Written by Tera Jiwan, MJ
Last week Grade 8 went on an adventurous class trip – trekking and camping in the Himalayas. Our valiant MPA bus and driver brought us to Macleod Ganj, a popular hill station among trekkers, close to Dharamshala. Mcleod Ganj, also known as Little Lhasa, is a beautiful town situated near upper Dharamsala and famous around the world for being home to the Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama. We spent our first night here and had some good food, bonding and shopping.
The following morning after breakfast our group was collected by two trek guides and we drove with cars to the beginning of the trek. Leaving behind the road, we began walking along a trail with our backpacks. The first hiking day required a lot of focus as we walked downhill on some wet and slippery ground. Our wonderful guides arranged a special activity for us in the afternoon. We crossed a river one by one zip-lining, using a harness and rope. It required core strength and some courage to cross. Everyone kept up until we reached our first campsite at dusk. Donkeys had carried our tents and sleeping bags. As night fell, we had delicious food before settling into our tents for the night – the first camping experience for some!
We woke the next morning to a cup of chai. After breakfast, we began walking uphill. As we walked more trees and mountains revealed themselves. We met many animals along the way – dogs, sheep, donkeys, cows, goats. We walked to quite a height, where we found the air was thinner, yet very fresh. In the afternoon, we arrived at our campground which allowed time to explore the rocks and river. Students played games and songs of various nationalities were sung around a campfire.
The 3rd day involved more uphill walking – all the way to ‘Kareri Lake’. The sun was shining and it was a great sense of achievement as we reached our highest point! Some students helped to pitch the tents while others went to explore the last of the winter’s snow. Lots of games were played and the stars came out as we again sat around the campfire that night.
On the next day of our hike we started our descent and met many sheep along the way. Everyone was becoming more tired now after several days of walking, and yet everyone kept up and kept walking.
We had a final night of camping before we walked back in the rain to Mcleodganj. Everyone was delighted to shower and rest again after those adventurous days together.