I woke up to the cold dawn of day from my cosy tent next to a small temple of Pantwari village. Grabbed some chowmin in the local dhaba and packed up an alloo paratha for the day ahead. I initially followed the road to cross a small bridge to the opposite side of the valley.
From here a trail gradually climbs out of the valley along a barren East facing slope to the hamlet of Biror. A clear path now climbs up along a ridge to the Nagthat temple above. The trail now dips into a lush green forest on the other side to a saddle from where it finally climbs up to the main top ridge.
Main target for today is to traverse this long ridgeline which heads East before descending North into another valley. Snow covered ranges of Joshimath are visible at the horizon. The ridge trail goes through several small isolated hamlets, some deserted, some being farmed. The ridge is bound by barren brown grassland on the Southern slopes and lush green forest on the Northern side.
At the hamlet of Acchandra the trail drops down left from the ridgeline and contours along the Northern slope gradually downhill to the road side hamlet of Athangaon where I hope to find food for the night. Unfortunately the road appears to be a forest track and the hamlet a deserted settlement.
Hungry and with darkness falling I push another 10K along this deserted jeep track into the night through desolate forest short cutting through some trails in search for food. Eventually clocking 41K for the day I reach the village of Balgaon where to my joy I find a small dhaba still open to refill my empty stomach.