Slept like a baby in my Bluebolt solo tent on a small flat patch of land above the highway in the Alaknanda river valley near Mathyana. Woke up by my 7am alarm, packed up my gears, jumped in a share taxi and was on my way. Got off at Nandaprayag near a small dhaba where I indulged in a chai and a few cream rolls to wake up my system.
Followed by two aloo paratha’s with sweet curd. I was fully energized for my next traverse. Crossing over an interior section between Alaknanda and Lavkush Ganga river valley near the confluence with the Pindari river through two passes: Daroli Khal and Khaltol Khal. I packed up two samosa’s and 5 cream rolls and was ready to go. Took a share jeep till the junction near Sunala where a small road enters this interior ghat section.
Got lucky to hitch yet another ride getting me across this road section till Hindoli village where my planned trail starts. From Hindoli a less frequent used trail climbs up along the ridgeline above the road section to the Daroli pass. As per the Survey map the trail was to contour towards the pass. On the ground however the trail continued along the ridge.
The trail was vague at times being less frequented. Steep at times but the ridge remainder fairly smooth. A good thousand meter ascent from Hindoli got me to the peak at 2400m. Intense enough to wake me up and digest breakfast. Now things got messy. Was initially planning to get down from the peak to the Daroli pass.
However a few clear trails got my attention and diverted me elsewhere until fading out in the forest. One trail finally got me down into the valley through a fairly steep slope. Pine forest with full soil burned except the trail so I was able to stay on track. A 700m steep drop got me to the hamlet of Sundhi where a nice path contoured along the valley slope towards my second pass.
Road construction was happening across the valley. The government was trying to connect every single hamlet to the rest of the world including it in the economic progress. I was able to avoid the road following the old path passing through various small hamlets. Mid day I got to the village of Kotli where I passed a house that appeared to be a whole sale store cum post office.
A gentleman was recording postal traffic in a big log book. I asked if I could get chai anywhere in village. He got up, offered me a stool to sit and went up to make tea. He came back with siscuits, namkeen mix and tea. Asked me if I wanted to eat lunch also. I kindly passed the offer in the interest of time. I continued my journey along a nice path contouring gradually up to the Khaltol Khal pass.
I could not avoid the road in between which had destroyed the old pathway. Crossed the pass at 1800m and now followed the road towards Rains village at the base of my next target – the Kim Khal to cross over into the Nandakini river valley near town of Ghat. I reached Rains late afternoon and found a nice little dhaba so decided to halt for the night.
Dinner and breakfast were taken care before climbing up to the next pass. I charged up my electronics, posted some photos on social media and blogged the traverse of today. The evening skies turned bright orange as the evening set in. I ordered Maggie with eggs and settled in my tent as the temperature was dropping.