We get down at Haldwani (the second last railhead) and start the day long drive (189km) to Saung, from where the trek begins. We change a lot of vehicles, and on our last drive from Bharadi to Saung the jeep is full so we decide to try the rooftop. While climbing up the roof, my new brand shoe slips (supposed to have a solid grip) and I get a bruise on my shin. On the rooftop of a jeep, the ride is bumpy and almost like a camel ride.
We reach Saung and to mark the start, it’s a 3 km long trek to Loharkhet. Before starting the trek I am confident that I will be able to take the endurance, after all I’ve been preparing for past 2 weeks, I seemed fit enough. The route to Loharkhet is a steep climb and with some 14kg on the back, I am gasping for breath, all this in the very first 100 mts. of the climb. The ego and confidence is badly hit, not at all a good start for what lay ahead. We manage to reach the KRC guest house at Loharkhet, dragging ourselves. The care taker Pushkar Singh, a man in his 50’s offers us good food and encouragement. After having a delicious meal of alu-mutter (potato with beans) and roti (indian bread) we crashed in bed. The next day is going to be a tiring one. Loharkhet is the last place where you can charge the batteries. next day >>