Wednesday, 15th September 2010
Good morning Darjiling Para. I have made myself ready very quickly, and was waiting for others. It was around 5:30 at morning, when a team of three people from us started for Keokaradong. Few minutes after following them, me and Partho started for Keokaradong. Others will start shortly when everyone will get ready.
Partho had some problem at last day, and he required lots of break on the way. So today he wanted to start a bit early to manage a bit more break on the way. Both of us were moving steadily, we didn't need to do any hurry until the team behind us started pushing.
Being started early at morning, the weather was pleasant. Here and there we were able to find pieces of cloud floating. Luckily found a partial rainbow at the sky too. When we were enjoying the scenic beauty around, suddenly realized that we are near at the peak of the mammoth Keokaradong. Joined with the other three person who started early. It was covered with clouds all around, and hardly possible to see anything. We were waiting there for the other mates, and by that time were enjoying the beauty of sun rising and clouds floating. If you have time you can enjoy a video Cloudy Keokaradong.
We had around an hour of break at Keokaradong. During this break, Partho started to collect the plastic materials from around and burned those. Few of us helped him. While collecting those crumbs, some of us got leeches. Kind of warm-up, cause lots those will come today on our way. Also I have found lots of insects like black ant, but a bit larger. Later came to know those are harmless, except can get inside through your ears.
Now our next destination is Passing Para. around 10 minutes of downwards from Keokaradong peak. If you call this is a village, then it is at the topmost(3000 ft) village from Bangladesh. This is just built two or three years before, so people don't like to call this as a village. Anyway, you can find clouds easily, cause you can feel those clouds from here. It will pass over you, and suddenly you can find you and the whole village is inside the cloud.
We have to prepare our breakfast, and Passing Para is a very suitable place for doing that. This time we were using the house come shop of Robert Bawm. Once again we bought lots of "Bela Biscuit" for initial breakfast. Today our breakfast menu was noodles. Experts from our team moved to prepare that. Noodles will be cooked with the "Lau Shak"(leaf of a vegetable, don't know the proper English, funny). By this time we started to explore the village.
From this village, the "Jadupai Waterfall" is around 1.5 hours downwards(2.5 hours upwards while returning). Last night a group stayed here at Passing Para, and their destination is that waterfall. They wanted to make a documentary, and along with them they had a cameraman from NTV(a satellite channel from Bangladesh). But unfortunately, that cameraman left them from Ruma Bazar(cause shown sick, but I believe he was afraid to come such a far way). So they had to do it with their regular camera, and they were a bit upset for that.
By this time our breakfast prepared. Its one plate of noodles for two person. Me and Partho shared a plate, and interestingly he had a spoon at his bag, and think again, we were having noodles with spoon at a village like that! I didn't have such a noodles before, but it was tasty. I want to let you know, we had too many experts with us who are well enough for cooking. I think I was lucky being with them, and they were unlucky cause I'm a good for nothing for this purpose.
After the breakfast, once again started to packing, and need to move forward. This time next 45 minutes will be the toughest path for today. Its heavily steep path, and tons of leeches around the path. People call this "Hati Jok", but later when I saw that, confirmed as "China Jok", a kind of leach that have two mouths. I was happy to see that, cause that was the largest leech from that area, and I had experience with that before. So what to fear?
Slippy path, and almost 70 angle downwards. It was hard to plant my feet over those. I can bet rest of us having the same problem. There are some places where you can see a turn, and beside that its nothing. So your one second of carelessness can put an end for your life. Partho has serious phobia about height. He required a hand for the whole trek this time. Frankly, some places were so tough that my heart was beating inside my chest like a drum. But I had a dry! smile on my face to show that I'm not afraid. There was a point, where I couldn't grip with my shoes, otherwise the trek was smooth for me.
I have enjoyed the crackling sound throughout the trek. Different kinds of insects were making different different sounds. The trees around were too long, and too dense. Its hard to reach the sunlight at the bottom of those trees. And you know such kind of places are a heaven for leeches. I have seen lots of leeches were moving over the grasses and green leafs, and I was cautious about stepping over the grass.
We have found a wooden bridge at the bottom of the hill. Its over a jhiri, and we have taken water from there. Our next destination is "Sunsong Para"(some people called it as Shusong para). Its not that much far from here. So started once again. But suddenly rain started dropping, and started to dropping heavily. I have placed my camera inside the polythene bag. Our cloths were already inside the polythene bag, and that was placed inside our bags.
Still walking instead of rain. Nothing to do, no place to get a shelter. Some of us was enjoying the rain. Some of us thanked to the god for rain, cause we didn't want to miss rain from this expedition, specially during trekking at day. It was a bit hard to walk on such a situation. I got tons of mud under my boots. It was taking much energy. When the water was dropping over my mouth, I was sucking those with my tongue. Since the rain started, the leeches are on a mood of Christmas day. They started to come out too.
Some place from the road was having too much mud. Some place has around 1 ft depth of mud. I was careful about not to put my feet over those, but did once, ugggh stinky, cause you can see the shits of pigs and cows around. I hate those anyway.
We took a break at a shop of Sunsong Para. Once again, biscuit with water. Some of us had banana from there. But I missed that due to inadequate supply. Everyone was started to removing their shoes and checking for leeches. And everyone got attacked by leeches more or less. Some of us from the team never seen leech before. Their expression was horrible, and screaming like hell. One of them picked the leech from his body, and threw at me! That really annoyed me, and I have shouted him until others cooled me. Luckily I didn't get any leech at my feet this time(but 10 minutes later found that blood was dripping from by legs! awweee)
After having a short break, 5 minutes of walking will take us to the Sunsong Para army camp. I was surprised by the way of reception of those armies. They have welcomed us with lemon juice and biscuit. There were no limit for the juice, I got three glasses, and still they wanted me to have more! There were too many biscuits and we have confirmed them that it will be more than enough for us. But they were reluctant to return back those biscuits. They offered us to take those with use if we couldn't finish it here. But interesting, we have finished those with in a flash!
Those army used to come here using helicopter, and their foods used to come here using helicopter too. Once in a month I guess. They were happy to see Bengali people around them. After letting thank to those army brothers, we have started for the Rumana Para, our final shelter, a trek for 40 minutes. By this time the sun is up once again, and started getting hot. After reaching at Rumana Para, we were removing our dirty! cloths and placed them under the sun for getting dry a bit. Hassa Bhai from our team found a guava garden, and got lots of for us. Those were ripen and tasty.
Now its time for shower. It was an offer for us, interesting people can go to explore the source of Ruma Khal, only few of us grabbed that offer, and started for the source. Its near to that Rumana Para. The source of the ruma khal is created from two Jhiri(water stream), one is Salova Jhiri, and other one is Pankhoa Jhiri. Since we have time on hand, and there is nothing to do today, I wanted to explore the Salova Jhiri, and requested the team captain to take us further through Salova.
That jhiri was awesome, teal water around, most of those are crystal like water. Not too many people used to explore this jhiri, except the hunters. The water level is around 1-2 feet an average. But for a rain, the height of the canal can raise exponentially, and can kill anyone if s/he is not aware about rapid height increasing. There are lots of mini waterfalls around the path of this jhiri. the base of those waterfall has around 10 feet of depth. So if anyone doesn't know swim, can get drown easily.
Our team captain talked about a nice place ahead, and we will trek till that place, and after enjoying that one, we'll return back. The place is actually a bit darker, cause both sides have tall bank, and over that bank trees are covering the jhiri from sunlight. Also there is a small waterfall, if you want to move further, you have to pass over that waterfall. The water around that place is around 6/7 ft deep. If you want to go further, you have to swim over that.
Now we started to return back, and wanted to have our shower at "Rumana Para Waterfall". After shower, when returning back, found leeches over my feet once again. These are small in size. When we reached at the village, found the sun is under the cloud, and will be a rain in any moment. Those who didn't went for shower, their cloths were dried by that time. But I have just washed my cloths, and how would I dry those??
Today's dinner menu was chicken curry and rice. I think today I have had 14/15 green chilies with my dinner. Those were small and hot, too hot. But I think being hungry, i didn't realize that. Chicken was collected from village people. 440 taka for more than two kg chicken so far I remember. Each of us had only three piece from chicken curry.
During night, we had the best facility for sleeping so far. No blanket or pillow sharing tonight. Each one will have a pillow and a blanket. Wow unbelievable. But you know, once again I didn't have a sound sleep. Hassan Bhai was beside me, and at night when he moved over my hand, i was feeling like Jerry mouse, couldn't get out my hand from under his giant body, horrible. At the middle of night, I was siting at bed several times.
Click here to read Day-4