It was the last day of the trek. 21 kms today to Rimbik and we would be taking a cab from there to the airport the next day. First, hats off to Nishanth, Lavanya and EB on finishing the entire walk, while the rest of us cut short and went shopping.
The day started with yummy aloo parathas for breakfast, the best I have ever had till date. Parathas with ketchup, homemade pickles, (and did we have curd that day?!). Nishanth, Lavi and me went for a walk to the nearby bridge at 6.30 AM to the stream. Wow! What a view of the entire village, only confirming my want to spend retirement there. We bid adieu to the foreign couple – they were going fishing that day – and started the last day of the trek.
It was me and Lavanya again on the lead, and we had “Compass” show us the way. Well, this dog started with us @ Gorkhey and was walking ahead of us all the time. And when there is a fork on the road, we would stop, wait for directions from one of our guides, but then we understood that this dog was actually showing us the route. It would go a little ahead along the right road and wait for us! And hence the name “Compass” 😛
We passed this village, almost equalling Gorkhey in charm, corn fields, and beanstalks. Then came the forest route again (just to denote absence of civilization) with streams at regular intervals. We were able to hear the water gushing ahead, and I got tired taking pictures of every creek we passed by.
We came to Ramman, another tiny village with a school! We passed the school building and we could hear the kids singing something. Sounded like some chanting to me. But guess what, they were doing this sing-song recital of math tables in their native language!! I managed to take a video of the same. We then stopped for early lunch there.
I got black tea on a Libran cup and was showing off a little with it 😛 And that amazing feeling when you talk to your dad after 5 days!!!!!!!!!!! Bliss. It truly is.
The multi – talented Pemba went into the house’s kitchen, just gathered up the ingredients and made noodles for us in say, 10 minutes. And that was the best noodles I had in the whole journey, and that is saying something. We all took second helpings, continued with the Brain – Teasers game, the hype had not died down yet.
After lunch we walked ahead, apparently people were laying roads on the way. Down a curve, we were made to stop. The road ahead was blocked with a boulder of rock , and a crane was moving it out of the way. It was a very interesting sight, and as expected, I took a video.
Then we crossed this huge hanging bridge and were on our way to Sirikhola. The plan was to take a jeep from this place to a place 20 minutes ahead – Rimbik. The reason being the shops would close early and this was the last place we could shop. Compass came with us till this place. When we reached Rimbik, it was not a very exciting market, most of the shops were groceries, people were sick already, and it had started drizzling by then.
So we went to the cottage, and got settled. Guess what, it had electricity! We got hot water to bathe! Things that had been a luxury till then. And to top it all, we had hot malasa chai and samosas for evening snack 😀 😀 And I spent most of the evening talking to family back home, telling them we were safe. Nishanth did the accounting and we all settled finances among ourselves.
Dinner was a treat, after which we got a traditional send off from Norbu and Pemba. Pemba gave us a formal speech, telling that we were a great group and apologized in case they had done something wrong. How sweet of them, I thought. Then we all were presented with this whitish scarf with writings on it. Apparently it is Buddhist tradition. “Offering a white scarf–called a kata–is an ancient Tibetan tradition. The color symbolizes purity of intention and aspiration. It is an ancient custom to bring an offering when visiting a temple, shrine, guru, or teacher. An ancient Tibetan adage says that giving and receiving go hand in hand, like breathing in and breathing out–it is an a universal karmic principle that the more you give, the more you receive, which should not necessarily be understood in material terms only.”
The next day was to be a 6 hour car ride to Bagdogra airport. So Nishanth and me did this strategic planning of staying up late at night, so that we will be so tired and sleep in the car, thus avoiding any sickness 😛 So all the kids and a couple of aunties gathered in one of the rooms and started playing pictionary (modified dumb c).
Next morning, just before starting, we had a valedictory function (I would call it thus ;)). Rohan gave a speech, then we distributed the papers that we had wrote for each one the previous day – each one of us had written down the best characteristics of all the others on the group. And set off, all set to get back to our workplaces, and get back to our routines. We carried back with us long – lasting memories of the mountains, the humility, the freshness and the simplicity.
– Until next,
P.S: Contact details of our trek organizer for those who might need.