(I thoroughly enjoyed writing this series of posts on Stok Kangri expedition. Gave me an opportunity to reminisce those happy moments)
(continued from) The long walk back to the camp ended at around 2:30pm and the hot noodles I was served with helped replenish some energy that was enough to narrate our failed summit attempt to guys in the camp. Apparently Madhuri, Lucky and Manasa whom I and Achyut had last met at around 3:00AM in the morning, din’t last long after Manasa panicked not able to take the cold and the extreme conditions. They had to make an early return to the camp. And they had their own crazy story to narrate to us. It was quite dramatic. But then that being said, what is to a memorable expedition without stories to tell…this one was ours 🙂
(Read Madhuri’s post about her experience on the summit climb day on her blog here )
Later walking back to Manokorma camp, we spoke a lot about the summit climb, as to how things went wrong and as to how we could have prepared ourselves better. The fact that we couldn’t make it to the summit was already history now. The whole time as we walked downhill I had these crazy images of us climbing to the summit in such extreme weather conditions. I was wondering as to how accomplished and happy I would have felt if only we had reached the summit. But then everything happens for reason a right ?
So the challenge now was to realize things and to prevent it from happening again the next time. The solution was very clear. Get fit, get well trained to deal with the tantrums one will get exposed to in such extreme conditions and be better equipped. And one of the most important thing is to get better acclimatized to higher altitude conditions. All these thoughts flowed in loops in my head…
We all slept early today to give our body enough time to recover for the nest day trek.
May 29 2016
Early morning, we packed our stuffs for good and decamped, all of us including three of our Sherpas. We took our time and slowly trekked back to the Stok village. All of us walked together knowing that it was the last day of our expedition. Lot of fun talks and loudly heard laughter. I was already so glad that we did this expedition. These are times when you live life in the “present”. “Mindfulness” like philosophers termed it.
We stayed in the same homestay for the night and were served with tasty local food and also some local beer for dinner. The night though ended badly with RCB losing the IPL final 😦
May 30 2016
Early morning we were driven back to Ladak village and we managed to rent a van to visit few local tourist places. The evening was spent in the market place with lot of shopping. I enjoyed exploring these narrow streets in Ladak market place. In the night, when we returned to the hotel, although tired, we still played cards for sometime. Before we sighed goodnight to each other Madhuri began talking about going back to her boring routine worklife in couple of days, after all the fun she had the last ten days. I could totally understand what she meant. In fact all of us felt bad. No one wants the time spent travelling with close friends to end. They will remain to be one of the most cherished days…
May 31 2016
My trip basically ended today with my early morning return flight to Bangalore while rest of the guys had their return flight booked for the next day. Guys dropped me off in the airport and continued on road to visit few more places around Ladak.
In the flight I was all happy reflecting on the awesome time we had spent together the last 8 days, until I got sucked into this image that I saw in the newspaper which made my eyes moist
The migrant baby drowned in the Mediterranean sea between Libya and Italy. The rescuer who found the baby said he had spotted the baby in the water “like a doll, arms outstretched” He said “I took hold of the forearm of the baby and pulled the light body protectively into my arms at once, as if it were still alive … It held out its arms with tiny fingers into the air, the sun shone into its bright, friendly but motionless eyes.”
We humans on this planet who proclaim to be the “dominion” specious have complicated life for ourselves and every other species, while we we’re expected to protect them, help them survive and multiply. Now I am guilty here too…