Today we didn’t have to rush ourselves early in the morning, since it was not required of us to join the warm up session. By 9:00AM we were all done with our breakfast, packed lunch and all set for group snaps before departing for our first higher camp, “Segli Village”. The Camp leader and the Field director, briefed me of the formalities (as group leader) that I had to complete after reaching each of the higher camp. They handed over an notebook, that read “SK13” in the first page. I was told that we had to write down our reviews for each of the higher camps before checking out from them and also ask the respective camp leaders to write reviews about our group’s behavior and energy. Also getting each of my group member’s ID card attested in every camp by the respective camp leaders was my responsibility. So before we departed the Field Director, Swami sir, collected all the cards and handed them over to me.
Swami Sir gave us final instructions and put a sincere request in us to not dump garbage in the trail. He handed each one of us a cover with candies and couple of ORS packs (oral rehydration packs) .
The Parade began, led by our guide, with us walking one behind the other, cheered (YHAI has its own traditional cheer theme) by SK14 and SK15 group who had formed lines on either side, clapping and making lots of noise.
Weather forecast was bright and sunny for the whole day. The trail pretty much had no trees to provide us the much required shade. The walk was also steep, so just after having completed 3km, deep breadths were heard loud. So, our guide decided to have a short break. We stopped in a place where there were trees to shield us from the scorching sun. Most of the guys dozed off during this break.
The total distance to be covered for the day was 8 KM, which initially when I registered for trek, I was wandering as to why YHAI would only set such short distance walk for a day. But now after seeing the group, I could only think of three reasons. Firstly, YHAI encourages people from all age to participate in there events. So having an agenda which requires one to be really fit does not make sense. Secondly, it is required of us to acclimatize to the higher altitude atmosphere. The agenda for the 7 days hike was such that we had a gradient of around 2000 ft between the camps which decreased further as we ascended to higher altitude. And thirdly, why do an endurance hike in Himalayas and walk with a rush trying to cover long distance in a day ?? One has to enjoy and cherish each and every view that the Himalayan ranges and its vegetation is to present us. So, we take our own time walking. All of these only makes sense and are not to be complained about.
Not sure how the topic came up, but at one point during the walk, myself, Bargavi and few others got engaged in discussion on as to how women in some parts of world were exploited cruelly by the name of tradition and customs. I think the talk began when someone mentioned about “Stoning Soraya” movie.
By 4:00PM we had reached the Segli Village camp.The camp leader greeted us and offered us with some freshly made juice. We spent the evening admiring the beautiful landscape view in front of us.
After a satisfying dinner, we all got together for a short gathering. Bargavi scored some fans with her classical singing talent. She sang really well. Achyut and his green laser, demanded attention too. He traced some constellations and shared his astronomy knowledge with those interested. We stayed up till 10:30PM and dispersed to our tents when the weather got really cold.
This day and for the rest of the expedition, myself, Achyut, Kishan shared the tent with Vishwa, Jay, Johan, Ravindra and Vineeth. Wrapped in our sleeping bags we continued talking non-sense till 12:00PM everyday (somedays even late), and usually we laughed until someone pleaded to stop, not able to bare the pain of the stomach constricting. Crazy Talks !!