K and i being avid travelers, decided to trek to the valley of flowers in Uttaranchal. July and August are the only two months when the flowers are in full bloom through out the valley. The treks are more or less organized around this time of the year.
I was very excited about the trek and apprehensive at the same time as i had never been on a hiking trip ever!
its one thing to walk a few kilometers to the waterfalls or the nearby stream while you are on a vacation but quite another matter when you have to be walking in rugged terrain with a heavily laden back-pack for hours together.
One thing that held me back from going on these hikes or treks is the phobia for answering nature's call ...err...amidst nature...you never know what's lurking out there :P
I was relieved when i heard we would be put up in rooms there rather than pitching tents.i knew things would be alright. :) My experience of trekking being zilch,K was very encouraging and said that it wouldn't be as difficult as i thought. Easy for him, as he has scaled almost all the peaks in Karnataka and done two Himalayan treks.
In spite of having these self-doubts there was not a single time i thought of any kind of preparation for the impending trip.Another couple, Y and K who were to join us on the trek would take one day trips for practice during the weekends.
About a month before the trek i began to panic as i had no idea about my ability to sustain the trek or my stamina levels. We decide to put these to test and set out on a weekend trek to Satyamangala forests in Chamarajanagar,Mysore. Although i couldn't keep pace with the rest of the gang , i completed this trek successfully.... This boosted my confidence levels and i was all set for the Big one!
The day dawned bright and sunny...sounds too cliched isnt it? well, i wish it was like that...instead K and I were slogging on our laptops till about an hour we were to leave for the airport.
Anyway, off we went to the airport and on the way i get a call from a cousin saying that there were serial blasts happening everywhere in Bangalore and she asked me to be careful as i was headed to the airport. It was quite a shock to hear that the blasts were happening quite close to my work-place. I immediately called up colleagues at work not knowing what the intensity of the blasts were. I was relieved to know everyone was safe and much more when i heard they were all low intensity ones. I was still in a state of shock as to how someone could do this to my beloved Bangalore... such things only happen in other cities and you get to see these things on the television!
After an uneventful flight ,we landed in Delhi at around 9:30 pm and immediately set out for the Silk Board guest house near IIT. I had conjured up visions of homely comfort when Y had booked the guest house. Alas, that was not the case to be.On being show into our rooms, my heart sank.The paint was peeling, the furniture looked old and dusty. The bathroom was dingier. We had no intention of hanging out in the guest house except to sleep in the night so we decided to stay put.
The first day in Delhi was spent indulging in one of my favorite activities - shopping!This was mainly because both K and i had visited the usual tourists places in Delhi before,so we decided to skip them.
We still had two days before we would set off to Haridwar where our trek would start. The next day we headed to nearby Mathura and Agra. Here are some pics!
A pic of the Agra Fort. I must say the fort has been very accuratley re-created for the movie Jodha-Akbar.
The famous monument of love, Taj Mahal. We did what most tourists do when visiting the Taj.
Get a pic of the two of us sitting on the stone bench in front of the Taj :D
The last day in Delhi before we took off on the trek, we didnot have anything planned as we had a train to catch to Haridwar in the evening .So decided to watch a movie.The nearest mall had "Singh is Kinng" playing.Oh what a mistake it was ! Most parts of the movie had the rest of the crowd in splits and the few genuine jokes didnt get a reaction from them. It only left us wondering about the intelligence of the Delhi audience!