The under 18 folks were drooling so we decided to check out their room first, if all things and the upkeep were at the mark. The next thing was to check out the room where all the ladies would stay. Finally when everything was at its place, me, Amlan & Raktim ( the senior most lot from the group ) went outside to check out the place, eateries and essentials ( if you know what I mean ). We placed the order and returned back, freshened ourselves and took cover under the warm and soft blankets.
The dinner came and we distributed it to all the folks starting with the under 18 team. Once we had our food, we all slept early say around 21:30 Hrs., since we all had to wake up early for our onwards journey to Auli and there was not much to do in Joshimath, except visiting a temple which although was at a radius of 0.3 kms, but by the time we reached the hotel, it was dark and most were sleepy.
End of Day 2
Kms covered - 381
Once again, the folks turned to relentless yawns and in a matter of few hours, we were closing in towards Joshimath, just when we were obstructed by a landslide. It was big enough to keep us all occupied with the continued sleep for another 40 minutes. The under 18 team; that's what we called them, ran down the way to check the progress but in fact it was all about clicking pictures, taking videos and uploading them on social media. For a minute we thought it would take hours for the local officials to clear the road.
But our wait was worth the time. The officials were quick enough and took extreme measures with caution to remove the huge rocks and debris that rolled down blocking the motorable way.
At around 17:20 Hrs., we were at our destination. We saw the hotel's gate on our left and the Manager came out quickly knowing we were here as I kept ,notifying the owner of the hotel on our progress on our way.
The weather was chilly and we all were seriously tired.
It was a rush, everyone wanted to freshen up, mice running up and down the intestine. We entered, a long dining table. We made ourselves comfortable and the order began; parathas, puri sabji, tea and coffee. The fuel really got us energized and the below picture says it all. Hungry, tired and exhausted: we all looked like cannibals. A few were still inside the washroom so managed to get only a single snap before we threw ourselves on the food.
Day 2: 11:40 Hrs.
The ride was bumpy, the roads were rocky, the night was cold enough to freeze every single bone. We all slept like pigs and never realized it was almost afternoon when Arjun ji parked near a restaurant for breakfast.
Unfortunately, the structure of the outlet was just a show off, the guy was standing outside aimlessly looking at nowhere. We asked him what can we get at this hour to which he replied: water. Response was unexpected but had to digest the fact. However, we were fortunate to meet someone near the Traveller: a dark brown fluffy Himalayan Bhutia. Cute to the extreme level, it just took us seconds to become friends. Sharing a few snaps that would make the day:
Day 2: 11:03 Hrs.
Past 12-13 Hrs were simply adventurous. In between our sleep we woke up several times just to get an idea where exactly we are.
Arjun ji undoubtedly is an awesome guy. He promised to hit the milestone (Rishikesh) by 5 in the morning, but his driving skills were outstanding and we reached Rishikesh by 3 AM. We were speechless.
As we reached, he informed us that due to the uncertainties of the condition of roads and wild animals crossing the lanes during the midnight hours, we will have to wait until 4 in the morning. So we decided to have some tea and the 'pahadi maggi'.
Except 4 of us who were shivering outside the restaurant waiting for that piping hot cup of tea others were dreaming of clicking their beautiful pictures, skiing on the ice sheets of Auli and trekking the famous 4 kms elevation in their deep sleep.
The tick of the hour clock made us head towards our next stop Rudraprayag where we planned to get down and refill our long lost energy (breakfast).
18 January 2019
With the fuel set in our tummies, we headed forward. The music inside was ultimate and it was not long when Arjun ji turned off the lights.
One by one we all were drooling on each other.
Indeed it was a kick start to the journey but still a long way to go.
Time for a sound sleep; the real beauty and the chills are awaiting us.
End of Day 1.
Kms covered: 213
Almost 2.5 Hrs drive made us drowsy, just when we realized it was time to fill our stomach. We stopped at a restaurant on the highway that was indeed neat clean and gave us a hygienic feel.
Arjun ji headed towards the Manager and introduced us to him and we received a very warm welcome. We were seated by the staffs.
In a minute the Menu was on the table. I guess except the desserts and the starters everyone of us ordered almost everything from the Menu.
It was quite a wait but the table was crowded with colourful rich and tasty delicacies and we could not help ourselves but concentrate on the dishes.
The dining ended with a cup of tea well balanced in taste and this was a much needed break we were looking for in this freezing cold.
Day 1 (18th January 2019): 19:00 hrs.
Although there were multiple horns roaring outside the compound of Informatics Apartment, our excitement & thrill was at its peak which led to a delayed start by 40 minutes roughly.
The Traveller (12-seater), of which just 1 seat was empty due to an uncertain cancellation last minute; was already waiting for us. We headed towards the compound's main gate with our minimal luggage. The friendly driver, Arjun ji and conductor Deepak ji, helped us with our baggage & carry ons and asked us to be comfortable.
The real challenge began from the very start (Seat selection); however we did not keep him wait for long.
It was now a difficult decision to make; who would be the 11th person to be left alone without a partner by side, and so we decided to interchange turn-wise.