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. We’re delighted to tell you they successfully completed the challenge, raising a total of £9,758 between them, and they’ve kindly shared the first half of their diary from the mammoth journey below!
After an 8 hour flight from Heathrow we arrived in Delhi at approx. 10am and were given a garland on the coach before setting off to a hotel in Delhi where we had time to have a wash and change of clothes. After a lovey Indian buffet lunch, we had a tour of Delhi, where we visited a mosque and then took a ride on a rickshaw to the spice market. The rickshaw cost just £1 and was an exciting experience as we were taken through the streets of Delhi dodging cars, motorcycles, rickshaws and cows!!!
We departed from New Delhi train station at approx. 7pm and boarded the overnight train to Pathankot. We all stayed together on the same carriage which was divided into six bunks; at the end of each corridor were two unpleasant toilets. This was a dirty and smelly 10 hour journey.
After an early morning arrival at Pathankot we had a short taxi ride to our breakfast stop. We then drove two hours to Dharamshala along a rough, stony road, avoiding pot holes, other traffic and cows along the way. The scenery on the journey was amazing as we could see the Himalayan mountain range slowly coming towards us.
We arrived at our hotel in Dharamshala where we had time for a much needed wash and change before heading up to the town. This lovely town is surrounded by mountains and is the home of the Dalai Lama; it is a common sight to see monks walking around the town. There are a few bars and many market stalls and shops selling local crafts, clothes and jewellery.
In the evening we all met up for a Tibetan meal at a local restaurant which served lovely food.
After leaving Dharamshala we took an hour’s car journey along the winding, narrow, rocky road to the starting point of the trek, arriving at mid-day. We started our first day’s trek crossing a swaying rope bridge, then headed up to the hills. It was tougher than expected as the heat was 35 degrees plus. We passed through some breath-taking scenery with snow-capped mountains in the distance and lush green fields before arriving at our camp. The camp was picturesque and set up along a river with the mountains in view. For our evening meal we had curry, rice and chapatti bread finished off with a syrup pudding. As the night drew in we could see a sky full of stars; it was a wonderful sight.
Check back next week for the second half of their diary.