Silver Level Award aspirants of The Cathedral and John Connon School, Mumbai completed their Adventurous Journey at Dhana Kunna and Manali (Himachal Pradesh) from 21st May to 30th May 2016. N. Engineer (Award Leader) is sharing a report from a participant’s diary.
19 Silver aspirants left for Delhi on the 21st of May 2016, accompanied by two mentors and two volunteers from The Explorers. From Delhi we travelled to Mandi and continued on to Naggar in the Kullu Valley via bus. The bus journey was long and taxing but the scenic beauty along with singing and team building games made it quite enjoyable. In Naggar, we stayed in tents at the Trek India Base Camp. Initially for the first two days, we acclimatised ourselves by walks and small visits to the local area and Mela.
On the first day, we participated in activities such as Rock Climbing, Plank Walk, Commando Bridge and other Rope and Net activities. We even visited the Roerich Memorial, Art Gallery and their family house, where we learnt about this powerful and influential Russian family. On the second day, we engaged in River Crossing. It was a thrilling experience, done over a crystal clear river in the midst of the wilderness. After that, we watched an exciting adventure movie on Mt. Everest, after which we also had a very inspirational question and answer session with Mr. Sharma, who had trekked to the summit of Mt. Everest himself. In the evenings we'd play with the campsite dogs and played football. The nights were chilly, sometimes accompanied by rain. Very often we'd be freezing in our tents, but it certainly made us much tougher and the stay memorable.
On the third day, we left early and trekked to Stelling, the second campsite. It was a very challenging uphill journey. On the way, we'd stop and filled our bottles from the streams. At Stelling, we collected logs for the bonfire and played with the dogs, cows and sheep. The next day, we left early in the morning for Dhanna Kunnha, located at an altitude of 11,900 feet. The trek was exhausting, and on the way we endured sprains, bruises, bee stings, thirst and aching muscles. We arrived at the summit at 1:30 in the afternoon. The panoramic view was exhilarating, spanning the Himalayan range. We sensed a feeling of victory looking down at the world from that height. From there, we trekked down to Stelling. By the time we returned, every one of us was famished and exhausted, but with proud smiles on our faces. It was an amazing experience for all of us. The next day we trekked again to Naggar and spent another night there. In the evening we went for rapelling, which helped us conquer our fear of heights. Some of us even helped an old shepherdess carrying her tired rams.
An hour long bus journey brought us to Manali the following day, where we went for sightseeing places like a Tibetan Monastery, the Shiva Temple and the Hadimba temple. In the evening, we went shopping to the famous Mall street, where we bought typical Manali caps and shawls.
The next day, we took a day long bus ride to Chandigarh. Once again, the bus journey proved to be a bonding experience. In Chandigarh, we visited the Sukhna Lake and the Nek Chand Rock Garden. Both were extremely beautiful in their own respects, and we thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
After lunch, we boarded the bus once again, this time bound to the Delhi Airport from where we flew back to Mumbai. We returned with stronger calves, lower cholestrol levels, unforgettable memories and cherished friendships made in the humbling depths of the mountains. Click for more pictures