” There are no shortcuts to any place worth going”
The above saying rightly explains the plight of trekking up to a place not accessible by any vehicle but your feet. For example take this stunningly beautiful 80 year old cottage Chestnut House, located at a height of 7000 ft in a lesser known, beautiful part of the Kumaon Himalayas. Reaching to this oasis of wellness invites along a steep trek of an hour and half hugged by breathtaking vistas of the forests adorned with bountiful birds, blooming flowers, rich and plump berries and the friendly fauna here and there to say a hello.
The trek begins from Matial village where your car is parked safely and where the porters and Sindhu – the resident chestnut-hued horse meet to greet you, and ferry you to the property. Before you make your way uphill, your luggage is swiftly loaded onto Sindhu. One guide will share the walk with you carrying along with himself the freshly made nimbu pani to keep you hydrated as you will huff and puff your way up to the winding path. Its a tough trek but the perspective you will have of this magnificent natural wonder will more than make up for it.
” When everything feels like an uphill struggle , just think of the view from the top.”
‘ How much time more’ – In an hour, you will began shooting this question to the guide walking along with you and each time you pop the question you will get the same reply ” Bas aa gaye mam, 15 min aur “. His fitting reply will keep you going in a hope that the next turn will be your final destination and in some time you will witness the Chestnut House – the stone cottages at Jilling, peeking out from behind the mist and trees.
Some Tips for the Trek
- Carry as little as possible but choose that little with care.
- Don’t tease animals if you encounter any, they are living in their natural habitat. Think about in this way: Would you like if they come to your house and start doing random stuff??
- Wear clothes that will keep you camouflaged. The weather here turns unpredictable at times. You will think of a pleasant sunny morning but the rain showers may come to surprise you.
- If you happen to visit the property during monsoons , make sure to stretch your socks over your pants to prevent the entry of leeches. Leech bites are almost painless, and accompanied by secretion of an anticoagulant, so the first clue to their presence may be an expanding red stain in your socks or clothing, or the squelch of blood in your boots.
Don’t give up if you are exhausted, push through it and train your body to adjust to nature. A positive outlook can help you stay focused and enjoy the experience.
“If you can find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn’t lead anywhere.” – Frank A. Clark