If I were to write about one exhilarating experience during any of my travels, it would have to be my trek in Pelling, West Sikkim.
In the June of 2013, my family and I went to Sikkim for a holiday. We were accompanied by my parents’ friends and their two daughters. We visited various Buddhist temples and did some local site seeing. My parents were very keen to see the handicraft work by the locals.
On the third day of our visit, we drove to Pelling, which is in West Sikkim. The weather was humid but the area was beautiful. We stayed for a total of two days and trekked both the days.
However, it is the trek of the second day that I must share with you. We were keen on trekking up to the khecheopalri Lake. Is it sacred to both Hindus and Buddhists and it is believed that the birds of the area never let a single leaf float on its surface.
We were all set to go, with our little back packs full of snacks and our cameras. We met a local named ‘lapcha’, the name of his tribe. He offered to be our guide for the day. Though we insisted at first that we did not need a guide, we were soon glad to have one as there were numerous side trails one could easily get lost in.
The trek would originally have taken us three hours. Let me warn you, just because we were an adventurous lot doesn’t mean we were short of cribbing and complaining especially when the weather was humid and we were tired. However, we finished the trek in a little over two hours. The reason? We had no time to stop and complain! A single pause, and one would fall victim to a dozen leeches!
And thus, we reached the top of the mountain where a little tea shop awaited us with the best Maggi noodles I have ever eaten. A little gazebo overlooked the lake which really stood true to reputation of beauty.
The reason this trip was so exhilarating was because though we were tired and hot, we found humour in our scary situation and a motive to reach the top of the mountain quicker. And trust me, it was worth it. The view of the lake and the surrounding mountains is still with me and I really look forward to when I can visit it once more.
Photograph by Nanki Kuckreja