Trekking from Aru to Lidderwat, Kashmir, India
It rained all night and was still raining when we woke up. Cook made breakfast and Sula decided to wait until 10:00 a.m. to see if the rain would stop. Out of luck on that, the crew broke camp…View image…and we set off to slog three miserable and very muddy hours to Lidderwat. The first section near Aru…View image… was open meadows that was just a sea of mud and impossible to get any footing. It was one step forward, slide back two…sideways and backwards. Sula gave me a hand several times to keep me from falling back down small inclines. ex-Marine took a nice fall in the mud and an old man took pity on me and gave me a walking stick as I slipped and slid through Aru.
It did stop raining for perhaps 15 minutes in the Aru area and we wolfed down a fast packed lunch with hard-boiled eggs, boiled potato, a lamb chop of all things, chocolate, cookies and can of apple juice between the cloudbursts and continued on…
Lidderwat was in a spectacular setting that would have been heaven on earth if it had been sunny. There were “houses” and “huts” in a large open meadow with magnificent snow-capped mountains in the distance, surrounded by forests. Sula took us into one house to stand before a fire and dry out. Ha!
Sula said it was too wet and muddy to make camp in the fields and, instead, set up our tent on the porch of this house out of the rain and Saib’ra went to work cooking dinner….View image…
The “guesthouse” had one communal toilet outside (a hole in the ground) that you straddled and one private bedroom inside that had an extremely filthy western-style toilet. With every article on our bodies sopping wet, we gladly took over a few layers and hung them by the fire to dry. There were quite a few other miserable people here besides us, all stranded by the rain. German, American, French, and one couple hiking and trekking through India with a small child! That stupefied me. The guesthouse charged 15 rupees a night and these trekkers were all backpacking and/or camping on their own while we sat in luxury with the Saib’ra concocting wonderful meals and waiting on us hand and foot. It was really embarrassing!
For dinner, Saib’ra made chicken (that took care of another live chicken – just two to go), rice, eggplant, soup and pears for dessert, way too much delicious food. With nothing to do and in a food coma, we climbed into our tent on the porch and listened to the rain all night.