To begin with areas were wet and slippery but as we continued our descent we found more dry patches. The seemingly never ending steep descent was intercepted by meadows with white, yellow and blue flowers on the grass in the morning half of the trek.
After a 2-3 km trek on mountain slopes we were on stony steps that made things a bit easier. Near the lunch point we came across a Gujjar family going up the Himalayas for cattle grazing in the lush green meadows revealed by melting snow during the summer period. These were the first “civilians” (people not associated with the trek) that we came across ever since the first day of the trek. For a while Gujjar family became the focal point of attention where people were focusing their cameras on them and their cattle. The kids were after us for toffees. A scene that would repeat often as we approach the first village just an hour later.
This is the point where people start feeling that sun is getting hotter.
After a while you cross a small hamlet called Tamkota and the winding stony path takes you to Taluka – a village where there are two schools, Gharvar Vikas Mandal tourist house for tourists, two hotels and a few general stores – all this in a village of 15-20 families. As you look down the valley on your right from Tamkota to Taluka you see a blue river flowing in deep gorge – this is river Soopan which would merge with River Tons near Sankri - an important tributatary of River Yamuna in its upper catchment areas.
From here on it is a motor-able road but motors do not ply here due to large land slide that occurred four years back and road is yet to laid back and so Sankri became the last road head for these Himalayan villages.
By 3.00 PM once again we were in the Giangad campsite the location is just in front of the land slide that cut off taluka from the road map of Uttara Khand. A devastating site it was. The landslide had taken a concrete bridge of about 50 meters with it and the concrete structure can still be seen in the gorge below.
Upon repeated demands and demonstrations by locals, the forest ministry had ordered a temporary road to be built in this area with in period of one month, but the tractor engaged for the purpose had slipped and fallen on the slope of the land slide and rescue operations were on by the time we reached the campsite.
As was the case with all other campsites this site was located on a picturesque flat land bordered by high rising mountains on all sides. Camp leader Mr Surender Kumar had some ingenious ways of keeping us occupied in the evening through some funny looking games.
As throughout the trek, night was difficult to spend than the day and what made it more difficult was the heat that we were now feeling.