Saturday, 18 November 2017

The Rupin Pass Himalayas Trek May-June 2017: Chair Car Blues (Day #2)

The wonders of the English language evident on the bus inscriptions
Pune - Delhi - Dehradun
Sunday: The NINE board the train to Delhi with ONE trek leader. We indulge in idling, small talk, sleep, sweat, rain, cards, guessing games and songs from a Bluetooth speaker (Aaj Jaane Ki Zidd Na Karo and other hits). Our group includes a champion sleeper and lover of economics, restless boxer and potential writer, 16-year-old veteran Himalayan trekker, rookie trekker, teacher, doctor-to-be. software engineer, beautiful girls, blah, blah, blah.

Monday: Morning rain brings respite during the train journey.The NINE alight at Delhi, a bit late, but on schedule to catch the train to Dehradun. 

Great Expectations 
Barring four people, who are to join us at Dehradun, the rest of us met up at the concerned platform. The organizers have booked a chair car compartment for the 9-hour journey.

The thing about chair car compartments is, suddenly, there is nothing much to do. You may well be in your drawing room. Each to their own. Of course, you can move about the passage to the main entrance. After some time, potato chips and other packed snacks get passed and munched on. Selfies and group photo sessions follow.

Though I have grabbed a coveted window seat again, there is not a single splendid view. I don't know if it happens to other first-time Himalayan trekkers. We expect to see mountains everywhere, anywhere we can set eyes on. It's like your first day jogging. You sweat, you pant, get home and almost involuntarily check in the mirror if your stomach has magically receded into a six-pack.

Dehradun, At Last 
Afternoon turns to evening and evening to dusk. The train finally crawls to Dehradun sometime beyond 10.30 pm.We amble, bags in tow, in a single line, first for a late dinner at a little eatery and then trudge to the reserved hotel.

Rooms are allocated on a sharing basis. It's nice to spread out on the bed after a long day's journey. We are not to sleep in a bed or bath again over the following week. Dehradun is bearably cool, comfortable, quiet and mosquito-free for a good night's rest. There's still a day's travel between us and the first trek camp.

Next Episode: The Bus from Dehradun

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