“There is a pleasure in the pathless wood;
There is a rapture on the lonely shore;
There is society, where none intrudes,
By the deep sea, and music in its roar:
I love not man the less, but Nature more…..”
Chapter 1: We can stand after ‘Broke up’
Chapter 2: Change of altitude
We then find some problem here to get shared jeep up to Hilley. At last we could find a jeep which can leave us at Okhrey . That costs Rs.100/person for 3hr journey to Okhrey via Sombare. At around 4.30 the driver left us in front of the only tourist lodge at Okhrey.
The owner, Mr. Pal maintains it nicely. It’s new and well decorated. Nice accommodation and food costs rs.500 /person/day. Wooden cabin on top floor attracted us with strong force so we chose that one. Warm welcome and hot tea were just refreshing.We realised at night , that the wooden decor was not only eye catching but also very effective in fighting with the chilling cold of Sikkim's night.
Okhrey is at 8500ft above the sea level .It’s a small village with the facility of electricity so we could charge our mobile and camera battery. Afternoon fog was just mystique there.
Chapter 3: Trek begins here
But which caught our attention most was magnificent Magnolia. Its fresh white was irresistible to look at…big trees …no leaf….just white flowers. Magnolias were predominant in this portion.
In our lazy walk suddenly found some vibrant purple flowers just beside the road…it’s Primila.
The road from Okhrey to Hilley has no such branch. That’s a great advantage to the trekkers. Near Hilley road side is of Malinga jungle, nice place for bear to live in. But we were comfortable as it was not the season for them to move around. At 1.30 pm we reached at Hilley, a small village with BSF base camp. Two or may be three tourist lodge are there. One BSF jawan came to us to write down our information details and purpose of visit. There is an entry gate where from Barsey trek begins. Here entry permit is to be purchased. Half an hour rest there was refreshing enough to move on.
Small steam water was so chilled and refreshing but we always used ‘Zeoline’ in drinking water. Here was a rule: ‘You never choose LEFT way, always go through the straight way or RIGHT way.’ After 2hour’s trek we could find a large artificial empty lake. Souvonik said, “Wow….we are just like in Jurassic Park….such a huge artificial structure in this remote forest!!” Now we could see the trekker’s hut, ‘Guras Kunj’.
It was already 5 O’clock. So we started experimenting with our tent just after a cup of hot cardamom tea. Strong wind constantly was blowing out tent so it was very hard for two of us to fix it on the ground. Within 10min we could feel penetrating chilled wind. After one hour’s hard word we built our nest for the coming challenging night. Barsey is at 10,000 ft above the sea level. There is no locality here except two trekkers’ hut where accommodation including food costs rs.750/person/day. Camping is one more option there as we did. We enjoyed the warmth of ‘bonfire’ at night followed by chicken dinner. Sleep in a sleeping bag inside a tent was just thrilling and exciting to us though it was not much comfortable like sleeping on bed, but trek itself is not all for comfort.
We could see the Kangchenjunga range on right hand side through out our journey still 1pm…we were so lucky. The virginity of the forest and mountains of our way made us not happy but amazed. That’s the taste of virginity. There were inadequate break for 3-4 min after every 30min. trek. Here I could feel the importance of my new friend, my wooden stick. It was taking my weight when walking uphill and my balance when trekking down. At around 11 O’clock we reached ‘Deoningaley Dhap’, a valley area where from still mount Kangchenjunga range was visualized. But here we were depressed when we found the scratch on the virginity……all the golden grass were burnt out due to carelessness of some trekkers who made their camp here. Still we could found some camping material left over there.
We continued walking uphill through the old big trees, many of them standing upright with thunder-shocked proud dead head. In the meantime strong wind gathered more energy and in front of our six eyes one such gigantic tree lost its pride and lied down on the ground. How playful the Nature is! At 2 O’clock we fist can visualize our destination…some small houses…Uttarey. Tshring said that the way was mostly downhill from there. We just got charged with his assurance but we had no idea how terrible the down hill path could be. There were no way for human being…..we made our way through the stones of some dried streams. We were just torturing our knees and ankles. We were just lost in exhaustion. The only thing that could boost you up was the virgin rain forest and the trees with hanging moss. At 4.30 pm we were at Uttarey.
Chapter 6: Load shedding
It was not hard to find out The Green Valley Resort run by Mr. Subba, I already told about him. One three bedded room costs rs.600. And there is a nice restaurant attached with it where you could find Bengali, Chinese foods. Electricity facility was there but we were not lucky enough to have the facility to charge our camera battery. It was load shedding for the whole night long due to strong wind at noon. It was a time for big confusion….what should we do? Continue journey for ‘Pokhtey Dhara’ with out clicking any snap or bring a ‘stop’ here? In the darkness of night we decided to be back to our life again from there. Next morning took a shared jeep to Jorthang that costs rs.80/person. Shingshore Bridge was on our way. It’s 2nd highest bridge in Asia. There was no problem to get a jeep for Shiliguri. It was the day of ‘Holi’. We bought two bus-tickets for our journey back to Kolkata.
Contact information:Mr.S.B.Subba: firstname.lastname@example.org