MY FIRST SOLO TREK: The urge for adventure and unavailability of companion,forced me to adopt solo trekking in Himalayas which is not still in trend here in India By going through lot of maps ,I decided to start from low altitude trekking. I was having one two men dome tent,a rucksack and sleeping bag. A kerosene oil stove was presented by my mother,which I am still using.And one day in mid-April of 1994,I was out for my self placed challenge.Tatapani means “hot water” and when I reached there with a pounding heart,it was nearly 4.0 PM and my eyes were searching for a better place to pitch tent.although I was not new to the trekking world but SOLO is something which can not be expressed in words.You feel fear,challenge,happiness and sorrow all alone.No doubt the percentage of danger and exposure to accidents increases in SOLO trekking.I was directed to tourist rest house.But I choose river bank for pitching tent.After coffee I decided to talk to someone about my intended trek and through a cigarette shop,I came to know that the is LEOPARD area and many incidents of encounter with humans had been reported.This was enough to give me “oooops” and I remember that I prepared a early dinner and could not slept until 11.30 as sound of wind coming through high grass was enough to create a raging heart beat.But there was no other alternative left.I had put myself into a situation and now I was facing it.
DAY1 Next day,I started early .Trek was parallel as it was jeepable.But after crossing CHABA, an hydroelectric plant I decided to have some breakfast…I descended to the river bank.My tent and sleeping bag was all wet so I dried them in sun ,cooked some noodles and started for my unknown destination.I met students going to school and they all were shocked to see me.Later on I came to know that very rarely some “other” person visit that area.I was carrying too much load..could be around 35-40 kgs,with spare shoes,5 Ltrs. of kerosene,ration,cloths etc. etc. But gradient was not much so I managed to walk good length.It was coming to be 1.0PM when I decided to take some rest.Again I descended to river bank and had a bath in ice chilled water.Ultimately it gave great relief to my aching muscles.I started after and Hrs. stay but there was some rocky patches which consumes good time.Sometimes I have to hold on some rock to support myself..it was sheer drop and I was hesitant in begining…but managed to cross those tricky things.The very memory of “kissing” the rock gave me thrill ,even today.Evening was running in and I have to decided where to pitch tent.I was told by someone that There was a village “Harluti” and it was almost 5.0PM when I entered the village.Tired and hungry,I asked to a farmer for permission to pitch tent.He invited me to stay with them but I wanted to be alone so I requested to be “there”.In evening he along with his young daughter and son visited my tent and I had a long conversation with them. The girl used to walk almost10 KMs. for school and after completing school,she was interested in further study but a helpless parent was worried how to support her financially. I felt bad but could not do anything else except appreciating the attitude of both father-daughter.I cooked some rice and slept….no dreams!!