After grabbing dinner in Barkot I left this bigger town to pitch up my tent for the night in a peaceful spot above the Yamuna river. Today s target was an ancient path through the Palachu pass connecting the Yamuna valley with Uttarakashi. The path had fallen in disuse due to a nearby highway connecting both valleys.
The path starts nearby the hamlet of Nandgaon. As usual I did not meet a single soul along the entire way and could indulge in peacefulness of the desolate forest. Once I reached the pass I followed a smaller trail East along the ridge towards a temple marked on Google maps. Nagal Naag Devta turned out to be a very small mandir near the source of a water stream.
From a nearby saddle I descended along a nice rock path to a deserted isolated hamlet high up in the mountains. Here I completely lost the trail. I initially tried descending along a ridge but that became to steep so I had to retrace my steps back uphill. Back at the hamlet I discovered a nice pathway that contoured back to the base of the Palachu pass.
From here the path lead down into the valley initially through dense forest to eventually open up into small farming hamlets further down – Balangaon, Jaspur and Nakurigad. In Jaspur I plucked a few oranges from a tree in full bearing. Further down I hitched a ride in a van that carried road workers back to their camp.
We finally hit the Uttarakashi highway at Nakuri and I got off at a small road side dhaba in Bandarkot where I indulged in my favorite food – fried mommo’s. After 5 days in the mountains my feet are slowly getting used to the daily routine of hill exploration.