lunatechian (lunatech-ian)

one relating to, belonging to, or resembling lunatech

Hora Thatch - Day 3

I got up early at 0500 (to avoid the loo-rush :-D ). However, I got another treat (besides an empty loo) - the sight of sun rising over the Himalayan peaks. This is really a sight to behold. Luckily, there was only one other guy awake at that time and both of us enjoyed the sight without saying a word.

Our next camp was Hora Thatch. We left at around 0800 after breakfast. The climb was steep, but the scenery was beautiful. The route was through a jungle. While on our way there, we had to face some rain. It was then that I discovered that my rain sheet was too small. Luckily, one of the guys had an extra rain sheet and he loaned it to me for the entire trek.

We reached the Hora Thatch camp by 1600. I think this was the most beautiful camp - it was situated right in the midst of the jungle. The rain had started pouring just as I reached the camp and I quickly got into my tent.

After the rains subsided, the camp leader welcomed us and told us where we could find water. then he pointed to his left and said "For your nature calls, go at least 200 meters away from the camp. Don't go to the other side, as that is for the girls". So, from that point onwards, we had officially left civilization behind.

There was a canteen at the camp and the guy had a fire going beside it. It was quite cold at that altitude and all of us made a beeline for the fire. Speaking of cold, the water at that camp was freezing. It was the water which came directly from the melting ice. It was only by putting my mind over the pain was I able to wash my hand and face in that water. Most people refrained from touching the water, instead using tissue paper to clean their plates and their faces. We had dinner and I went to sleep in my tent. However, before going to sleep, I took a bottle of water and kept it with me, so that it would be easier to use it in the morning.

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the cows heard

NURSE PIGGY: Where did we get this patient from?
DR. BOB: Oh. Well, she was found with a bunch of cows.
NURSE PIGGY: Not bunch. Herd.
DR. BOB: Herd of what?
NURSE PIGGY: Herd of cows.
DR. BOB: Sure, I've heard of cows.
NURSE PIGGY: No, no, no. I mean the cows herd.
DR. BOB: I don't care if the cows heard. I haven't said anything to be
ashamed of.

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Segli - Day 3

The third day was when we started on the actual trek. We were to trek to the Segli camp,located at an height of 7,100 feet. We had an early breakfast and were handed packed lunch. A bus was to drop us off to our starting point. The bus arrived on time and we boarded it. Guess how I travelled on the bus ? By sitting on its roof :-) . If you ever feel suicidal, try travelling on a bus top in a hilly region in North India. It was frightening, but fun.

The bus dropped us off near a village and we started our trek. We had a guide with us to show us the way. However, the good people of YHAI had placed markers to guide us all along the route. THe first part of our trek was through a village, and the village was not different from any other Indian village. The guide advised us not to pluck flowers and fruits from the trees, as a previous group had gotten into some arguments with the villagers over this.

Once we crossed the village, the route became really beautiful. We were surrounded by tall trees. The sounds that we could hear was our own breathing and the sound of the birds. This part of the trek was not too stressful. When we stopped for our first break, I quickly applied sunscreen lotion to my arms and legs. People who had neglected this got a bit sunburnt. Without too much trouble, we reached our first camp of the trek - Segli.

We were given tea and soup. Then we had dinner at 1900 and then a campfire after that. After the campfire, I went to my allocated tent and promptly fell asleep.

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Base Camp - Day 2

On day 2, we again assembled for morning exercises and sending off of another group. This day was for rappelling and rock climbing. I had done rappelling earlier and I was quite excited about doing it again, the adrenaline kick is really nice :-D. We got to the place where we were to do our rappelling. We had to climb down a rock face. The instructor quickly guided us on the basics and showed us how to use the rope to get down. Some of the participants were uneasy, but eventually all of them did it.

We got back to our camp and had lunch. The next session was rock climbing. I was really looking forward to this. We had to climb a rock face which was inclined at an almost 60 degree angle. The instructor showed us how we were to find toe and hand holds in the rock. As a safety precaution, he used attached a rope around the waist of the participant who was climbing. It was simply great. 10 times more thrilling than rappelling.

We came back to the camp and had our evening tea. We packed our rucksacks and had to deposit our luggage in the cloak room. We had our rucksacks checked by Mr. Chauhan. He advised me dump all my woolen sweated (I had packed one) and just use my jacket for protection. This was good advice. He also asked me to leave my towel, as the water near the top was too cold to have a bath. So, I left my towel at the base camp itself - this did not turn out to be a good idea (also inert obvious H2G2 reference here :-) ) .

I spent that evening idling next to the river and I loved every moment of being away from Bangalore. Again, there was dinner at 7:30 and a campfire, after which we went off to sleep in our tents.

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Base Camp - Day 1

The next day (21 May) we were woken up at 5 AM with a cup of morning tea. After getting up and running off to the loo ASAP (I had lived in a hostel and I knew how bad the morning rush can get ;-) ) we assembled for the morning exercises. We were assigned a group number (SP-21). After the exercises, we assembled together to send off another group off to the higher camp.

This was the day for our acclimatization walk and orientation. The purpose of the acclimatization walk is to check if all our equipment is functional and we are not having any trouble with our shoes. We were issued a rucksack and we packed it with 2 blankets. For our walk, we had to climb a small hill next to our camp itself. On the first day itself, I realized that my regular exercising has started paying off. I did not have much trouble in climbing the hill. We also selected a group leader, group co-leader and an environment leader for our group. The role of the environment leader was to make sure no one was littering the trail.

Once we reached back at the camp, I took a shower and had lunch. The time after lunch was for orientation. The Field Director explained to us the precautions that we needed to take and the facilities made available by YHAI at the higher camps. After sitting through the orientation, we took our evening tea and I spent most of the evening by sitting near the river flowing next to our camp. We had dinner at 7:30 and campfire at 9 and then we went off to our tents.

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Base camp - Day 0

On reaching base camp (on 20th May), I registered myself at the reception and I was assigned a tent. I was sharing the tent with some 11 or 12 other people, but I did not really mind. I knew that the only time I would get back to the tent was when it was time to sleep. We were also issued a pair of blankets. I spent the first day by eating, resting and exploring the river flowing near our camp. We had dinner by 7:30 PM and then a campfire at 9. The campfire was mostly people singing/dancing/doing solo presentations etc. It was good fun. The campfire ended at around 10 PM and we went off to sleep by 10:30 PM.

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