Day 2 — Middle Of Nowhere — Chhatru — Middle of Nowhere
As the title suggests, we rested near a stupa in the middle of nowhere. If I’m not wrong, it was 8.5Km away from Chhatru. We had a simple breakfast consisting of toast and omelette, with some Kaya and Peanut Butter, with compliments from Raymond! We have to remember to bring food for the next trip. It does lift your spirits!
Eggs, Toast, Kaya. Simple but delicious breakfast!
We packed up our tents and departed at 0900 hours. It was pretty much the same scenery all the way. Peaks on the right. Lots of snow. A rock face on your left. Some 8.5Km later, we saw a bridge that was constructed by the British when they colonised India. It was about 1200 hours at this time and we stopped for a lunch break.
A picture with the flag on the way to Chhatru
A bridge built by the British
Looks like a scene out from Indiana Jones doesn’t it?
My backpack with a waterfall in the background
A really tiny settlement
We continued our journey after lunch. It was about 16Km to Chhota Dara. We weren’t going to make it by today, but we will try and cover as much distance as we can. This time, we were walking on the other side of the valley and we were all very happy with it. Here’s the reason for our joy: South Facing slopes have a lot less snow if you are in the Northern Hemisphere. This is because the Earth is tilted and thus the South Facing slopes get more sun in the Northern Hemisphere. The converse is true if you are in the Southern Hemisphere. Most of the snow had melted and the walk was pretty much a breeze while we were on the South Facing slope.
South Facing slope on the left, North Facing slope on the right
Along the way, we saw streams of water on our left. We observed the streams and realised that it wasn’t a continuous stream that flowed from the top. The water actually came out of the ground! Now that’s interesting. It’s natural spring water! We took a sip from it to test it out first and it was really clean. There were no particles at all. Natural water at it’s best. We took a few gulps of water from this spring and then filled our water bottles.
Natural spring water gushing out from the ground. How refreshing!
We continued on the road until we saw lots of snow in front of us. Could it be a landslide in the winter season? Our guide wasn’t so sure and we took a detour. This detour took us through a farm and there were people tilling the soil, preparing to grow crops when summer arrived. After passing them, we were the only people that far into the valley. Similar to yesterday, the weather turned bad at about 1700 hours. We stopped at a nice clearing of soil and set up camp for night.
Camp site in the middle of nowhere
I took a walk to the nearby stream to wash up and clean some of my gear. I looked up and to my surprise, I saw some animals! It was a herd of Alpine Ibex! They were quite far away and I couldn’t get a good photo of them. It was evident that we are the only humans around. It is normally hard to spot wild animals.
A herd of Alpine Ibex far away at the base of the cliff
Tomato soup and Papad
A standard mountain meal
After dinner, I took out my Kindle and was happily reading a book, until a giant mosquito flew in and annoyed me. I spent a long time trying to chase it out with my light, as it was attracted to it. I quickly zipped the tent after chasing it out. I continued reading, only to realise that there was another mosquito in the tent. I couldn’t be bothered with it and this time, I decided to leave it alone and sleep. I hope the weather will be better tomorrow.
Giant male mosquito annoying me in my tent