Trek to Sandakphu- Part 2 : Acclimatization

They say, Magic happens outside the comfort zone! Well, it couldn't have been more truer the way things changed for me. This po...

They say, Magic happens outside the comfort zone!

Well, it couldn't have been more truer the way things changed for me.

This post is a sequel to my previous post . You might want to read that before.

Today, was the first day of my first ever Himalayan trek. When it's your first, you can feel the butterflies in your stomach. No matter what firsts. Be it the first bike, the first ride, first love, first day of college, and so was this first day of my trek for me. 

It was 8AM when we were set to leave the base camp. The routine was simple. Our trek leader laid out the timings 6-7-8 as Tea-Breakfast-Begin!

Base Camp

As I carried my rucksack on both my shoulders from the room to the outside, the feeling was amazing. It was one of my firsts. I could feel my heart pounding in excitement, at the same time a bit of worries, I was getting the same feeling you get when you go unprepared for an exam or a big presentation! I knew that I was nervous, but I had been waiting for it for so long now. It was the time to 'live'! 

I was carrying a rucksack for the first time!! There were porters/ mules to help carry the backpacks. But I wanted to be hard on myself! Wanted to experience the pain. I knew, this pain would liberate me. The kind of pain I always wanted to experience! The good pain!

I was at the edge of my comfort zone!

Our first stop was going to be Chitrey, a village in the beautiful mountains, vast landscapes. 

This was the most challenging part of the trek, as you need to adjust or as they say in mountain terms, acclimatize to the conditions.

Into the wild!
It was very cold outside, I wore 2 layers of warm clothes beneath the wind jacket. Big mistake, as I had to take them off only after 10-15 mins into the trek. You know, your body generates enough heat! Enough heat to make you sweat and cause uneasiness.

Feeling tired already!

My body was acclimatizing, I too was. The comfort zone was far off from where I was. 

It was steep.. I could feel my heart beat for the first time in a while. As we went along the group, I fell off to the last considering the fitness levels I had.

The landscapes were vast and beautiful! I could only see tall trees, mountains and the clouds, each overlapping the other quite beautifully! While it was a treat to the eyes which hadn't seen such mountains before, the shoulders started to ache, as even they hadn't had that weight on them!! But the heart was strong! It had to be!

The beautiful landscapes :)



Ek toh selfie banta hai :)

Finally as I reached Chitrey along with my co-guide (also called sweeper- the person who makes sure the last person in the group comes along), all my fellow trekkers were relaxing at a tea point, clicking pictures, and having tea!

Ladies ready to pose!

After a good 15 mins stop, we set to resume again. At Chitrey, I felt happy that I completed atleast the first part of Day1 without much trouble. The trek from Chitrey to Lamaydura was easy compared to the first part. It was occassionally steep, flat otherwise.

The trail to follow !

Very "cosy"!!


Probably orchids :)


Meghma was our lunch point for the day, which was further 2-3 kms away from Lamaydura. The name Meghma is derived from two Hindi words - Megh meaning Clouds, and Maa is for Mother. So this place is always cloudy!!

SSB Checkpoint at Meghma

Seating arrangements at Meghma Check point :p

The Trio :)

It was just around 2 pm, when our IDs were verified at the Meghma SSB checkpoint and let further. The clouds suddenly made the arrival out of nowhere, this dropping the visibility to a a few metres.

Meghma Lunch Point!

Having Tea after Lunch!

Beautiful flowers infront of a house at Meghma

After a delicious and spicy lunch to keep is warm, we set towards the first campsite at Tumling. It's when I saw the first snowfall. It was just few snow flakes falling! Since I was seeing all this  I for the first time, it got me really excited for the remaining part of first days trek!!

Blurred due to clouds!

Just leaving Meghma

Those winding roads seemed never ending and the legs had already given up. So instead of reaching there just tired, I decided to click some pictures, so I was further late!

Divine :)

Very near they said!

One of my favorites1

Finally I reached the campsite, which was way far from my comfort zone!! But there was no worries or uneasiness even though it was not my comfort zone. In fact, then I realised, the comfort zone grew around me as I trekked!!

The campsite was a proper tea house in Nepal, just few yards away from India!!

Tea house at Tumling

Everyone's oxymeter readings were taken, and all good. The stretching session helped loosen up and relieve  We were served some delicious pakoras and soup, which helped keep us warm! 

Seeing those beds and the sheets after such a long treacherous day, felt like a real luxury!

It was too cloudy, and as there was no visibility, we slept waiting for the next day to get a view of The Sleeping Buddha view, and The Kanchenjunga Peak!

Waking up early in the morning never felt easier. That is what you need in life! A motivation to wake up early. I went out to click some pictures. The slopes were all covered with ice. The snow on the plants had started to melt and luckily got these few clicks.

The Sleeping Buddha!

Snow turned droplets about to fall!

After the morning routine, we were set to leave for Kalphokri. As told by our Trek Leader, this day steep ascents and descents. We could only be mentally prepared!

As we began our journey, we entered the Singalila National Park in about 30 mins. It was time for some pictures.

Singalila Naitonal Park entrance!

Group Pic!

Along the way we found some snow along the forests. It was the first time I saw snow in my life. It felt really really good to have seen it. 3 hours of trek through the lustrous forests and the observing the forever beautiful landscapes was blissful. I also felt that this was the easiest part of the trek, as we were descending evenly.

The Trio with Bikram - our coguide

Snow on the way

There you see!! So far!

We were almost at the first stop for the day at Gairibas and I slipped while descending and luckily landed on my hands. Luckily knees weren't hurt. I walked carefully another 10 minutes of the descent.

Almost there!

There is a SSB point at Gairibas valley, some eateries, and a few tea houses I guess. We had delicious momos and the black tea to complemented well to the taste.

The momo point at Gairibas

Capture being captured!

Just another house at Gairibas

Then, we left for Kayakatta, our lunch point for the day. The trek to Kayakatta seemed difficult. There were just curvy roads going up the hills. It was very tiring. As I mentioned before, the weather becomes cold all of a sudden after noon. The clouds moving over the face led to leaking nose, but I didn't bother. Kept on walking until we reached the lunch point.

We were served Rice - Dal and papad. The simple rice dal never tasted so delicious before. It was hot, it was amazing.

Kayakatta Lunch Point! So busy hogging!


15000 per day to stay here! And no, we didn't stay here!!

Working even in the chilling cold!

I was slow most of the times, spending time to click some photos, to stop and let the moment settle in, and to let the beauty of nature to soothe my soul!

It didn't matter to me whether I finished last or first (first? as if it was possible :-p) I just took my time, walked at my own pace, and clicked at my own pace!

There was a time, when the groups started moving too fast or too slow. For about 20-30 minutes I was alone in the middle of nowhere! With fast moving guys too far ahead and one or two slow trekkers far behind, it was a perfect time of solitude! I felt so lucky and happy alone. I had never thought I would get that chance even for the briefest moment. Not sure if I had clear thoughts or I had no thoughts running in my mind! It was the best 30 minutes of my life I would say! An absolute bliss.

Lost somewhere!

Selfie in the cold!!

Solitude comes with its own advantages and disadvantages. I was kinda lost when I saw three ways ahead of me, one going towards shart right, other to the left and the one I took was the slightly straighter one. I knew I had to wait for long if I waited for the other trekkers and coguide behind me to join. I took the way straight ahead and luckily found some worker fixing the road. They guided me where our fellow trekkers went, and another 10 minutes, I was at Kalpokhri.

Cute dog Lucy at Kalapokhri 

The name is derived from two words Kala and Pokhri. Kala meaning black and Pokhri meaning lake in Nepalese. It is said that the lake has dark water.

After a fun filled stretching exercises, it was the time to relax. We played mafia, our trek leader showed his card tricks and after so much fun, it was time to get some good sleep, as the next day was The Summit Day, and the most difficult part of the trek!

In the next and final episode of this series titled The Ascent, I will take you to the summit through the snow covered trail, which was the best part of the trek! Click on subscribe button on the top to receive post notifications. Keep watching, keep travelling.


  1. Wah! What a description kiran!literally i could feel the butterflies by looking at those captivated scenic beauties ..every pic is worth enough for your photography 🙏 Each word says how blissful you are to conquer those mountains .I envy you man.. its simply splendid 👍 keep Travelling, writing n posting 😃

    1. Thank you Pushpa.. 😊 Glad you liked it 😇

      And yes, more posts coming 😃

Hey there, do comment here and let me know if you liked reading this.
Comments from readers like you keep me going :)


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Little Detours: Trek to Sandakphu- Part 2 : Acclimatization
Trek to Sandakphu- Part 2 : Acclimatization
Little Detours
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