A headload worker's solo expedition to the Himalayas
An adventurous journey across the snow clad mountains is indeed a dream for many, especially youngsters. Well, here is the story of a man who chose to follow his heart and his desire to fulfill a long cherished dream to explore the Himalayan mountain ranges of Pakistan, China and India.
Vaishak, a heavyload worker from Chiyyaram in Thrissur district, travelled for 28 days relieving the burden of his life. He is a headload worker of CITU Union in Althara. Vaishak saved the money from his work to realise his dream to embark on an expedition to the mountains in his Suzuki Gixxer bike. Language was not an obstruction to his journey as he is fluent in four languages - Hindi, Tamil, Malayalam and English.
Vaishak's aspiration to bask in the natural beauty of the Himalayas started when he received a driving licence. While he was pursuing his diploma in electronics from Erode, he longed to traverse the mountains. Even though he could not complete his studies, his long cherished dream was kept intact.
Vaishak, father of a two-year-old boy, procured parent’s consent for the journey through wife Suprabha.
Vaishak was joined by Sameer, a native of Malappuram, during the initial stages of his journey. But Sameer failed to complete the expedition owing to some reasons and returned by train.
Vaishak set off his expedition from Chiyyaram on September 12 at 5 am. He departed with three pairs of clothing and five liter petrol. Vaishak recalled that on the way to Mangaluru at night, he was worried about not getting proper accommodation. It was then that he came across a few travellers.
Together, they spent their night at a deserted petrol pump. Vaishak also said that the soldiers and people of Andra pradesh whom he met at the check posts and borders treated him with generosity and affection.
On the way from Lonavala to Pune, a Punjabi Dhaba owner offered him free accommodation. On the next day, after expressing his gratitude to the dhaba owner, he resumed his journey.
Vaishak recalled that he took the permit from Leh and commenced on the journey. He said that he got the opportunity to mingle with the locals of the area. The day before the arrival in Srinagar, he had to witness the confrontation between locals and army men. He said that stone pelting at the military personals were still widespread in those areas. He returned through Haryana via Nagpur.
However the expedition was not at all a smooth sail. Vaishak had to face some hardships during his journey. He had to wear two gloves protect himself from the bitter cold. He felt the cold piercing through his nails. Another challenge he had to face was finding proper route on Google Map. He did not give any proper attention to his diet as he was afraid that he would run out of money. He had his food from refreshment kiosks. Though Vaishak expected that his budget would not exceed Rs 25000, he had to spent around Rs 42500.