For the duo from Bangalore that went on a road trip to Uttarakhand in a refurbished Willys jeep and later went on a trek to Roopkund, what they came to experience was certainly not the adventure they had hoped for.
They returned to Delhi early on Saturday, after five days of nightmarish experiences in the storm and rain that caused misery to the entire State.
Bangalore-based Srinivas, a mechanical engineer, and K.R. Ramaswamy, a State government employee, were stuck in the high mountains in Chamoli district. They were stranded at a place called Pathar Na Choli while they were on their way down from Roopkund trek in Garhwal Himalayas.
Wind, the destroyer
“At least 12 tents and the kitchen area in the camp site were blown away by the gusty winds that accompanied rainfall. On June 16 morning, we had the dreadful sight of cattle and mules being washed away by the swollen river as it had rained very heavily for over 20 hours,” Mr. Ramaswamy told The Hindu from Delhi.
Locals, a great help
As the situation turned worse, the locals advised the duo and the other group members to move to a safer area called Loharjung where they had parked their 1969 Willys jeep that they had driven earlier from Bangalore. Despite heavy rainfall, they started their nearly 40-km long trek to Loharjung on a highly slippery forest track, watching en route the devastation caused by the rain.
“Huge boulders and a large number of trees were washed downstream by the river and roads were blocked by fallen trees and landslides,” Mr. Srinivasa said. For them, the misery did not end there.
“The drive up to Gwaldham, a distance of about 32 kilometres, took us more than 23 hours with a overnight stop at Devala, as we had to clear roads and carefully drive over mud and boulders brought down by the landslides,” he added.