Winning a bet and the epic Chadar trek

Posted by The Wandering Pen on January 3rd, 2021

I know of kids who have posters and models of the moon in their room, dreaming of walking on its terrain some day. For me, it was the ashy white and deserted terrains of Ladakh that I wanted to go to. When I got older, I read about the Chadar trek and was just blown away by the concept. You get to walk on a frozen river – the same river that people go rafting on in the summer! How crazy! 

My elder brother who has always been a fitness freak told me (who has always loved junk food) that if I gave up McDonalds and Coke for six months, he would buy my ticket and come with me for the Chadar trek Ladakh. Of course, for adventure travel I don’t mind making sacrifices, but this was difficult. Karan made me do some running and exercise to prepare for the trek, and I managed to lose some weight too, which was a great side benefit. Anyway, I did it, and Karan had to buy my ticket. 

Finally we set off to Ladakh. We flew in, and I was immediately transported back to my childhood wonder. Everything was covered in snow, and my breath came out in little puffs. It was amazing. My brother had done all the research so I just did what he said. I had brought my Kindle along, so I spent the day happily reading in the warm restaurant of our guesthouse, ordering hot water and tea and snacks. 

We passed the medical test which I was nervous about, and then the next day we were taking our first steps on the Chadar. It was much colder than I expected, and I don’t like the cold much. During the day while we were walking, it was okay, but at night we had to wear all our layers and sleep curled up around our hot water bottles. 

The Chadar trek Ladakh just took my breath away. I was so zapped by the views that my brother kept teasing me about being so quiet. There were frozen waterfalls, tall cliffs, flowing water under the ice, and lots more to see. And on top of that, I had to focus on keeping my balance! 

I actually camped close to Tibb Cave, and we spent the whole evening in the cave with other trekkers and porters. We were smiling, singing, laughing, sharing food, and enjoying the warmth together. This is the stuff that adventure travel lets you do that no other travel can. 

And guess what? On the last day, when we returned to the hotel, I actually told my brother to put off the heater because I had gotten used to the cold temperature on the Chadar trek!

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The Wandering Pen

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The Wandering Pen
Joined: December 1st, 2020
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