Thursday, February 16, 2017

Himalayan Diaries_9: Sirikola and Rimbhik

Day 6:
It was an early morning in Gurdhum and we had to walk around 13 km to reach Rimbhik. Previous day was a short trek of only 7 km and was wondering why we had to stay at Gurdham instead of continuing our journey to reach Rimbhik. But as 5 fingers are not the same, energy levels of all members in group was not same as well. So, walking 20 km(7+13) would not have been an easy choice and had to stay somewhere or somewhere else and Gurdham was the better choice.

Exploring the flora and Fauna:
We had to descend for almost 20 minutes to reach a jharna(waterfall) and get busy in photography :-) As i came from an area where waterfalls are un common, i was more interested in knowing about the flora and fauna over there. Shankar was saying that there is nothing on the way from Gurdham to Rimbhik. But it has so many varieties of plants that you might not have seen in previous 5 days of trek. We have seen "Japhra", a small variety of bamboo used to make "Dokho", a variety of Basket. Next to spot was "chap" whose wood is used for making tabes. Came to know about "Nashajhar" which is used as blood clotting medicine when the hands are cut. Have seen "katoosh" whose inside part is edible and localites call it "dhana". Could see lots of "Dhupi" pine which is shorter than the "tengdey" pine which we spotted in previous days. Could see Timbude village from our path, the last village to get electricity ! When ST was mentioning about that, we were so happy that finally we would be reaching a place where we can charge our cells or camera ! Could see lots of "Thotne", Amliso plants. "Amliso" is used to make "kuchso" a broom kind of thing used for cleaning the houses. Thotney is a small edible fruit. Bouke phool started to appear again in bunches and got to know that they would be consumed by cows. Could see a pink coloured flower by name "sadhu phool". Could see a flower by name "powder flower" as well which might have got its name by the colour of Ponds talcum powder bottle:-)

By this time we got into proper roads were the road widening was going on. We started seeing many houses and garden plants like Archids, Tea, Cycleman flowers. Could see Amboliso, Pippali in a while. Once we crossed the village we could see Wild straberries and the other himalayan plants mentioned before.

Lunch at Sirikola:
We reached Sirikola around 12 and that was the point of Lunch. The spikebuster brought by Harish and which i was carrieng since last few days came into use here as many friends enjoyed charging their cells/cam along with enjoying lunch. My camera woke up from sleep as well :-) After lunch and rest for a while,we continued our journey across various villages. We could see Christmas caroles as well across the way along with so many varieties of garden, local plants. Could see a war memorial built in memory of a local soldier who sacrificed his life for the country . Could also see lot of people in local attire as well as there was a marriage going on that day.

We reached Rimbhik around 4 and met the camp leader Sanjeevini from Mumbai. After putting our camera cells for charging and having tea, we went to explore Rimbhik.It is not a big place to explore and has one monastery and a small street to shop. Ganesh and Swaroop could find some porceline cups for their home. Some went out in search of Thomba (a local alcoholic drink made from Bamboo and other veggies). we did not have any plans for that night. Only plan was the validactory function around 8 that night. Swaroop and Me were planning to create a whatsapp group of all the members and Group leader Sharmaji was suggesting that we should collect some money and give to our guides NS(Norbu Sherpa) and ST(Shiva Tamang) as a a token of gratitude.

Agreed.but who would collect ? Deputy was out for the city rounds and the choice was..... ? Me !! I hesitated initially. But that would be the last chance to volunteer for anything for the group. So, i said yes. But this time i did not want any mistakes like the tea party last time :-) So, went ahead and made note of people who paid money so that nobody is missed from guys side. Ladies side would be taken care by Archana mam. Camp leader was suggesting that we can organize a DJ with the help of local
person who provides mike.But we may have to give some money to him. So, had to collect money for that as well. Dinner was grand dinner and that was the day where we could thank whoever we wanted and could give feedback to YHAI as well about what went well and what did not. Although feedback was positive about various factors like good guides, common complaint was about the base camp not being clean.I could remember Girish and Harish welcoming other people to Karnataka as well as well as saying thanks to everyone for the beautiful memories. I could remember the people calling me by the name "Parthasarathi", "Prasiddi" , "Pruthwi" when i rose to speak. First of all i had to thank YHAI and all the 41 members for being a part of such a wonderfull trek and it was the longest trek i had been so far and was the biggest group as well. Had been to a one day trek each with group of 53 people with Vismaya Pratistana and 70+ people with TCS Maitree group. But they were one day treks and was not as challenging as the current one. When i was mentioning about the names i got in the trip, many wanted to know the reason i got the name "Pranesh" and for whom i was "Pranesh". Second part was the difficult one to answer :-) There were so many memories from all of them and other memories to rejoice was the dance, Guitar by NS,ST.

Day 7:
It was the day to depart from Rimbhik and we had to get in Jeeps to reach Darjelling. There was a galatta at Dhotre and probaby its not a worthy moment to mention here. We reached Darjelling around 10:20 , thanks to the horrible driving skills of our driver who had committed to someone that he would reach Darjelling by 9:30 ! had to wait for almost 40 minutes for the last jeep to arrive and almost 15 minutes for the jeep next to us ! There was lunch as well in the base camp . But the ones who did not explore Kunga restaurant,went in search of it. We were in the wait of Mr Pintso who would take us to our trip of Sikkim.

Last words from the Himalayan Diaries:
Was knowing only 3 of my friends before i headed for Himalayas and ended up knowing 38 more people + camp leaders+"gada gada" Swami ,Tanmay ,Ramphal of the base camp. There is a sea of memories out of which i could gather a handfull of it here. There are so many of memories i would like to cherish and are not part of it here. Heartfelt thanks to all the friends who have been part of the series and those who motivated me to write so long. Hope to catch up with you guys someday and sometime.. Till then ,take care and

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