September 8, 2010 0

FlashBack: Suggestions, Packing Tips & Must Dos from Valley Of Flowers trek

By in Pre-trek Notes

Courtesy Lakshmi, I dug these VOF 2008 notes out of my archives.  Here are somethings that may help. These were written within the fortnight of the return.
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Suggestions:

Prepare for the trek by rigorous exercises. Aerobics, Swimming and Jogging comes to mind. Walking is definitely very mild. Trust me a few hundred meters and your lungs are to burst. However do not be disheartened – take it slowly rather than kill yourself. There were plenty of people who did do the trek and didn’t collapse.

Packing Tips:

What to carry: A couple of water proof pants and a couple of shirts. A water proof jacket or a simple raincoat. This way you can avoid the ponchos. They are abundantly available – but they are cheap plastic and tear easily so effectively using them means you will be bringing more plastic into the world.

The branded pants may be lighter, to size and hence compact. Skip the jeans altogether – even for the flight or train journey as they are simply heavier to carry. Similar light water proof / quick to dry shirts. A simple one for the night – as you will get chaddar at the hotel (If you are staying in a tent a sleeping bag + warm clothes is a must). You can skip the shawl – but a woolen cap + a regular cap/ scarf + a water proof jacket / wind cheater + a good pair of shoes to climb in +/ floaters. When you walk you will not be cold so a jacket suffices. Try to carry as less as is possible – even if you think you will hire the pittos – they will typically carry all your groups luggage so do be considerate.

Smallest packs of sunscreens, your soap – else it’s all available. Smart mini supermarkets are a plenty at Ghangriya. You get powdered milk. Ghangriya being on the hill, inaccessible by road makes most stuff expensive – comparable to a metro pricing (tea can be 25Rs. current Café Coffee Day prices). Retail is big time – I saw most of packed food there as well as necessities including multiple sanitary napkin brands.
Use less hot water – avoid like splurging because you are on a holiday – power is currently from generators which each shop has and water is heated using saw dust, for which both kerosene and sawdust is brought from the foothills on the horses.

Minimum camera equipment that is needed – you want to capture the pictures but not be bogged down by the equipment.

Must dos & don’ts:

At the valley, they are doing a great thing about keeping the place clean, litter free and recycling the plastic. Helping them in their task is the least we can do as they share their beautiful abode with us nomads. Do not litter, throw stuff – paper, wrappers, bottles, plastic covers – basically anything on the way. Carry it and plonk it into bags which the localites use to keep the place green.

Look out for birds and bird calls along the way – you will see a variety of birds.

Look at the horses/ ponies/ mares closely they each have distinct personalities.