Bageshwar to Darchula
Tawaghat - Landslide
People pointed to the man with the red-flag on the opposite hill. And then we saw huge rocks coming down; if we had continued we would have been crushed! We had to wait some 15 minutes till the red flag went down and out of sight.
We crossed the landlside in hurry running over piles of rubble. And ended up other side of the rubble; scared and gasping for breadth!
8th July 2009: We (SK & me) reached the KMVN-TRH at Bageshwar, around 11:30am and we checked into a DBL room on 1st floor at Rs 800 per night. In the afternoon Debu met us there. He brought along another guide "Chamu" from Wachaam Village (near Khati), who has been to Darma valley several times in the past. Debu sai he himself will be going to Darma Valley for the first time with us. Also his eldest son Khilap will come as an addditional porter.
After discussing with Debu & Chamu in detail we realised Darma valley trek was a teahouse trek and we could home-stay in all villages on way. The only place where we might need a tent was for overnight at PCBC; but PCBC is only 3 kms from Saun. So we decided we will not carry a Tent or any food rations (except soup packets & dry fruits etc ) nor any cooking equipment. We finalised a package deal of Rs 28,000 for a 10-day trek starting from Bageshwar ending in Sobla all inclusive including stay, food, guide-porters, and transportation jeeps etc. If you exclude approx Rs 4000/- for Jeep rides, it works out to Rs 1200/- per day each of us for all trek expense with services of 3 guide-porters and food and stay expenses covered for all 5.
09/07/09 Today we left Bageshwar at 7.15 am in a 'booked' Maxx to take 5 of us to Darchula. It was long scenic ride via Kanda, Thal, Choukori, Didihat, Ogla (lunch) , Jauljibi, Darchula. We reached KMVN-Darchula at 2:30pm and just managed to get the last available room. There was a group booking by a Adi Kailash tour group by KMVN. The KMVN sits in a pretty location, right on the bank of Kali river, with all room balconies opening out to the river and the Nepal landscape across the Kali river. You can hear the torrential water flow of the river all day in our room there. The DBL room in KMVN was Rs 700/-
10/07/09 Today we filled up our ILP permit forms and went to the DM office on the main market road at 9:00am to be there before they open. Surprisingly, the DM was already in office and we had the five ILP's in hand by 9:45am or so. We loaded up on our share-jeep Maxx and left for Dar at 10.45 am. We reached the critical Chouturdhar landside (1 km, before Tawaghat) and our Jeep terminated here; as fresh landslide and rock-fall was visible up ahead. We have to now cross the 200M of landslide stretch on foot and catch another jeep on the other side. Just as we started to cross there were shouts to go back and people ran back pronto! They pointed to the hill on the opposite side of the river, in Nepal, where the Red Flag has gone up. That man was barely visible with naked eye but SK's amazing zoom picture caught him neatly, in below picture:
After crossing the landslide we took another jeep (at Noon) that took us all the way to Dar past Tawaghat, Khet, New Sobla (where we had lunch) etc. However that jeep suddenly stopped 1 Km below Dar and the driver announced "Sevaa Samapt" smiled and said he can't go any further as the road ahead is sinking! It was now 2:00pm
So we trekked up the last 1 Km to Dar (2134 M) and then continued past Dar another 5 Kms to Bongling. The day was getting very hot and sweaty and some of us took off our T-shirts and walked in our "banians". We had to cross a 1 KM stretch of narrow rocky path cut-out on the sheer rocky mountain side, with a deep fall down to the Dhauli river's gorge on other side. It was a bit scary but not dangerous. Soon (4:00pm) we reached Bongling and took up room in a trail-side GH belonging to Sher Singh.
In the evening we climbed up, steeply 300M, to Bongling village and there we met lots of children and people of the village. They milled around us excited to see visitors with cameras clicking. The children loved to see their instant pictures on Digital LCDs! The ladies insisted that we take tea there and so we ended up talking to the villagers for half-hour.
34 Darma Valley >
Darma Valley Trek (34 Darma-Trek)
Darma Valley Trek
Part-1 > Bageshwar - Dharchula - Dar - Bongling