Tuesday, November 8, 2011

In the lap of Himalayas - My Journey

It has almost being more than 16 months where I had taken a break for more than 7 days from my work and recently it was starting to show while I was sitting beside my computer at my office the want of going out. Then Metallica show was going to be Delhi on 28th October and friends had decided to go for it, I also jumped the bandwagon and purchased the tickets. While thinking a lot as I was already in Delhi why not go for a longer duration to beautiful places in Rajasthan, HP, Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab etc etc. I started doing my research and as it was a holiday time all tourist places are going to be full. After going through more I bumped into http://himalayanfarmproject.com/ who wanted volunteers to work on their newly purchased farm (an organic one)

Here my journey starts, where I put a comment on the volunteer page and yay I was invited. I was all geared up to live in the farm, backpack, sleeping bags, odomos, torch and just few pairs of shorts and shirts. Just a day before my trip I decided on missing out of Metallica to get an extra day in the farm and it turned out to be one of the most awesomest decisions I took. Reached Delhi airport at 7 PM and took the Express Air Con bus to Kashmiri Gate where I could get a bus towards Nainital. Though I got ripped off by Rickshaw driver and travel agent in Delhi (yeah it happens everywhere in India the duo of Rickshaw driver and travel agent earn a hell lotsa money that way from tourist) got into so called Kinglong bus and journey started. We reached Kathgodam (the last station on the Uttrakhand) at 5 am, I got down and found out that the village DoGaon was still 12 KMS away and luckily bus was going from there. Told the driver to drop me off at the village and luckily he dropped me off at the tea stall which was open.

My conversation with tea - stall person
Me: Do you know Brigadiar Hari Pant
Tea Stall owner: What? Who?
Me: The guy who owns the Himalayan Farm Project
Tea Stall Owner: What? Who? There is nothing like that here
Me: This is Dogaon right?
Tea Stall Owner: Yes!
Me: There are some white people in the farm
Tea Stall Owner: OHH!! yes yes the road just goes up from here. (pointing to the road)
This is the point to think, the person does not know the owner but the white people who work there he knows where they are.  
After walking up for almost 2 hours which they say you will reach in 50 mins (i guess for a fit person) I reach this place which at first does not give you that wow feeling just keep walking to the main door and the awesomeness just hits you. I was greeted by 5 people Keveen (from France), Gina (from US), Mark (from UK), Choe (from Belgium) and Sybille (from Switzerland) who have being here for past 3 days. After having some black tea, biscuit and toast with mixed fruit jam we just talk randomly. Keveen who has being a traveler for last 11 years (I admire this man) tells us the mini - project on what all we have to do in the farm and there are too many things to do as this is just a start.

For next 5 days we were each given a task to finish and everyone finished them with help from others at times, where I had to do the trenches for the toilet, paint the wood, clear the jungle, make compost, clear and make beds where we can plant the vegetables.

So the daily schedule was wake up around 6 am (or it is upto you how long you want to cuddle in the bed), have hot black tea/coffee (you have to make it) with some toast, biscuits etc (or sunday special like pancakes), do your morning chores like poop, brush, clean (if you like icy cold water), start working on your project which is talked in the morning, finish the task your way, enjoy the cool breeze. By that time someone will be preparing lunch for all of us which would include Rice, vegetable curry and salad (sometimes eggs, at times macaroni and cow cheese), talk have fun, pull each other leg, know more about their travel, relax for an hour or so, get back to work, it starts to get dark around 5 PM where you feel the need to go back. Make tea for everyone and enjoy with bhujiyas or biscuits.

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keveen Gabet said...

Man, we love love love...thanks for being such an awesome partner, co-lover and co-founder of the HFP!! Keveen

Hari Pant said...

Hey Vishwas, thanks for being part of The Farm Project and for wonderful collaboration. Keveen, Gina, Mark and Tom have many memorable things to sat about you. The farm is always for you. Love and hugs. Hari

Himalayan Farmer said...

The Himalayan Farmer sends love, love , love and hugs to Vishy --- the guy fond of food.

Peace, light and best all the way from The Farm.