We started the trek from Babaldhar at 7AM just after morning tea. We are going down to river level and reach the suspension bridge in 45mins at 7:45AM; which is just a ridge-bend away, from the old teahouses-shacks in a row that looked like a train and so called Railgadi! I had been there in my earlier Milam Trek in 2007.
We took some group shots on the bridge and restart our trek. Around 9:10AM we reach a teahouse on the trail (at a place name sounding like Seoni?). Here we had our breakfast. Then we resume in 30mins and continue alongside the Gori-Ganga which is flowing now in a 'roaring torrent' state due to the narrow rocky gorges between steep cliffs.
Pic at susp. bridge crossing (beyond old route Railgadi)
From bridge: Railgadi is just behind the ridge on the right
At 11-30AM we are nearing Bugdiar
By noon, we reach Bugdiyar (2610M) and as we enter the village we show our permits at the ITBP check post and then stop a bit ahead at a Dhaba called "Sundar Da" . The lunch here was the most tasty Rice-Dal-Sabji, that I had in the entire Milam trip.
We restart the trek at 1PM to head up the main valley to Nahardevi. The old cable bridge that was just opposite this Bugdiyar teahouse is not there now (has been destroyed in 2013 floods, I guess) and in its place is a huge landslide spread of boulders and stone debris. We now have to walk along a side valley (for an extra 500M) upstream to find a small log bridge hidden amongst the boulders, cross the stream and then walk back down on the other side to the point where the old bridge was landing.
We are now climbing a bit along a ridge and looked back at Bugdiyar some 45 mins later.
Thereafter starts a series of "Up and Down staircases" that seem pretty new and well laid, basically to cross a series of huge landslides at a level above the slides rather than walk through the debris. I presume this is a result of 2013 cloudburst. It is really tiresome to mount 300-400 steps and again descend to rejoin the trail. No wonder the new route is so much more strenuous!
We reach Nahardevi teahouse (only one here) at 3:10PM. It is again just basic shack of a Teahouse serving the purpose of bedding down some 10-15 trekkers for the night and supplying basic food.
I keep calling the teahouses on this trek as "Basic" or "Shacks". There was a time when I loved these Indian trek stay-places as "rugged and wonderful" places! Now spoilt by the comfort of Teahouses in Nepal Treks, I find them basic!
There were a couple of new unfinished concrete structures here, that looked to be future Teahouses. The teahouse guy said they are PWD structures and their stores. After tea, we unpack our bags to make our beds in a room comprising of continuous platform (cots) made from bamboo canes. We get mats and blankets and open our sleeping bags to lie down and relax till dinner time. Dinner is the usual Roti-Dal-Rice-Sabji. Asleep by 8PM.