VALLEY OF FLOWERS
Finally i was on my way for much awaited, much hyped hike to valley of flowers. We were 5 in the group, in that myself and an army man were reasonably fit to hike all the way and rest were fit to do the trek with complete help of mules.
Day1: Drive to to last road head Govind ghat was eventful, we were stopped by a landslide near pepal koti. We were watching the clearing of the road from a distance and and after lot of discussions we finally decided to cross the road block by foot and instructed the driver to see us later in joshimath. The total stretch we had to cross was about 15 mts. we had just done 3 mts we heard the rumbling of rocks on top and loud noise started to increase and we quickly guided our heals back to safety and were shocked to see the boulder came down was as big as truck and we were thanking our luck, we spent that night safely in pepalkoti.
Day2: Roads we not opened till 10am and to our destiny we have to cross the land slide area by foot and took private taxi and headed to joshimath and we instructed our drive to come slowly and stay back at govind ghat.We reached Govind Ghat by 1p.m we finished lunch and started to hike towards Ganghari and it was nice uphill trek and it had nice view of Govindghat as we climbed and beautiful waterfall on the right side. Hike was not very strenuous and we did not stop en route much because we had started land and wanted be to at gangaria before dark. As we kept going climb was more or less flat and we hiked all the way along river puspavati. At about 4.30 we stopped to wash our face and i tired my new gadget canon 450d to capture water flow in slow sped by mounting digislr on tripod. We had tea at about 5 pm in small island created by river puspavati 1km before gangaria. We reached Ghangaria by 6 pm and army accommodation was more than comfortable for hike of this height.
Day4: Today we took the gamble to going to valley of flowers and hoped the weather would be good. Once we left the village the trail was just beautiful and was just full of flowers and it was living up to its expectations of being valley of flowers. I was just taking too much of time in taking lot of time in taking pictures and trying different compositions. Hike was not at all tough and we were cruising and i was just loving the complete misty-cloudy feeling and chill in the air. After about an hour we got a descent and lead us to a bride over a gorge, under which the glacier water was in its full flow. Then we got into even thicker canopy of tress on the uphill and found some nice mushrooms and trail lead us to a opening, it was not so un assuming place and a gentle walk for another 15 minute we were in real valley of flowers. It was just awesome, weather was just too good and cloud cover was just fading away and good sun shine and great time for good pictures. We hiked into the valley for about 1 hour and settled to had grub and by 2 pm started to descend back. It was an amazing experience coming out of the valley and cloud covering all the peaks again and by the time we were close to start of our trek it started to rain but not so heavily. Then near the check-point/entry point of valley of flower we saw one baba in small tent/cave. He made us some tea and we are surprised to see him making good milk tea at that height and the milk was tetra packed one and must be really expensive. But gave our little donation and head back to our luxurious army accommodation.
Day 5: Today weather was not as pretty as yesterday but out sprits were high. Today trek was real sucker and hard. We started by 8 am and by 9 we had gained some good height and it stared to rain. We stopped for tea and breakfast. Then the climb got harder and harder. We were going from 12k to 14k and we were taking heavy breath understandably. It was more tough because i was taking pictures, every time i find a good flower i stop bend set the tripod and take pictures. Most of the times i was feeling i will take these pictures when i am coming down but made up my mind i may not get this weather then and the same happened. By 12 pm i was on top completly exhausted and i was in no position to see the lake - Himkun sahib. It was also misty and the after tea in my stamoch and some time elapsed, things started to clear and i was shell shocked to see lake and here i was just speeach less. If thought this was ultimate, best was yet to come. I saw old sardar's taking a holy dip in the lake. I too tried and after the first dip i did not know what was happening and i completed 3 dips and do not know how i cam out from the lake. It took 20 minutes to come to my senses of feeling my body. I was completly frozen! Then afte some time we had nice hot and sweet halwa and explored small hilloks aroud the lake and i was takeing pictures left right and center. Then at aroudn 1.30 we stared our desednt to gangaria and everystep was just fun because you feel better and better when you on desedn in hight altituede because your body gets more oxygen. By 4.30 we were in gagaria and had half a dozen gulab jamoos to sign off my trek part for the day and camped back in army accomodation. Today was on the most staisfing days of my treking days. It was hard on boday and awsome for eyes and beauty was taking us beyond mind. Pictures were good because it had rained in the morning and there was nice glossy sheen on the plants. By 11 am we were back in Govind Ghat. That was the end of my Valley Of Flowere-Himkund Shaib Tour.
Day6- At around 7 am we started to desend and it was like nice sprint and had goodfun, on the way i interaced with some japanese trekers took some good long breaks on the way. Some of the best pictures i have got in this trip was on this day.