The first day of the Kuari Pass trek route started from Auli. It is climb, climb all the way until we reached a meadow; Green and rolling, with lots of sheep. A seemingly dozing shepherd completed the idyllic setting. And lunch is served.
After four hours of ascent, we stop for food and a short nap. When sheep abound, selfies aren’t far behind. The key segment of this day’s trek and this blog is the “Faith route”.
Sometime after lunch, we hit upon a single trail, dusty and rambling up and down. On one side, we have the comfort of the mountainside and on the other, that of a deep valley below. FAITH. In oneself, to be sure footed and to ensure that the next step remains solid! In the greater power, to ensure a safe passage and Faith in the mountain, to allow us to pass through - unscathed, except for some ego-bruises!
This solitary path ran for approximately three kilometres with space just enough for one person to walk. Tips from the trek guides on how to cross this route, on which side to use the trek pole and to take it slow and easy, was quite helpful.
It was April and the plants were still largely brown, except for red rhododendrons that popped up here and there, adding some colour. Every small climb was followed by a descent with a steeper decline. All known Gods and deities were summoned for assistance! Some legs were shaking at the end of this Faith route: All legs and other body parts were largely thankful for having crossed this ordeal!
Constant encouragement and caution were shouted out by the trek teammates, which by now had spread across the trail. The trek guides also spread themselves across the groups. It seemed like forever as we gingerly moved from one peak to the other, hugging the mountainside.
The Faith route culminated in a large valley, again with sheep and lots of rocks. A much-earned respite and some more photo opportunities followed, with the final leg of the trek beckoning us to make a start.
Faith, mountains and movement: signifying the whole four days of trek, but most certainly that one solitary walk path; exciting, symbolic, confidence-boosting!
The exhilaration, though, has stayed with all of us; yearning to get back to the Himalayas, for another go at another trail.
Placing our full faith in the mountains that beckon us back!