I woke up feeling terrible. Headache, bad cough and fever. My body was aching and though I tried my best to gear myself up for the journey, the body seemed to give up.
Bhim checked me on and said I had fever, to take a pill and take rest. I barely ate breakfast and I was feeling so bad, Julia made Delicious crepes, Egg Quiche and her own house made Caramel Sauce and I wasn’t able to eat one bit. I went back to bed feeling miserable. How was I going to make the trip today?
I faintly heard Lyat’s voice in the verandah, it was unmistakably him. I pushed myself up from the bed and went to meet him. He sounded low and sick too.
He gave company to Bhim. Lyat and Julia’s attractive musician friend Puneet also joined him. I was just feeling too sick to sit for a long time.
Finally I threw up and that’s when I felt much better. I was still weak and the after effects of the trek was showing on me.
I came out feeling light and had a soothing Lemon Ginger tea. My spirits were up and about now. It was mid morning and Bhim and I were so relaxed by now, sitting at the Verandah and looking out at the Kumaon hills and the birds chirping.
Then the 5 dogs of Innisfree joined us! I met them last year and came to know the older one passed away.
It was too blissful here and we looked at each other and wondered, should we? Should we stay back one more day? Here we were, completely relaxed, enjoying every moment with Lyat and Julia giving us company, why should we be in a hurry? I was still weak and we had a long journey ahead.
But what about Panchachaula? Well, plans are made to be squashed, ain’t it? Panchachaula was not our main destination, we wanted to explore villages on the way, so what if we don’t reach there? We could stopover at any village and stay.
As Julia came by and she saw our expression, she said STAY! Don’t go anywhere! Lyat also said, Arre Yaar, Stay back na, why do you want to rush? But we had to do this formality so we decided to flip a coin!
We couldn’t find any coins at that time (seriously!)so we decided to flip the cap of a wine bottle. And in true filmy style, when we flipped, the cap stood in the middle, neither heads or tails! We burst out laughing, this was a sign to us that we should stay. Still we went ahead flipping a coin Julia gave with both of us hoping the same thing and Yay! we could stay!
After that it was just relaxation, I slept well and would sometimes show my face on and off, I understood how Sharon must have felt with the sickness and tiredness.
I skipped lunch and slept and finally woke up to piping hot Chai. Julia made sure she kept sending herbal teas and Chais. We started talking about our onward journey.
As I mentioned, we would explore the villages, as far as we could go. We didn’t need to take inner line permits anymore, that was only if you were going to Panchachauli Base Camp.
Lyat found out from the locals that we had to first get to Pitthorgarh which would take 4+ hours from Dharanaula and then a shared taxi to Dharchula which would take another 4+ hours. Dharanaula itself was a one hour drive from Hawalbagh, so a whole day would go in travel.
So we had to leave at the latest by 8.30 am the next day if we wanted to reach Dharchula by evening. There was a Government Guest house and we would get a room there for the night.
This told us we made a right decision to stay back. With my sickness no way would I have been able to do that long journey, it would been miserable for both of us.
With that set, we enjoyed our day as Lyat and Julia gave us company intermittently. Julia made more vegetarian dishes keeping Bhim in mind, she remembered each and every detail.
It was evening and the current was going on and off. We sat in the dark at the Verandah with a lamp and chatted, we were blissed out.
Julia mentioned that last week there was no current for 48 hours. It was a normal way of life in the hills and no one complained like us city folks. It was acceptance.
We decided to leave some of our extra baggage at Arjun’s office at Kosi bridge tomorrow morning on our way to the Dharanaula taxi stand. We wanted to travel light.
But here is the hilarious thing about Bhim’s backpack, he wanted one thing and I mean one small thing and he would remove the entire contents of his backpack and most of the times what we needed most would be at the bottom of his backpack!
We had hilarious moments throughout the journey regarding his backpack. He had packed so much stuff for a journey of 9 days and here was my backpack with 18 days journey and lighter than his. After reading this am sure Bhim would go GRRRRRR 🙂
It was in all a relaxing day with wonderful people for company. We had our solitude, lovely conversations and a chance to go with the flow.
Who knew where this journey will take us from now on?