Thal is a hub-town on the bank of a river Ramganga. I had to walk across the bridge over the river. On the other side took another share-jeep going North to Munsiyari.
This ride was through scenic mountainous terrain and most of the way the jeep was going on a cliff hugging single lane road. At the top of the pass (2700m) the jeep driver stopped at Kalamuni Kali temple (pic left) to a say a thank-you prayer.
Reached Munsiyari at 1:30pm and checked into the colonial style (pic left) KMVN GH and once again got a very decent dormitory bed (pic left below). Was the only occupant in this 6-bed dorm.
In the evening went out for a walk to see if I could catch any sunset views worth snapping on my digicam. See pic above of the Panchuli range shrouded in evening clouds.
Came across some kids playing cricket in the street. Boy! ... were they excited to see themselves in the digicam's LCD? Below Rahul (not Dravid) with the bat and his team mates lined up in a neat row. Rahul saluted smartly, feeling like India Captain already!
7th Oct 2004: Got up early (5am) before dawn and saw the Panchuli's 5 peaks silhouette in the still dark sky (pic left). The weather appeared clear with no clouds in sight and so rushed uphill, about 1 km, to the Munsiyari School sports ground (which also serves as a Helipad for the town) to get a good view of the Panchuli range peaks at sunrise. There were other folks already there waiting for sunrise at 6:00 am (pic left below). At 6:10am the sunrays started hitting the leftmost of the 5 peaks (in pic below).
And the view of Trishul (at 6:11am) seen in the different angle from Munsiyari (pic below). Trishul is already well lit-up, as it is at a higher altitude of 7120m compared to Panchuli-1 at 6355m. At 6:35am, the sunrays finally reach me (pic left) at the school ground, from behind the peak to my right. And below left a pic of the Munsiyari Govt School. Must be vacation time, as I did not see any students there.
By 7 am the school ground was full of youngsters working-out and playing games. The hills around the ground looked really scenic! Wish I had studied in a school in such a wonderful setting!! And take a look at the flowers blooming in this school's garden (below):
Pic left - Last 'zoomed' look at Panchuli-1&2 basking in bright sunlight now, at 6:47am, when I started back downhill to the KMVN guest house.
Back near KMVN- GH, I got this view over driveway & roof of the GH (pic left) and another picture of me with the peaks in the background (left below).
The Munsiyari Himalayan views were spectacular and I was pretty satisfied. Decided to check-out after breakfast and head back towards Kathgodam/Haldwani Railway Station (278 hill-kms away).
Checked-out at 8:00am and got a share-jeep to Thal at 9:15am arriving there at 10:15am. Waited there for two hours for the share-jeep to fill up to leave for Berinag.
Finally reached Berinag at 2:00pm. There was no jeep there for Almora. Had to take lift in a truck going to Almora.
The pic (left) taken from my seat in the cabin of the expert lorry driver. Later at a rest stop took a picture of the cleaner-mechanic of the Lorry too (left below). The truck dropped me at Almora at 6:15pm and immediately I got the last seat of share-car that was just leaving for Kathgodam.
When we reached Kathgodam at 8:40pm the Ranikhet Express to Delhi was already steaming out of the station! The car driver volunteered to take me to Haldwani Station (5 Kms further down the road) before the train reaches there, for a 50 bucks bonus. I agreed .... and sure enough I was waiting in the Haldwani platform as the train chugged in much later at 9:00pm. I had enough time to buy my sleeper ticket.
So Munsiyari to Haldwani in 12 hours! When i started that morning from my Munsiyari I never planned or thought that I would be able to catch the Ranikhet Express to Delhi the same night!
8th Oct 2004 - At 8:00am caught the Golden Temple Mail from New Delhi Railway Station for Borivali in Mumbai. Was home by 7am next morning.