TLFMagazine -Himalayas for breakfast

Himalayas for breakfast

Himalayas for breakfast

A little bit of Paradise 

By Natascha Shah 
We recently went on a trek with India Hikes. Read on to find out about our experience! 

Waking up to fresh mountain air and breathtaking views of snow covered peaks, trees in numerous shades of green, wild flowers and butterflies, the vast blue sky, sleeping in tents under a blanket of twinkling  stars, running in mysterious forests and magical meadows with flowers in my hair, hanging out with locals, those with big smiles and bigger hearts, making friends. That was my life for eight days. A life that soon will be a memory, people who soon will be stories, stories from the most beautiful chapter of my life, stories nevertheless.

As I try to type a summary of my Eight Day Trek to the western Himalayas, I find myself at a loss of words to explain how sublime the experience was. Not for the adventure or the the travelling,  or the numerous Instagram moments! I feel that everyone should go for a trek at least once in their lives for the mental and emotional journey it takes you on. It truly is the best form of meditation! Trekking also teaches you some important lessons in life. It makes you fall in love with small simple things, with nature, it  makes you believe in the goodness of people, in love, in life. 
It teaches you how to adapt to your surroundings, how to adjust to changes. You might miss your bathroom on the first day but by the end of it you will be a pro at doing it in the open! The tent will soon feel warm and comfortable and washing your own dishes will no longer feel like a task. You will wake up and sleep on time for at least a month after you are back, will want to eat healthy and walk everyday. It is some form of sorcery, but I am not complaining. I came back feeling fresh, healthy and totally detoxed ( except for maybe a couple of samosas) 
The full itinerary can be seen on India Hikes' website:www.indiahikes.inI went for the Har ki Dun trek. Each day was full of new experiences and sights. One of my favourite experience was visiting a tiny temple in one of the villages, 
According to the local belief, the Gods visit the temples of Uttrakhand on certain days/ months, that day happened to be one of them (Lucky us?!). We also had tea at one of our guide's house, the warmth and the hospitality was unmatched and truly comforting. 

In those eight days everyone became like one big family. We sung songs, played games, learnt local Steps on local songs, shared stories, food and even wet wipes ( which by the way is the most precious item, when camping!). There was a gentleman from Dubai, an acupressure expert, not only was he the kindest and most fun person I met but he also gave us amazing massages at the end of the day! Everyone in the group was full of positivity and love!
The taxi ride back home was a mixed bag of emotions- satisfaction, happiness, nostalgia, sadness all rolled into one. Saying BYE always is difficult! As I left the beautiful, charming village of Sankri, I thought I will never see these people again- the ones I spent eight days of my life with, the ones who always looked at me and smiled, who gave me coffee whenever I asked for it! Who held my hand when I slipped while trekking, those who touched my life with their hearts full of love, with their simplicity and innocence and said to me while leaving "Take care of yourself, little sister." 

And my heart broke. 

Just when I was getting sad, thinking about all this, someone in the cab said they had forgotten something and we had to turn back. I saw them again, shook hands, smiled, cracked a quick joke and this time didn't feel sad at all. Because I learnt - Never say never!

Warning: Trekking is an addiction!

Our Verdict on  India Hikes 

1. Easy Bookings
2. Moderately priced
3. Great guides-mostly locals, who know the place and the routes by heart.  
4. The hotels at the base were OK, could have been better
5. The food was hygienic, albeit a bit too heavy for a trekker. They have a Vegetarian only policy!
6. Interesting itinerary, although we could have done with some more time at our final camp-Har ki Dun