22 July 2014

Devariyatal In Rainy Season

Okay, we knew what to expect when we climbed Devariyatal. It's rainy season and on that day itself there was a battle between the sun and the rain going on. Obviously, the rain and the mist reign all through the day so we knew there was no way we can get a glimpse of Chaukamba and the Himalayan ranges and yet we trekked with an umbrella and our cameras.

The picture above is all we could see of the tal -it's not covered with mist but it's surrounding areas were fully white.

The paved road towards Devariyatal -
a continues ascent. For someone who is not
a regular trekker, best advice is to walk
slowly but continuously. No stopping, the
frequent you stop, the more you lose
the boost to move up.
We started our trek at around 3 pm that day, July 16, 2014, and it took us, my husband and I, an hour to reach the tal. Devariyatal is about 3 kms from Sari Village and it's a continues ascent. Three o'clock was quite late to start a trek but due to tight schedule we needed to do it that day itself right after our transaction was done with the SP Office, Gopeshwar in the morning. (It's about stamping my passport with X-Visa). Anyway, for a two-day trip (Gauchar - Gopeshwar - Chopta -Sari Village for Devariyatal - back to Chopta for Tungnath and Chandrashila - Gauchar), we paid Rs. 4000 for the taxi and arranged lodging for the driver. His food was his own because we are not the usual "dal, chawal, roti, sabzi" eater. We are great with fruits and munching on cucumbers and nuts.

these are a few of the images we took that day.

Road somewhere between Gauchar and Karanaprayag.
The mountains were covered in mist, the
Alakhanda river was covered in fog, too. Even the road was
half visible.
Since we planned to trek Tungnath and Chandrashila the following day, instead of pursuing the original plan of staying at Dugalbbita that night, we stayed at Sari village itself. We stayed at a lodging and hotel owned and managed by Rakesh Singh Negi (his hotel is just right in front of the gate to Devariyatal). Mr. Rakesh seems to know the place very well. He also rents tents for a night of stay at Devariyatal itself.

~The view of the surrounding mountains and villages at Devariyatal. The sky was white, the ground was white. It was like some "spirit" or "ghost" being lifted to join the rest up for some sinister performance before the day ends. 
It was a spectacular sight.~ 

~ Somehow while slowly walking up, sweat dropping from your nose, and your mind is full of statements such as "It's not that far anymore." or "We're near." or "A few more steps.", you'll stumble upon this. And just when you thought that you still need to go on farther this sight will just make you smile and maybe would even make you jump and say "Yey, we're here finally!"~

~The view up ahead from one of the view points set up by the Forest Department. In this picture you are facing the road back. In one of the videos I watched of Devariyatal, foxes were filmed late in the afternoon and early morning. Although I was looking forward of seeing them when we were there, it didn't seem to have been possible at that time.~

This LINK is a 0.43 seconds video that shows the views that are supposed to be visible during clear days. Click it to quench your curiosity.
~ Finally, a pose of the trekkers that day taken by Mr. Rakesh who we met right before we started our descent. He has taken us to one of the highest ground around the areas. He was also narrating to us his adventures, what he's up to, etc. He's a friendly guy! We found out that he is a trekker himself and has 
been to many tourist places as guide.~

Staying at Sari village that night with a plan of going back to Chopta to trek Tungnath and Chandrashila the following day was a very bad idea during rainy days. One particular area -2 to 3 kms. from Sari village towards Chopta is a landslide-prone and it just got cleared when we passed it towards Sari village. That night, it rained quite heavily again and another slide happened during the night so the following day, July 17, 2014, we were stucked for about 3 hours waiting for the stretch to get cleared. The GSB was clearing another slide near Ukimath when we arrived at the place so instead of reaching Chopta and heading towards Tungnath at 9 am, it was already 11:40 and drizzling when we moved up.

It was still a great adventure though!
Who knows in winter we might get a magnificent full view of the Himalayas somewhere else 'coz that's we're up to.

Travel, Explore, Discover, and Be awed with Nature's grandeur.

Tungnanth and Chandrashila trek will be the next post.