Of all the things I love to do in my life travel probably tops the list. With time I have learnt to appreciate the beauty of different cultures, landscapes, traditions and cuisines. After travelling for almost my entire adult life I have realised that even trave ...
Mountains are my favourite holidaying destination. Their majestic magnificence is incomparable to any other geographical feature across the globe. These serene, quaint natural features adorned with plentiful variety of ferns and flora are the habitat for countless lifeforms. The plants, birds, animals an ...
It’s a rage amongst all age groups today to spend there short holidays trekking or hiking in the picturesque hills of Himachal or Uttarakhand, where we can still find the pristine nature in its original untouched ...
Mountains are my favourite holidaying destination. Their majestic magnificence is incomparable to any other geographical feature across the globe. These serene, quaint natural features adorned with plentiful variety of ferns and flora are the habitat for countless lifeforms. The plants, birds, animals and humans dwell amicably here!
In one of my recent mountain vacations, I got introduced to an idiom called “Sustainable Travelling”. It sounded unimportant and meaningless initially. Like many people around, even I was ignorant about what it actually means and what actions does it expects from us. However, as I learnt more about “Travelling Responsibly”, the picture of sustainable travelling got bigger, clearer and quintessential. To explain it in simple words, traveling sustainably means adapting ways to travel without causing any harm to the surroundings and its natural & cultural environment. The negative impacts of tourism can be substantially minimised parallelly benefitting the locals by following just a few basic rules.
The first and the foremost important rule to be followed is “leave no trails.” We all carry food stuff, candies, juice cans and various eatables and drinking items to binge upon during travel. What do we do with the empty plastic wrappers after eating the stuff? Throw it ignorantly? To become a sustainable traveller, you will just have to carry a bag where in you can dump all these plastic waste and cans and carry with you to the nearest place that has a proper waste management system. It may sound crazy initially, but believe me when you do it, you feel good and guilt free. For my sojourns, I have started carrying the food stuff in air tight, non-plastic containers so that the plastic waste caused by me and my family can be minimised. I prefer picking tetra packs over plastic bottles. Me and my kids never forget to carry our water bottles even if we are going only a few kilometres away from home so that we do not have to buy packed mineral water plastic bottles.
The packaged food that we binge upon during travels might be tasty but not healthy. Moreover, it pollutes the surroundings. However, if we replace these food items with the locally available, freshly prepared, healthy food, we will not only be benefitting to our own bowel systems but also will be profiting the hard-working natives of the place along with playing our roles as a sustainable traveller.
I have started believing firmly that travelling sustainably should be the only way of travelling!
Yet another important feature of travelling responsibly is respecting the culture and beliefs of the local communities and dwellers. These people welcome us to visit their land with utmost reverence and love. As an accountable tourist, we must be aware of the ethos, faiths and views followed by the locals so that we do not disrupt them in any ways. Traveling without leaving a trail is easy than it sounds. Sustainable travelling is not the rocket science. It is just about adapting the right travelling habits. It indeed helps us to travel better. We all like to cherish the impeccable beauty the nature has blessed us with. By following the simple habits of sustainable travelling, we will be able to preserve this matchless natural beauty to be relished by future generations to come.
The importance of travelling responsibly has been liberally mitigated for past many decades, the results of which is now predominant in form of profuse dumping of plastic and other bio-toxic waste in and around the mountain regions resulting in irreversible environmental damages. The plentiful air travel, fancy resorts and uncontrolled tourist footfall is making the matter worst. It is indeed the time to change the old habits! We must not forget that we have borrowed this environment from our future generation which is why we have to return it to them in a worthy state.
By: Minal Mathur (email@example.com)
I am called a Pahadi…..but i have always been the kind who preferred to lounge on a beach than climb hills. That is till I went back to my ancestral village for a short trip. In an effort to encourage the people of the village to host travellers, my brother and I drove down from Delhi to Isoti (the village) in Uttarakhand. The trip was unforgettable and was made so by the love and hospitality of the village folk……watch how Bayberry Adventures makes your trip unique and a lifetime experience.
The thought of trekking over a green mountain, nestled with vibrantly colourful ferns and fauna, had always resided somewhere back in my mind. But now when I have turned this thought into the reality, it has become my fondest memory that I cherish over and over again. Mountains indeed are the ideal destination for pending holidays as they connect their visitors to the raw, untouched nature’s beauty, offers purest fresh air to breath easy and an unmatched wide-open spectacular view that rejuvenates any and every one from mind and body alike. I have been on mountain vacation with my family numerous times and have thoroughly enjoyed each one of them. But, mountain trekking with female group of friends was entirely a different experience. It came as an opportunity to indulge in the verdant scenery, binge upon local cuisines and above all being myself. During this sojourn, I eventually found myself unfolding a whole new world of momentous promenades and narrow paths taking me through quaint surroundings and picturesque landscapes to the final destination.
Trekking gave me and my fellow travellers a ground to test our stamina, physical and mental endurance enfolded with loads of excitement and trills. I like to describe trekking as “reading a mystery novel” as every mile in the mountains has in stored within an unknown territory, and to discover it, one has to reach there. Along with numerous health benefits that trekking offers, there is one permanent change that it brings within its trekker. It is the attitude of “Keep Going And You Will Reach the Destination”. It is only from the top of the mountain one can make out how low it was. This trip made me realised that women travelling together creates a magical camaraderie with oodles of positive energy and mutual understandings. I was able to experience the destination in its true form. I connected with the locals, saw their simple yet active way of living, got a glimpse of their culture, rituals and traditions. Furthermore, I learnt to be a sustainable traveller who understands and follows the phrase “Leave No Trails”. Unknowingly and ignorantly, many of us tend to leave the plastic waste behind in the mountains, when we head back to our abodes. Mountains are the substantial resource of fresh water and pure air. Plastic waste sabotages the purity of its surroundings in an irreversible manner. Therefore, it is imperative to understand, the “do’s” and “don’ts” while travelling across mountains, or for that matter, anywhere.
We were really lucky to have found the most reliable and highly recommendable “Bayberry Adventures” as our travel partners. Their proficient team was skilled and equipped to handle any and every situation that might incur during trek. We were guided, motivated and steered throughout the trek with utmost care and considering manner. Our safety was intact.
I remember, when we reached the top of the mountain, the first thought to strike my mind was “This end is the beginning!” And so, it is! I am eagerly waiting for my next adventure trek.
It’s a rage amongst all age groups today to spend there short holidays trekking or hiking in the picturesque hills of Himachal or Uttarakhand, where we can still find the pristine nature in its original untouched form. Adventurists also want to experience the adrenaline rush in overcoming the challenges, physical and mental, while undergoing these outdoor activities. However, to enjoy any outdoor activities it’s important to prepare for it well which includes administrative, physical and mental preparedness.
Today I will talk of Physical fitness preparations for undertaking a trek, hike or out door camping in a mountainous terrain. It’s aimed at people with average physical capabilities who are planning to take a trek of low to medium level of difficulty.
A trek normally involves traversing across cross-country hilly terrain with a daily average climb of 500 to 2000 ft over a distance of 5-10 kms in 4-5 hours with a back pack of 10-20 kgs.
• Altitude climb: 500 to 2000 ft.
• Distance: 5-10 km.
• Duration: 4-5 hours.
• Back pack: 10-20 kgs.
Men and women can easily traverse the above degree of difficulty with little but systematic preparation for physical fitness. It involves building up of stamina (aerobic exercises) and strength (strengthening exercises). It should ideally be a 4-6 weeks preparation in gradual manner to avoid injuries. We may divide our weekly schedule as following:-
Mon, Wed & Fri : Aerobic exercises for increasing our muscular stamina especially of lower limbs and lung capacity.
Tue, Thur & Sat : Strength training (especially core strengthening).
Sun : Rest
Aerobic Exercises : Mix of running or brisk walking is the easiest way to enhance your stamina and lung capacity. Start with 2 kms a day and work towards achieving 10 kms at a stretch of run & walk combination as per your capability. During this period consume adequate quantity of water and after exercise dip your legs in warm water for speedy recovery. Always stretch and do warm up exercises before and after the main routine.
Strength Training : It’s important to strengthen the core which plays an important part in traversing in a hilly terrain. There are many exercises you can do in gym or at home. Simple exercises like 3 sets of sit-ups, push-ups, crunches, lunges, squats or planks with 10-15 repetitions with a break of 30-60 seconds. Weight training under a trained gym instructor is ideal.
Back Pack carriage : It’s an important part of training as we will be carrying 10-20 kg of back pack during our treks. We may take a back pack with 5 kg weight initially and practice climb a gradient akin to our trek or climb stairs in our building with multiple repetitions. Graduate to 15 kg weight across the training period. This will help us achieve the confidence and the feel of walking with some weight on us.
Lastly, I would say that a good preparation helps to make the most of the outdoor adventure activities. It reduces the chances of injuries, muscle pulls, cramps, fatigue etc which may dampen our joy. We must also carry necessary medical kit to include anti-inflammatory sprays, ointments, bandages, bandaids and basic off the shelf medicines for fever, cold, pain killers, etc. Use sunscreen for safety against sun burns.
Wish you a fruitful, enjoyable and injury free adventure trips !
Intro to Author: Author is an adventure and fitness enthusiast based at Delhi. A keen sportsman having played junior national hockey and squash in his younger days. A regular participant of running, cycling and biking events. He also likes to paint and write on social and fitness issues.
The idea of planning a trekking trip To Nagtibba popped up in one of my casual walking and talking routines. Today, when I have accomplished it and with that have fulfilled one of my dreams, I feel blessed and lucky. This trip was indeed destined to become one of my most favourite memories that I will cherish for many years to come.
My journey started on a warm April evening, though the routine for it had commenced a month before the scheduled travel date. We were a group of ten females, coming from varied backgrounds and cultures, aiming for one destination, together! We reached Dehradun next day morning where we were greeted by our organisers. A two-and-a-half-hour-long road journey amidst small mountain towns and villages made us reached Lasher, from where we had to reach our base camp, The Goat Village, on foot!
It was a funny trail! Rocky, uneven, elevated, in simple words, it had all the hurdles that one might incur while walking. Escorted and steered by our friendly organisers, we begin the so-called leisure trek! Climbing up that path was challenging and at times frustrating with no option to look back! The weather was cold yet we were sweating from head to toe. Throughout the trek, I wondered how will I ever be able to complete the actual trek scheduled for the next day when this simple walk makes me feel sick and tired! The one-and-a-half-hour ordeal finally ended and we reached The Goat Village, ALIVE!!
The Goat Village comprises of simple, comfortable and quaint cottages. The rooms are aptly furnished with just the needful amenities. And yes, there is no electricity and the mobile network in The Goat Village! Seeing the setup, I seriously began to doubt my survival for the coming two days! But TGV was all set to prove me wrong.
The first eye opener came in the form of a super delicious, scrumptious food prepared out of fresh ingredients, grown within the premises of TGV. The food was simple but pleasantly enjoyable and contenting. After eating as much as I could, I went to my room and slept. I do not remember for how long did I sleep because I was not keeping any track of time there. The clock ticks little slow on mountains. A bell rang and woke me up. At TGV, the food, snacks, tea and long engaging conversations and chats are offered only at the common area! When the bell rings, reach the common area!
After having tea and freshly prepared light snacks, we were all spruced up and excited to explore the surroundings and so we headed out for it! It was a lazy soothing walk across the local ferns and fauna. The fresh air filled with the aroma of local flowers, the serene mountain sites, the quietness of the surroundings together created beautiful environs that we all were adoring to the fullest. We were welcomed by a warm and bright bonfire on our return. We all sat around it and began the session of extended engaging talks. That night we slept early, mystified, anxious and excited about the next day to come!
The next day was the judgement day! Our stamina, self-confidence, endurance and a lot more was to get tested! The fact that we were our own judges left no scope of cheating also!! Dressed in our trekking attires, caps, sun shades and sticks, we all begin the journey in high spirits, setoff to conquer!!
The trek began. Trekking is often described as wandering without getting lost. I often like to relate the trekking experience with reading a mystery novel! In both cases, you have to move forward to find out what lies in store! The surroundings kept us enthralled through out as we trekked. We were greeted by trails abundantly covered with local flowers, challenged by rocky terrains, mesmerized by the naturally manicured meadows and captivated by the panoramic views everywhere and anywhere we could see.
We walked at a steady pace. We took water break, tea breaks, snacks break and “just like that” breaks before finally reaching to the top. “Every step count”, the simple phrase was coming live to us with all its grandeur! Our escorts were patient and motivating. They were cooperative, accommodating and reliable. They seamlessly managed the group of novices, inexperienced, apprehensive trekkers like us. They congratulated us, praised us, stirred us and finally made us achieve our goal of reaching The Jhandi Top.
Jhandi Top worth every pain that we took to reach there! All my labour, doubts and anxieties were answered in an awe-struck manner. The divine panoramic view of the snow-covered Himalayas, the lush green elongated stretch of naturally manicured meadows the majestic tranquillity at its abundance steer away all the doubts, qualms and misgivings I ever had regarding this trip. I did not have much to speak, it was not required also! We, quietly, happily, proudly admired ourselves and celebrated our victory.
We achieved what we aimed for and attained a lot more than what we expected! Sitting there, at the top of the world, I realised, it is indeed the journey that makes the destination worthy!