The Snow Leopard Trail 2018
Jobs fill your pocket but adventures like these fill your soul!
At the outset let me be honest, I’m quite not a fan of trekking but when it comes to adventure, a big yes. A fine evening, I get a message from our dear editor, Faisal Khan, that he’s sending me to a vacation (The Snow Leopard Trail 2018) organised by The Road Less Travelled. Now, the best part about Faisal is that he doesn’t ask me whether I can attend a particular event or not, he just drops a text mentioning “sending you to this event”. Being a travel-loving person, I hop on to every opportunity and never say a no.
I, in fact, had absolutely no idea what The Road Less Travelled or The Snow Leopard Trail was all about. A quick Google search on the Snow Leopard Trail and The Road Less Travelled gave me a fair idea of what exactly I could expect from this 9-day excursion. Honestly, the very idea that we could spot a Snow Leopard and also the fact that I would be given a car (Maruti Gypsy) to drive from Kufri to Kibber (the destination) got me super excited because one, I love wildlife and two, I love to drive.
To give you a fair idea of The Road Less Travelled, it is a travel company based in Mumbai which conducts luxury tours for an affordable price. Shankar Ganesh and Vinayta Raheja head the travel company. Shankar was a part of our trip and ensured everything was taken care of, including our food and stays. This was a 9-days trip, so I literally had lots of packing to do. Clothes, cosmetics and since this was a journey to Kibber (in Spiti) where temperatures in the evening and early morning are in the vicinity of up to – 20 degrees, I also had to pick some winter-ready apparels like thermals, gloves, cap and jacket.
Shopping done and I fly down to Delhi from Bengaluru on 25th February to join Rakesh Dhareshwar, who was the official photographer of the trip and a Bombay-based doctor named Chetan Shetty accompanied us. Myself, Rakesh and Chetan were being driven from Delhi to Chandigarh to join the other 9 members of the trip. The three of us bonded quite well owing to the fact that we belonged to a particular state. A special mention to the parathas we had on our way to Chandigarh at Amrit Sukhdev Dhaba at Murthal. A light dinner and a good night’s rest and we were all set for the trip of a lifetime (for me at least).