Hitch Hiking In Himalayas

Mountains, valleys, ravines, trees, winding roads and green fields have always fascinated the human beings, especially the dwellers of plains. The plain dweller’s delight is to visit a mountainous area in summers to escape heat and to keep his spirits soaring through grey clouds kissing his feet in high cool mountains. God has blessed many regions of the world with high mountains where a stream of tourists come throughout the year, regardless of the weather. The tourists come to these regions in truckloads, enjoy and return to their native towns fully refreshed and relaxed. The bazaars are always full of tourists who flock the embroidery shops to purchase beautiful dresses. The expensive stone made items of emerald, gem, sapphire and ruby too are in abundance here. I last visited a hill resort in 2010 but was tense seeing a large number of personnel cramped in busy bazaars and limited number of restaurants available in the small rusty town.

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In that trip, I decided that next time I shall not stay in a hotel when I visit a hill resort. I planned to move around in the valleys and camp here and there to enjoy the scenery and wildlife. I looked forward to a well planned and well stuffed visit. Therefore I started visiting many bookshops to acquire ample literature about the area, maps from the tourist department, a Global Positioning System to obviate any possibility of getting lost in the woods, a small tent, sleeping bag and other utility items.

A friend was also fascinated by my idea of hitch hiking so he too decided to join me. Now we were anxiously waiting for the summer tourist season to begin. In early July we boarded a bus from our town and headed north. Enroute we could see a long stream of cars, buses coasters making efforts up the long winding mountain road. Many older vehicles broke down enroute and were being pushed by the passengers to roadside or pulled by tractors to side of the road. Ultimately we reached the mountain town, spent a restless night there and in the morning started our climb cum walk in the mountains. After half a day’s walk, the moment we took a turn behind a mountain we were fascinated and breathless by pin drop silence and beauty which was lying ahead of us

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We spent many hours there before moving ahead. The more we walked, the thicker the jungle became and the happier we were. By the time dark enveloped the valley we had set up out small tent and were in the process of preparing our dinner. The dinner was fried trout, which we had netted from the nearby cold water stream, we roasted the fish on the fire of dry leaves and grass lit by us. The taste of the fish was superb. Soon we lied on the cool grass outside out tent and closed our eyes. Then came up the moon from behind the hills, it was so cool and bright. We really enjoyed and don’t remember when we slept. I woke up in mid of the night only to realise that my foot was being licked by a curious mountain hare. The animal was politely touching my feet, at times with his body and at times with his tongue. It was such a great feel and I miss it even now after lapse of at least sometime.

In the morning we got up from the sleep a little earlier to catch the rising mountain sun. The sun emerged from behind a mountain, it was quite mild in intensity from the plain’s sun, enjoying the softness of rays we prepared our breakfast and then moved on towards thicker jungle in higher reaches of the mountains. Now snow was under our feet, weather was becoming cooler and we were really enjoying the day. Next day was quite different as early morning we saw a wild bear standing at a little distance away from us. It seemed not to have noticed us, we snapped him and quietly withdrew. I still remember that scene too, in addition to my other wonderful experiences of hitch hiking. I wish I can go for hitch hiking again soon to once again enjoy in the upper reaches of cool Himalayas.

 

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