Everyone was up and on time as we got out by 5.30 am the next day. Our driver was the same ole Mission Impossible chap! We expected we would be in Rishikesh around 5-6 pm.
En route Meenakshi asked if we wanted to take a dip in the hot springs and we unanimously said YES! The thought of a dip in hot water after all that exhaustion would do wonders.So she told the driver to take a detour towards that side and we went there.
Once we reached we had to walk all the way down, and only one thing comes to every Trekker’s mind, we have to walk all the way back up!
Near to the bathing point the path was completely blocked so we climbed over the thick iron mesh and got in! Yup anything to get a hot water Bath 😊
The ladies and men spaces were separate of course. But we three- Meenakshi, Garima and I got a shock! There was no tank but a pipe that had flowing sulphur hot spring water and the local ladies were washing clothes!! Should we or shouldn’t we??
Bah! We didn’t care anymore! Chatting with the local ladies, laughing out loud the three of us had so much fun standing under the pipe taking turns, splashing each other. What a relief it was as our bodies were getting rejuvenated under hot water. It was worth every bit of it. Tank or pipe it didn’t matter, it was the company that mattered and we had lots of fun!
After quite some time, really long time actually we peeled ourselves off from the hot springs and got ready. We felt so good.
Something amazing also happened, most unexpectedly. With crystal clear skies and full sunshine we saw Nanda Devi in her magnificence. A view we never expected after the trek is over. We stopped and looked at her in awe.
We were able to smoothly cross the road construction areas and thanks to our driver we were in Rishikesh before 1 pm! I mean seriously!! We expected to have a late evening snack or something in Rishikesh but this man got us right in front of TTH office in Tapovan by 12.40 pm.
I was praising Rajasthani Bhojanalay in old market about its food so all of us except Nikshep and Garima decided to have lunch there, Meenakshi also joined us. We kept our backpacks at TTH office, hailed shared autos, reached the place feeling very hungry.
Meenakshi and I shared a Rajasthani Thali, Dhairya and Shivam did the same. Avishek enjoyed his lunch. Yash being a Marwadi from Rajasthan was giving his highly critical opinion on the food 😁
I went back to TTH office said my goodbyes to everyone and checked into my hotel which was a walkable distance. Avishek and I would share an auto ride to the airport the next day as we both had early morning flights.
I remember switching on tv and playing Hindi songs and having chai in my balcony room. This was a good trip. I wondered if I should attend Ganga Arati at Triveni ghat this time? I always did so why not?
And in the evening just as I was getting out Avishek pinged me if I wanted to join him and others at Triveni Ghat. So I joined them, Avishek, Yash, Nikshep and Garima and we just about reached the place as the Arati was ending in 10 minutes. For Avishek it was the first time so I took him towards a space where he would get a better view.
I thanked Ganga Ma for everything she offered me every time, every journey I did in Uttarakhand in all these years were memorable.
Yash and Garima spontaneously participated in a devotional dance with groups as songs were being played. They enjoyed it thoroughly as the rest of us watched them with smiles. As for me, it was time to say goodbye, so I wished them all the best, had an early dinner and turned in early.
On a very cold windy morning at 5 am Avishek and I had a freezing cold ride all the way to the airport in an auto wondering if we got lost and if we will reach on time! The way to Dehradun airport from Rishikesh is a forest area and we had chucked our layers out with only our fleece jackets on and our faces and hands went numb with freezing cold for an hour! Plus the auto drivers confusion over which direction to take. All in on all, we reached the airport and once we went in through the security we sat together and chatted away.
I told Avishek not to give up on trekking. He had a trekker’s heart and the attitude for it, he had to work on rehabilitation from his past injury and get strong that’s it. Trekking was his escape, his time out from everything else and he shouldn’t ever give that up.
A true gentleman, he stood with me as I waited in line to board my plane and we said our goodbyes. Avishek is by far one of the nicest persons I have met in all my treks. I hoped he continued his sojourn to the Himalayas whenever he made the time for himself.
Usually I write an epilogue as my last blog after every trek, not this time though and I know that whatever I have written completes it.
What next you ask me? I don’t know but my mind and heart has opened to any trek that is available. Anything. As long as it’s nature, it’s outdoors, Hill or a mountain or plain fields, am game for it. I learned to have more patience, experienced detachment of which I practice day by day, little by little, step by step, I fail sometimes, I succeed sometimes but it is a part of my daily process.
I learned to let people be, not react immediately but to let be which is tough. I learned life is easy if you want to make it easy, just that you got to be ready to give back and give up. The choice is always yours.
Until I write again, I can only say this, don’t put off too many things into the future, it doesn’t work that way.
Enjoy the monotony of your daily lives, that cup of coffee or tea, that call or a message or a funny scene you watch, time with your friends or just sitting in silence with your partner/ parent/ spouse. Nothing will be ‘thrilling, exciting, adventurous, new’ always. Seeking something ‘new’ all the time is temporary, it won’t last. Know that you are in an enviable position to enjoy the above. ♥️♥️❄️