The Himalayan Trek Diary Part 2!20th May 2014
In December we announced that our Accounts Team, Jill and Helen, were preparing to take on the challenge of a lifetime and trek through the Himalayas in aid of Dove House Hospice. Last week we shared the first half of their Trek diary… here’s the final part!
An early morning start and we had a choice of banana porridge, omelettes, toast and cereals for breakfast. It was another tough day of trekking uphill towards our final destination, climbing up some rocky steep ascents with sheer drops at the other side. We stopped off for lunch at the Magic View Point where you could see for miles. In the distance we could see the Dalai Lama Palace and the Chail cricket stadium Of Himachal Pradesh, which is the highest cricket ground in the world: built in 1893 the cricket pitch is 2444 metres above sea level.
We continued to walk along the paths which were lined with beautiful rhododendrons and again the heat was 30 degrees, also the air was getting much thinner which added to the difficulty of climbing. Just before taking the final few steps we all congregated as a group to walk over the summit together, as a team. It was the most amazing sight we will ever experience; we were standing at approx. 2900 metres staring in disbelief at the beauty of the snow-capped peaks and overcome by tears of emotion.
We had a further 15 minute walk before reaching camp which again was set in amazing surroundings. We sat and watched the sunset then had another tasty evening meal with a trifle to finish. As the darkness drew in we sat and looked up at the stars, and down to the lights of the villages and towns in the valleys below. The evening ended beside a camp fire swapping stories of our journey so far.
After breakfast, we said thank you and goodbye to our fantastic Indian guide team who had looked after us throughout our trek. We then started our final days trekking, descending back down to a small village before getting into the cars for a 30 minute journey to Dharamshala. We then had just enough time to shower and change before heading back to Pathankot for the overnight train which was just as difficult as the first journey.
We arrived back in Delhi at approx. 6am, where we boarded a bus for a 30 minute journey to our hotel in Gurgaon. It was a lovely hotel with comfy beds, hot showers and a working toilet! After a buffet lunch we went to visit the cancer centre to find out what we would be required to do. The eight-roomed building was in much need of painting and decorating as well as a few maintenance jobs.
After breakfast the team picked up their paint and brushes and cracked on with the painting and decorating. It was hard work in the heat but the team were determined to make a difference and so everybody got on with it. During the day, representatives from Indian Global Cancer Care Centre came to thank everyone for their hard work.
Time for home! After an eight and a half hour flight we arrived at Heathrow at 7pm feeling exhausted but happy to have shared the experience of a lifetime.
We started out as a team but ended up as a family caring, sharing and looking after each other. We have shared tears, laughter and emotions, and no amount of words or photographs will ever describe what we have achieved or the sights, sounds, smells and scenery all of which will remain in our hearts and minds forever.
Jill and Helen are still accepting donations for Dove House Hospice at http://bit.ly/SponsorHelen and http://bit.ly/SponsorJill.