Himachal, the abode of numerous mountainous treks and meadowish landscapes is finally back on my travel list.
And the trek I chose this time was a tough one – the Kareri Lake.
I wanted to challenge myself this time so decided to go for a three day trek with patches of snow here and there.
What I did not anticipate was that the cold had been harsh this time and the snowfall might very well extend to March. And what the travelling sites fail to mention now and again that Kareri lake is not an easy trek.
A comfortable ride in the semi sleeper Volvo to Dharmshala was the most comfortable part of the journey. The raging mountain winds and a light drizzle greeted us at Dharmshala, the starting point of many exciting treks.
We started for the Kareri village from Dharmshala at 9:00 am – the trek leaders Sonu and Sushil Bhaiya from TrektheHimalayas picked us up. It took1.5 hours to reach the beautiful Kareri village in the lap of the Dhauladhars.
After a soul filling lunch of rajma curry, we started for the trek towards the base camp. A group of 15 with two trek leaders, three mountain dogs, four mules and 4 assistants traversed the rhododendron laden trail of 5-6km. There are cemented roads as well which will relieve your body of the tiredness of the ascent.
Then there are some small water bodies surrounded by rocks which will seduce you to get clicked now and then.
And in the last few metres towards the base camp, the trail becomes steeper interspersed with snow. I had the support of the trek leaders while trekking on snow so was able to dig my feet into hard snow and traverse easily.
It started raining the minute we reached our base camp. Thankfully, TrektheHimalayas had erected the base camp near two huge boulders which provided shade to the people sitting beneath them.
The rain gave way to snow in the night and we were greeted with a winter wonderland of white sheet in the morning. The sun rose thankfully and after much hesitation we decided to trek till Reoti.
The whole path was of course narrow because of heavy and fresh snowfall and if you are not careful, your legs could dive deep into the snow.
The weather soon gave away to unpredictability and a heavy storm was approaching. We were 2km short of Reoti and had to decide to return back otherwise we would have been stuck in an unforgiving snow storm.
By the time we returned to our base camp, it was raining and snowing again. The day moved with revelling in the marvellous view and hogging on to the delicious food items prepared by the TrektheHimalayas team.
The bright sunny morning of the next day encouraged us for a relaxing down trek to the Kareri village. The snow had melted giving way to bright greenery and soothing, slightly less dense air. The rhythm of moving waters pacified our weary souls.
After a quick lunch at the Kareri village, we decided to travel to Mc Leodgunj and explore the Tibetan markets there. I got a Pashmina and a stole from a local shop and our group enjoyed binging on to freshly steamed chicken and paneer momos.