The Ganapati season is live in Bombay and with my birthday being in the same week, all I planned was to kill my time in Bombay with friends. But just a week before the fest aviaries a friend convinced me to join him for a Parvati valley hike. And boy, I am glad I got convinced!!!
There are very few people around the world who share their experience of backpacking with others. And this is the place TLOW scores, with new travellers and old.
I was all pumped up for taking up the mountains. Starting from Kasol as the base, our altitude and excitement only went up from there.
We walked through valleys and mountains, forest and rocky roads. We stayed at home stays and hardly gave a thought to hygiene factors which otherwise were paramount in the city. We climbed up and down muck and boulders and experienced the daily life of the mountain folks.
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This was our base and practically the ‘town area’ of this side of the mountains. The cheese parathas at our guest house were amazing. Lots of hippie stuff for lookout for and cafes by the river to chill out at. And yes lots of foreigners, who are just backpacking like us.
This taboo village, farmers in the world for ‘you know what’, was like a documentary from TV coming to reality. The climb is steep, but bragging rights, guaranteed!!! It was quite interesting to note the culture of the people.
The village with a view to kill for. I was quite getting bored with chilling at a place, but at Tosh, I hardly realized time go by even though we did no hiking I had a lot of fun playing the evening games with the kids and literally living a part of their evening.
THIS! The flagship of the trip. Mountain hiking in the truest form. The entire team kept pushing and motivating each other to make the 6+ hour climb up the mountains. But well, the hot springs at the top, TOTALLY WORTH IT! Adding to that, that evening being my birthday eve there was a lot of festive feel as we danced and merried with strangers and new friends.
The prettiest village on the trail. Where we actually went around plucking apples and I went skinny dipping at a small waterfall. :p
Over the last 5 days, there was a lot of hiking, a lot of eating, a lot of selfie clicking and a hell lot of merrymaking. And here are the highlights of them all:
- The picturesque view of the valleys and mountains. So seducing and fascinating.
- New and amazing friends you make on the trip. People from all over the world and all over the country.
- The food. Best maggi and most innovative Nutella and cheese dishes.
- The life of the simple mountain folk. What is hard work for us, is an everyday exercise for them.
- The most important thing you learn How to live a life and go on a trip without depending on material comfort.
This was certainly a trip I needed very much at this point in my life and am really glad it happened. This aspect of the world was unknown to me and TLOW knew exactly which doors to open for a first-time backpacker. All the best to you guys and I will be back!
Text By- Madan Kumar Muthu
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