We got up late in the morning and for a change the camp leader was a chill max guy and he did not trouble us with the infinite whistles that we had gotten used to. We got ready by around 9 and started our trek to Bhandakthatch. We were briefed that Bhandakthatch was the most beautiful of all the camps and today’s was the easiest of the lot. We were excited about reaching the camp the earliest and then have some good time there.

I had already picked up fever that was draining me. But the briefing about the next camp gave me the courage to give it my all that day. We started with a very steep descent. Quite unexpectedly my knees weren’t paining, apparently knees are the one that hurt the most during a descent. But a few meters down we were in for a surprise. The aunt who was tugging along with us with an ankle sprain found it hard to get down and we had to wait an awefully long time for her. The guide and the group leader then suggested she went back to the camp for the day and then get a porter to get her down the next day. She then put a lot of senti stuff and Tanvir fell for it deciding to get her down with the group. The entire discussion took away 90 minutes and i was starting to get my fever and giddiness back!!

I was happy that we then moved on at a healthy pace. We descended around 1000 ft in the next couple of hours without any big break. the Guide and Tanvir took turns getting the aunty down on their backs (Hats of to them!! ). Around noon we then hit a road block. It was a 200 ft steep descent followed by a 150 ft Steep ascend. But what lay between them was the most scariest part: A melting glacier gushing water at huge speed. We had to cross that on two logs which were placed on 2 boulders on either side. One slip and i would drop down dead some 1000 ft downstream. After yesterday’s trek i convinced myself that the worst of the trek was over and all i needed was a little courage to pull my self back to civilization. But the trail had other plans for me!!

Seeing bhargav and polls go by i finally decided to give it a shot. Firstly i had to rappel my self down 200ft. Which in itself was so scary that i kept embracing myself to the rock every step i took. The guide got irritated with the speed i was rappelling that he caught me by my backpack and asked me to drop down fast. Initially very scared i did as he suggested and then i could get down easily. The technique of rappelling really helps when you do it correctly. We had to lean back and not embrace the rocks like i was doing and keep our feet perpendicular to the surface and use the rope to get down.

 

Even before i could take a sigh of relief, i was faced with the next challenge, the one to cross the stream. I very nervously caught the hand of the guide who helped me cross the stream across the logs. The first few steps were very scary as the logs swayed for every step i took. Midway through the water level was higher the logs and i could feel the force of the stream as i waded my way through scarily with my heart in the mouth. After crossing on the logs i had to jump my way across on small boulders. I wasn’t that scared doing that until i stepped on a stone that moved and i lost my balance. Luckily someone lent me their hand i latched onto it in a flash. I cannot imagine where i would have been if he had not helped me.

I was scared and started to freak out badly. Even though i had done it safely, I was in a trans for sometime. The next 150 ft seemed nothing after what I had done. The lunch point was just after the climb. I got chance to relax, have food and start again slowly after lunch. I had a short nap and soon later i realized all my friends left after ditching me. I started walking at a brisk pace as the terrain was almost flat, with occasional climb over the trees that fell because of the avalanches. After half an hour i caught up with everyone but that brisk walk drained me. Ninoy had a twisted ankle and was struggling to walk.To make matters worse, the climate started to worsen and there were lightnings and thunders. One of the tree’s bark caught fire on a lightening strike and the visual of that was quite spectacular.

People stopped over to prevent the fire, but given my worsening body conditions i decide to move on without any rest. The trail then got a little steeper and that completely drained out any energy that i had. Luckily after that climb i caught up with bhargav, who stopped to have a change of clothes. We waited for a while before ninoy and jishnu had caught up. We kept walking and walking for an hour together under the dark clouds threatening to break lose any moment. I found it had to maintain the sustained brisk pace and very soon i started to feel the weakness in my body. Shoulders started to droop, I often lost my balance due to giddiness. I kept on having glucose and kept going.

Soon the rain started to pour in and for the first time in our trip we opened our ponchos and put them on. The rain was pouring in as we approached the final climb of the day. It was a 300 ft steep climb. Unable to do it i took a break and the rain soon became a hail. Balls of ice started to fall in and it felt we were being pelted by stones from above. Every hit started to pain and the force at which they came upon made life hell climbing up. I wanted to take shelter under a tree and the nearest tree was a few meters away. After some 10 minutes struggle i managed to get to the tree and for a while i looked up to see where we had to go and i got hit by a ice piece enough to knock the left glass of my goggles.

It was frightening and i was draining energy fast. The hail stopped after 20 minutes and i got a chance to climb. I climbed so fast that giddiness got better of me and before i could grab onto something i fell down unconscious. I slid down 20 ft and then my knee got struck in a root preventing a catastrophe. The jolt got me conscious again. Scared and drained i climbed up as the hail came back again. That were the toughest moments of the trip as i was gasping for breath and taking one step at a time. I pushed myself like never before and desperately wanted to make it to the camp. 20 minutes of struggle, 2 more slips later i could see the tents. That was by far the happiest moment of the trek. I managed to drag myself for the next few minutes and as i opened the flap of the tent i fell on my face right on the floor – “As people termed it – height’s of give-up-ness”

Finally gathered some courage to put a pose in hail :)

I must be very thankful to god to have helped me muster enough strength to make it in the end. All my friends had come in by then. I soon dried myself up and dozed off. Everyone had played football as i was sleeping peacefully in the tent. Apparently polls had kicked Synti’s football down the cliff and Synti then had an adventure of his own trying to get the ball. I was so tired that i can’t recollect any other things that happened to me that day!

I am in debt to one and all who helped me survive through this tough day! Thanks one and all!

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