Sandakphu - Phalut Trek | Day 4 | Gorkhey

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THURSDAY | 31th DECEMBER, 2015
Phalut -> Gorkhey

Between the mountains, in a valley, I'm writing this from right now. The hamlet is called Gorkhey and is neatly divided by a stream running across it. After reaching the mountain that shelters Gorkhey, I had to get down to this little place.

Sunrise at Gorkhey
Today I witnessed the sun rise from beneath me, again, before lighting up a huge arc of yellow across the horizon. I had to climb a hill to watch the sunlight illuminate Kanchenjunga at 6 in the morning. Of course, ice didn't help the climb. And how can I forget the yaks!
 
That is Mount Kanchenjunga.
At six in the morning, there is not the slightest of light and the yaks are standing there grazing. Their eyes on me as I try to see where I step. Not one yak disturbs the ambiance. They don't like to be noticed.

While getting up there I was wondering why are there not many humans here. There's one answer. The blanket of cold.

The Nepal - India border mark up at Phalut.
First of all there's no electricity. There are two huts on Phalut that make do with solar energy. Then there's the issue of supplies being expensive and late. And then at the end is the paralyzing cold.

Every morning there's a cute little sheet of ice covering everything that you can walk on. In a few weeks, it'll be a few feet of snow instead.
 
The view from the hut at Phalut where I stayed.
Leaving Phalut early at 8 after sunrise, I found myself in Gorkhey, 14 km away in four hours. The walk was through the woods, and scary. The guide kept scaring me with stories about bears and wild boars and I swear there was a moment a hustle in the woods scared the be-Jesus out of me!

I bathed for the first time in days in the cold water after reaching Gorkhey. The desperation had driven sanity away. Then I took a walk across the village, hopped on the stones in the stream and came back to my room to read.

The path to Gorkhey is completely covered with trees
with sunlight managing to barely penetrate.
The sound of the water gushing makes for a perfect background score. Wherever you go in this small valley, the water is always gushing.

Incidentally, it is the new year's eve today. Today could be my last day of the trek but I wanted it to last, and hence the stay here when we could have walked on after a brief lunch here to someplace where I'd get a taxi to Darjeeling tomorrow.

The hut where I stayed at in Gorkey.
I counted down to the new year here.
In fact, I'm so attached to the idea of making this experience last longer that I'll make the night stay at another unnecessary village tomorrow. After all, my return train is on Sunday. I have loads of time!

Oh, by the way, it has just started raining here. That means it will snow in Sandakphu and Phalut. I don't know whether to laugh or cry at the news, for I've never seen snow fall, but my guide says it's good that I've not encountered it on my trek.

Please use the links below to start from the beginning if you've landed on this post directly, or to go to the next day of my trek if you're interested in reading more.

Day 0 | Darjeeling
Day 1 | Tumling
Day 2 | Sandakphu
Day 3 | Phalut
Day 4 | Gorkhey
Day 5 | Rimbick

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