering area which is exactly what the doctor ordered for four very smelly foreigners.
Tot: 0.46s; Tpl: 0.027s; cc: 15; qc: 28; dbt: 0.0153s; 1; m:saturn w:www (126.96.36.199); sld: 2;
; mem: 1.3mb