Writer name : pavitra saparia
This has been an experience of crossing my limits, exploring the surreal and satisfying the soul. Let me share my experience of my whole journey with Youthcamping.
Day 1: I woke up, it was 28th June’19. I got ready, all set to go for an adventure I had never done something of the kind before in my life. We departed at 11.20 am from Kalupur station. It started raining when we left, there were new faces all of them except one. so I was a little nervous and of course excited. We had a little chat with each other, we got to know each other’s names and a little more. All of us were very excited about this journey. We talked for like hours and hours. this was my second-longest journey till date. The whole day we talked and got to know deeper about each other. We even played cards and it was an end of the day, we all slept at night.
Day 2: As it was a long journey we had to be on the train till 4.30 pm. Long tiring journey until we reached Pathankot. There’s something with this place, a different vibe. Maybe because most of the families there are in defense forces and that shows how courageous people are there.
As soon as we got out of the train we moved towards the hotel just behind the railway station named Stay well. We checked in and got fresh then we went to drink lassi at the place nearby. Punjab Di Lassi is very famous, if you have a visit then you must have it once. After that, we headed toward Manali in a car. It was a night journey, all of us were enjoying and having fun then eventually one by one all went to sleep except me and the drive beside me. I was accompanying him while he was driving, we stop by because the driver wanted to have tea as he was feeling sleepy. I stepped outside the car and looked around then suddenly I looked at the sky. I didn’t want to believe that what I was looking at was real! But it was, the sky full of stars, not just a few but millions of them were visible by my naked eyes. My eyes got teary while gazing at that sky, it convinced my heart to stay there and my eyes gazing that beauty forever!
Day 3: Early morning we reached our campsite in Kullu near Manali. Fresh air, cold flowing water, so many trees, and colorful houses, all full of life. We crossed the bridge and walked a bit more there was our campsite, clean and peaceful.
instructor allotted tents to everyone, we took shower and had our breakfast.
Then we went for a short trek at Jogini falls, it was warm-up for the next longer and tougher trek the next day. Two of the participants faced little problem but all of us motivated them to climb. They did it, everyone was beside Jogini falls and the view was surreal it reminded me of the Bahubali scene.
Then some of us went inside the tributary to get wet. The water was unbelievably cold as it was directly coming from a melting glacier. We were able to see small rainbows in front of our eyes it was unbelievable yet amazing. The water was so freezing that if we stand still for even a minute our legs get frozen from inside out. Then after all this fun, we went back to the campsite wherein nearby there was a tributary we went for activity, we did river crossing and gliding. Gopalbhai and Golubhai created the setup, as they were localities they were very comfortable jumping here and there and doing stuff. After completing that we went back to our campsite had our dinner and slept.
Day 4: We woke up took shower, had our breakfast and then headed for Gulaba pass from where our main trek was going to begin. one of us was going to climb on a horse, There were mountains covered with snow around us and horses, and trees just like we were filming a scene for a movie!
we started climbing and after half of the trek I was miserable because of my baggage, I was feeling that I’ll no longer be able to make till the advance base camp. But others around me encouraged me I had to take one tablet and Eno. Then after some time, I was full of energy and without looking back just continuously moved forward. Others except me were also feeling painful but all of us made it! And whatever I was thinking in my mind and pushed myself to reach the advanced base camp was true. The view was magical I had never seen anything like that ever before in my life, like the gateway of HEAVEN. My heart was full of gratitude and happiness. Then some of us had dinner and others went to sleep it was cold outside, almost -5°C temperature was there.
Day 5: This was a day where we were going to complete our final expedition. Body was paining and temperature was low, till last night I wasn’t willing to trek up till Bhrigu but in the morning I reminded myself that if I don’t go there then in this whole journey there would be one regret of not compeleting the expedition. My friend told me to come and I was all good to go he inspired me. We started our trek there was snow all around us and we were walking in the snow.
The grip of my shoes was worst and so I was slipping over and over. After some time I lost hope to climb and told that I wouldn’t be able to go ahead. But after some rest I decided that no matter what happens I will not think about falling or lighter air all I will focus is climbing till Bhrigu. I pushed myself afterward and started walking as I was not willing to demoralize others. Suddenly I started to enjoy and it was no longer tough for me.
We took 3-4 halts in between and after struggling and slipping and laughing we finally reached Bhrigu Lake. I haven’t seen such beauty with my naked eyes in my life, the lake was in between the snow little downwards and had little water and ice both.Bhrigu Lake is a holy place where once in a year saints perform a ritual where the statue of God is marched all over tho Bhrigu and then purify within that water.
We spent some time there and then headed back towards our advance base camp. We slide down in the snow and it was fun
There was another group of people who helped us when we were facing difficulty which was very humble. Finally, we reached a campsite where our friends who didn’t come were waiting for us. We told them about our experience and they were happy then I went to sleep. At night I came out gazed at the sky and there were goosebumps all over my body and my eyes got teary. I was phenomenal to see a sky like that, it was looking as it was painted with an imagination full of mystery and a lot of things to say, I was in heaven. As it was cold outside and everyone was sleeping I went back to my tent and slept again.
Day 6: we packed our bags and headed back to our base campsite again. The atmosphere was foggy, there were clouds all around us and it was a bit difficult for us to find a way not that difficult though. It reminded me of fairyland clouds, horses, trees and mountains.
We reached the base campsite around 4 pm, took a shower and got ready for river rafting. I didn’t go for rafting because already I had been getting wet every day with cold water, it was fun seeing my friends enjoying it. Then we came back to the campsite had dinner, lighted bonfire and shared each other’s stories laughed a lot at midnight we went to sleep.
Day 7: At 6 am we went for paragliding, some were nervous and some were confident. First, the girls went for paragliding, we reached at top of the mountain in the car. The roads out there are dangerous only locals can drive there. I saw others climbing and then flying in the air then I went at that time I was nervous but the guide who was with me told me to stay cool and breathe deeply. After a moment I was normal then we ran and suddenly I was in the air flying freely like a bird! It was one of the best moments in my life I’ll never forget. The guide asked me whether to do some stunts or not? I said definitely yes as there are times in life that comes with a condition now or never! It is important to live every moment and this was a time I was living it.
I stayed 8 minutes in the air and the exchanged the video from his GoPro camera to my phone.
We then came back to the campsite and that day we were free in Manali, so we went shopping and to old Manali.
There are fabulous café’s in old Manali, so different and peaceful. We had our lunch there and rested for some time while chit-chatting.
Then we went back to Basecamp and packed our bags as it was our last day in Manali then we headed towerds Amritsar Punjab. We sat in the car and started our journey towards Pathankot.
Day 8: We got ready at hotel and headed towards Golden Temple Amritsar. As I said before the vibe when you’re in Punjab is very different. We reached after 2 hours to the golden temple there we first visited Jaliawala Baugh, everybody knows it’s history. Then we entered Golden Temple which was just beside Jaliawala Baugh.
There was a symbol of Sikhism and there was a lake whose water is considered holy as it was in the middle of the temple. People cleanse themselves before they go to pray. It is a rule there that everyone’s head must be covered when in the temple, we had our prasad there it was Shira. After a long time, I stayed inside any temple for that much time. The temple is always clean. Then after we had our lunch I loved the kulcha they make, very delicious. We headed towards Wagga Border to watch the parade. We reached there before 2 hours of commencement of ceremony because there are thousands of people coming to watch this every day so it was necessary to reach that early.
Then one BSF Jawan started anchoring, he was so charming. His voice his attitude his personality and his uniform made my heart warm
I wanted to have a selfie with him but unfortunately I wasn’t able to get one.
Then the ceremony started some of us were dancing and then the actual parade started the gate which was separating India and Pakistan opened. The first time in my life I saw a glimpse of Pakistan, since childhood I wanted to tell people that don’t fight unnecessarily but it is not how things work I understood when I grew up. The aggression and enthusiasm of our India Army were giving me goosebumps.
From both sides, the army was shaking hands one by one, Then we headed back to Pathankot and in between, we had our dinner.
Day 9: We woke up and the day was full of rush. We had our train at 10.45am, we reached a station around 10.30 am and got into our berth. Nobody wanted to go back to their normal routine life but life doesn’t work that way as we all know. There were lots of memories down the lane we had and new friends we made. That day we sat and had our last fun at night all slept well and I was still awake, the memories of the best trip in my life were flashing in my mind. I was missing my friends very much that day.
Day 10: Journey came to an end and we were in Ahmedabad around 3 pm. With lots of memories to remember throughout life, this was an unforgettable experience and more than that.
I want to go back there again with youthcamping with all of my friends. I seek the language that nature tells me in a way no person can and that is what makes my soul satisfied. I am looking forward to exploring the inside me to the fullest which can happen when best people are there around.