Trek To Nagtibba
The shrieking sound of train woke me up and I realized that I have reached Dehradun. I mean I just boarded the train and I have reached already ? Nevertheless I got up and made my way out of the station. In no time I got a call from GIO adventure informing that one of their representatives were waiting to pick me up. I met Mr. Ravi (guide) and the driver Mr. Bunty who were going to be with me for the rest of the trek. We were waiting for another member and soon Vindhya (from Hyderabad) joined us and we made our way to pick two more members for the trek. We then picked up Mr. Om and Mr Ashish (both from Mumbai) from their hotel and the group was now complete. The next destination was Pantwari village, which was the starting point of the trek.
After a drive of approximately 3 hours, we reached Pantwari village. By that time the sun was straight over our head blazing ferociously. It wasn’t really the most appropriate time to start the trek but like we had an option. GIO guys had already arranged our lunch and we hogged over it as we were really hungry. We started our trek at around 2 PM. The destination was Khatiyan which was our base camp as well. Initially the trek wasn’t very arduous but the strong sun did take a lot of toll on all of us.
We trekked though the mountains and every now and then I stopped to admire their unbeatable beauty. We trekked on the trails nestled with Oak and Deodar trees. As we trekked up we started seeing few Rhododendron trees as well. We stopped many times in between for water, blame the sun.
Khatiyan, the base camp was located approximately at 2300 meters ( 7545 ft approx.) from the sea level. We covered this height in 5 kilometers so you can imagine the steepness of the trail. I would still say, had the sun not been so harsh it would have been an easy one for us. By the time we reached the base camp we all were dead tired. The camps were already installed and the GIO guys were waiting for us with sumptuous pakoras and tea. After catching some breath when I looked around all I could see was mountains on one side and thick green forest on the other.
We were busy talking and discussing how we performed on the day one and suddenly the guide points towards the sun and it was a beautiful sunset there. Cool breeze in my hair, a cup of hot steaming tea in my hand and a visual treat of crimson colored sun going down bit by bit for my eyes, I couldn’t have asked for a better end for the day. It was getting cold and windy. After enjoying the lovely sunset we went inside the jungle to collect firewood for the bonfire. While our guide lit up the born fire we were served hot soup to tackle the cold. We then played stupid games and sang old songs, mostly of Kishore Kumar.
Our guide already informed us about the early start of the next day. Complying to that we had an early dinner and we all retired for the day. I had never slept in a sleeping bag inside a camp and I was so excited to do that. Snuggled in the cozy sleeping bag I dozed off in no time. So that was all about the Day 1 of the trek.