Lost and found

Trip Start May 03, 2011
Trip End May 24, 2011

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Where I stayed
Lanam Cottage (Homestay)

Flag of India  , Bengal,
Sunday, May 22, 2011

Goecha La trek part 3
Day 5 -I like short cuts

After an incredible accent at Goecha La, we probably the best breakfast ever aka, breakfast of the champions ;) The porridge tasted so much better, the masala tea so much sweeter and the pancakes were divine on this sunny and beautiful morning in Lamuni. It was one of those magical moments that I will remember for a very long time.

As the clouds rolled in over the valley, we packed our bags and saddled up the dzo's and started to head down to Kokchuran, our camp for the night. It was nice to hike in the mist and I still had a big grin all over my face from the early morning ascend to Goecha La. From now on I felt like I could do anything! The hike was quite easy and we reached our campsite a few hours later. Beautifully located by a river, Kokchuran wasn't much more than a trekkers hut surrounded by magically beautiful moss-covered old trees. It was a cold night and I kept thinking about Karin, wondering how she was feeling and where she might be. I decided right then and there that I would get up the following morning and push trough all the way down to Yuksom in case she would not be in Tsoka, our next stop.

Day 6
Lost and found

After a beautiful four hours of trekking trough the forest alongside a beautiful and rushing river we reached Tsoka and I found a note from Karin saying that she moved on down to Yuksom the day before. I fueled up with some lunch and Ben, our guide, had promised to come with me to find Karin. He looks back at me and asks "-you like short cuts" and yes I do. We ended up doing a butt-kicking and knee-mushing 37 km (23 miles) that day, almost a marathon. I finished the 8 day trek in 6 days.

By the time we reached Yuksom, I was drenched in sweat, tired and over all feeling pretty miserable. When I had searched every guest house and hotel in Yuksom without finding her (one man mixed her up with a lady from Switzerland and said she had left town) and my things that I had left before the trek in storage was mysteriously missing, I had a minor breakdown. Feeling exhausted, no clean clothes and no Karin- I was a devastated. Like running a race with no one to greet you at the finishing line. A man at one guest house filled out a police report for Karin missing while I was sobbing loud in the middle of the lobby. Drama Queen moment.

A hot bucket shower and a HIT beer later, I crashed. Tomorrow, I kept thinking to myself, tomorrow everything will be aaaaaaalright.

......and yes, Karin was very much alive and kikin'. Turns out that she was feeling a lot better and had fund a lovely little homestay get-a-way for us about 20 min walk outside the little downtown area, and yes, she had grabbed my things that I put in storage. Hallelujah moment! It was so great to see her and I really LOVED our place. It was clean and neat. The Lovely Mr and Mrs Subba ( I know you Swedes are laughing ;) had just opened their home to trekkers like us and were the perfect hosts.

The following days we ate and did some day treks to Khecheopalri Lake and Tashiding (on this altitude Karin swept the floor with me, hiking like a trekking-Goddess!) and we ate some more. I believe I'm still hungry from that trek! We enjoyed the beautiful scenery and everyday life in the little village where we stayed. We could see men doing hard labor, digging and carrying stones, ladies carrying baskets filled with greens for their animals and kids playing games outside. Hens and roosters looking for worms, horses and Dzo's enjoying some time off, roaming free and eating off the land . The sunrise in the morning and later the thunder and lightening at night from our balcony. Rain on the tin roof as we went to bed. It was pure heaven.

Moving on...
A few leech-bites, an insane amount of miles in my hiking shoes and a million Gompas (monasteries) later, it was time to leave the Kingdom of Sikkim. On the same day as our visas expired, we crossed the border and headed towards Siliguri where a night train to Calcutta was waiting for us.

 I believe we really found the Last Shangri La; a mystical, harmonious valley, synonymous with any earthly paradise but particularly a mythical
Himalayan utopia— a permanently happy land, isolated from the outside world. And that my friends, could be Heaven On Earth for me.

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