Our 2nd day trekking started at exactly 3:38 AM as the donkeys worked their way through the town, cow bells and all. “More Cow Bell”. The next event was a little later in morning, around 5:30Am when we were treated to an amazing view of “Fish Tail”…no clouds, just the morning light. Now we are ready to start our day. Tea delivered to our rooms, breakfast with a view of the valley and we head out on the trail at 6:30AM. After all the fears of monsoon, the first drops hit as we started, then it poured! As soon as we got our jackets….it stopped.
Today’s trek was from Birathati to Ulleri. We passed by a water fall that fell through 4 pools, paradise; ran into monkeys who ran as soon as the camera’s came out, rice fields, little villages with farmers hard at work with using cattle to plow their fields. Lunch came very quickly, we stopped at 9:30 and were treated to a roof top seating overlooking the fields at the mountain we were about to climb. After a leisurely rest, we head to the climb of the day. After a very short downhill, crossing two bridges over waterfalls and swimming holes, the stairs begin. Yes, there are over 3000 stone stairs winding straight up for over a mile. (If you have ever climbed the Dipsea stairs in Mill Valley – this is their equivalent on STERIODS.) We had two groups; one chose to challenge the guides and jammed to the top, while the other, possibly smarter group chose the scenic walk, enjoying the rests along the way. We ended today’s journey at Meera Guest House with the best lemon tea so far. The children from this village journey down those stairs every day for school and back up again! The women carry all supplies, including TVs, rocks, and greens for the cattle and goats, all in baskets on their back hanging from their heads wearing flip flops up those stairs. And the men ….? We are not worthy.
After tea, Judy and Heather ventured up the trail and were treated to a hot cup of millet tea with buffalo milk, and will return to see the local, first place volleyball team practice for their next tournament.