Day –Two (6th Aug)
Chauda Mod – Ravalikoli (3750m)
Morning of day-two in the mountains, I wake up to the sound of all the other campers already awake. I realized, I can’t keep sleeping or everyone else will think of me as the guy who sleeps a lot. As I zip open the door of the tent, I’m thrown into a trance with the view in front of me. The clouds and mist that was blocking all the mountains the previous night had gone away leaving behind some mind blowing clear skies. We could see the many snow covered peeks in front of us. My guide – Sanju, told me the tallest one was was Hanuman Tibba. The others around it were Makarbhe and Shikarbhe.
Now that the sky was clear we could figure out how high up we actually were. Right in front was the entire Manali Valley with the many streams meeting into the river.
Once you had absorbed nature, the next plan of action was to find a nice corner for yourself to perform you morning rituals (aka taking a dump). This might sound gross, but the first time is the hardest. Its not like we crap in the woods every day, now do we?
Getting cleaned up was not too easy either. A stream ran right next to our camps, all we had to do was find the courage to dip our hands in the freezing cold water and then wash our face with it. The moment those water drops touch you face all your face mussels go numb, for real. Taking a shower here not at all an option.
After a health stuffed breakfast of eggs and Bread we started out second day of trekking. Also the first set of steep climbs. Some water, dry fruits, juice and fruits find place in our backpacks and we set course…
Fifteen or twenty minutes into the trek we are all huffing a puffing to keep the climb going. But walking as group helps keep each other motivated. After trekking for a couple of hours we had crossed the tree lines. Now there was only grass and rocks till the eye can see. All we could think off was, if there are no trees, what can we use as cover while taking a shit (yeh! First world problems!)
After a while we did not need to gain altitude, and the walk was literally like talking a walk in the park. Crossing number of streams and waterfalls. One thing I realized was after a while you see so many waterfalls that they stop being special. They are just everywhere!
A peaceful five or six hour trek later we reach out camp site at Ravlakuli. The cooks and the mules had already got there before us and awaiting us was hot cups of tea. Right in front of our camp was this beautiful confluence of three streams where you just could sit for hours and be lost in your thoughts. (That’s exactly what happened!).
As night dawned on us, the lack of firewood made the cold unmanageable. But, You know what keep you warm in a cold other than sweaters and caps? – Alcohol. A bottle of rum was opened and as the bottle came to an end, so did the night.
Time to go back into that tent and wait for the morning rays to wake you up.