This post is a part of 24-day Marathon fiction called Yaariyan. To read from the beginning, click here.
Trekkers move into their tents to pack their backpacks and get ready for the trek. The sky has become bright but the sun is nowhere to be seen. It seems, the sun is also upset with them leaving. The sky is cloudy and drizzle is expected on the way.
Niket wears his trekking shoes and is filled with gratitude – the shoes helped him throughout the treacherous routes and provided grip in tricky descents. Also, the shoes helped him identify a sporty side he had. He is going to come on a trek next year with the gang and bring Siddhi along. Her smile keeps flashing in his memory and he gets ready to begin the journey!
Madhu and Ruhi sit by the lake to discuss how having a psychiatrist on board will help in getting credibility to his start up and taking up life skill workshops on a paid basis. On Madhu’s request, she considers coming on board – but is not so sure about it, given the distance between Delhi and Bangalore.
Nikita and Siddharth are happy to have documented the entire trek in detail – with step counts and altitude and directions to enable other people to do the trek on their own later. Stuti observes Sahil as he offloads their backpacks to the horses. He decided to go on a trek as Stuti expressed her wish to go. It was their first trek and Sahil had ensured she was comfortable and enjoying all throughout. Her love for Sahil had grown over this journey!
Sara and Chris follow other trekkers to bid adieu to Gangabal Lake and Mount Harmukh. It was the most beautiful campsite according to them. Shobana fills a small container with the chilled water of the lake and takes a purple coloured pebble as memorabilia. She ticks off an item in her mind’s bucket list – Go on a trek – Done!
Tarun, Karthik and Shobana had done bookings for Rupin Trek but last moment cancellation of the trek left them bitter. Nothing could be done to improve climatic conditions there, so they decided to reschedule their flight tickets and join the Kashmir Great Lakes Trek! Karthik remembers their restlessness when they got news that the Rupin trek was cancelled. Thanks to Tarun’s quick thinking, they rescheduled their flight tickets and headed to Srinagar instead. ‘Maktub,’ he exclaims as he shares their tryst with fate and destiny, ‘It was meant to be!’
Horses cross the small stream and reach the campsite, ready for yet another day of travel. We have to leave this heaven on earth, it dawns on Dr Sudip, as he sees the horses being saddled for the journey to carry the tents.
Everyone huddle together in the center as the tents are packed. Vivian thanks them all for being an amazing group and hopes everyone had amazing fun. Cheers of Hip Hip Hurray echo in the valley. He tries shouting some instructions which are lost in the pandemonium. They get ready for a group pic clicked by one of the horse owners and proceed to begin the journey as per the navigation.
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