Goecha La Trek Day 03

CONTINUED FROM: Goecha La Trek Day 02

Day 03: 18-April-2022

Route: Tsokha (2960 m/9700 ft) To Dzongri (3970 m/13024 ft)

Distance: 12km (6H)

In the morning, the sky had cleared. Mt Jopuna (5936 m/19475 ft), Mt Pandim (6619 m/21715 ft), Mt. Tenzing Khang (6010 m/19717 ft) and Mountains Lama and Lamini were all clearly visible. Needless to mention that the view was spectacular. 

I finished the sketch of the Yellow billed blue magpie that I had seen last evening at the campsite.With limited resources and time, I have figured out a way to make quick travel sketches that will remind me of certain aspects of this journey. 

There was network available at Tsokha. But I did not bother to check my phone. I had informed my family that I will be gone for 8 days and will not have network. In case of emergency, they had the organiser's number. So, there was no need to call every now and then and update. I remembered my life before cellphones entered our lives. There was no way and no need to update people regularly. I realised that these days, we simply worry about missing out on updates; most of which are unnecessary. Living without network for 8 days, seemed like the most blissful experience. So, I never bothered to check if my phone caught the network. Nothing was pressing enough to interrupt what I was experiencing; what I was witnessing. 

At 7:30 AM, after a good breakfast that had Sooji, Corn flakes and Oats, we began our trek to Dzongri. The initial stretch was pleasant. Oak trees gave way to pine trees. Long stretch of trail ahead was filled with Buransh (Rhododendron) plants. Many of the plants were in full bloom. This is the most scenic stretch as all the trees blossom together. Generally, this happens in late April or early May. We got a glimpse of it during mid-April. 

We reached Phedang at around 11AM. Though early, we decided to have our packed lunch there. 

The next stretch of the trek was long and tiring. But it was also the most rewarding. As we climbed higher, we got closer to the snow-capped mountains. In our group, Divyesh and Pavan were always leading. Subham and I would be mostly together. Banasree and Bish would be last, walking slowly. Banasree's shoe sole came off and Ram had to hold them together with metal strings. 

Finally, after 6 Hours of trek, we finally reached Dzongri campsite at 1:30PM. The place is called Simagri. At Dzongri campsite, there is a shelter with some rooms, one shop and kitchen area. 

I freshen up and climbed to a hilltop nearby. It was very cold and the clouds were moving into the valley ahead of me. I sat there to begin my third sketch. I noticed that the nature was inspiring me to get creative with whatever drawing tools I had.

Subham and Bish joined me there and we had a carpe diem moment there, watching the clouds fill up the valley. 

We all gathered at the common area to have soup and dinner. Next morning, we had to get up at 3:30AM and leave to Dzongri top by 4:00AM to view the sunrise at 5:15AM.  Ram asked me to wake him and the cook up by 3:15AM so that they can make tea for us before leaving. I set my alarm and went to bed early. 

CONTINUED HERE - Goecha La Trek Day 04