When people hear about India, some of the first adjectives that come to mind are; hot, chaos, and noises. But these kinds of characteristics describe only half of the sweet and sour madness of India. However, in the north of India everything changes, especially in the Himalayan area.
The first impression I had when I arrived in Naddi, was to wonder whether I was going to wake up to this landscape every day, and yes, fortunately my thoughts became real. Next my thoughts wondered to what beauty I might discover and what I would see around the area. For sure there must be a lot of places to trek and relax in peaceful areas! And I was right.
One of the first treks I did was to the river and waterfall that provides water to the villages in the surrounding area. The water in India is not known as the best water in the world, especially in Delhi (the famous Delhi Belly that nobody would like to experience). One of the main questions that you might wonder about is where the water from the pipes is coming from? You can see many pipes everywhere. All kinds; thin, thick, leaking pipes, etc, so we tried to find the origin of this water and see how it looked. First we went from Naddi to Galu temple. Galu temple is one of the starting points for the trek to Triund (one of the most popular treks of the area). During this first stage of the journey, we went in the direction of the waterfall instead of Triund. When we reached the river (amazing area by the way) we decided to go further, and followed the big pipe. It was pretty tough but funny at the same time, especially when my friend Nigel had to slide down to the wall. It was very easy to slip in that area, I could see the fear on his face. Finally we reached the source of the pipe, the water was very clear, pure, and fresh, but there is one thing you never know in Himalaya Mountains,what is above this river? There will always be something else, so you better be even more aware if you are not Indian. So, at the end we decided to sit on a huge rock staring down at the valley and relaxed our minds for a while.
On the second trek, we went to Guna Temple, surprisingly more people than I expected came. It was really motivating to gather a big part of the Educare team and people from Sheini together. Everything was fine until we arrived to the steps which were pretty steep. You could see the faces of the team slightly change. On this trek we could see the international school on the top of the hill, it looked pretty isolated. After one hour and thirty minutes we arrived at Guna Temple, one of the most traditional treks from Naddi. I tried to organize this trek since I arrived, but something would always show up and mess up my plans. You never know what the weather’s like in the Himalayan Mountains, but finally we had good weather and enjoyed this special day.
The last trek was one of the most looked forward to by the team. For the past two months, the weather and the snow have been a big issue, especially in Triund. Triund is 2900 meters high and the level of the snow on the top is most likely going to be twice as much as in Naddi. The day was perfect; no cloud was going to disturb our view from the top. After three hours, we arrived at Triund. We were excited to reach this place and to enjoy the beauty of the area with these specials landscapes. Meanwhile, we started to take all kind of pictures, jumping, meditating, team picture, etc. It was one of the best feelings that you don’t want to forget. Breathing fresh air and being away from the pollution of the cities was so nice. And that moment is when I reflected on my point of view about India. Was it how I thought? Definitely not! In spite of overcrowding of people in India, there are still places where you can relax, lose yourself in this incredible environment, and feel free for a while.
Oscar Carrat, Spain
Eco Volunteer Travel Project Manager, Naddi