An 8-year-old's First Trek Experience In The Himalayas

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An 8-year-old's First Trek Experience In The Himalayas

Category Family Treks Experiential Learning

By Stuthi Aithal


At Indiahikes we believe that children between the ages of 8 and 13 are most impressionable. They are full of energy on treks! And are always eager to see and learn new things. They also come up with the most questions and observations.

Stuthi Aithal went on the Dayara Bugyal Trek with us in June earlier this year. In her article ‘My first ever trek to Dayara Bugyal’, she writes about her first trekking experience.

It was my summer vacations and every summer vacation dad took me for an outing.  This time he took me for a trek to Dayara Bugyal, which was different. When we were about to go, I was very excited. But papa made me run in the evenings to be fit to walk long distances in the trek.

We started on 30th of May at 11.30 pm. We took an OLA auto to the railway station. When we stepped into the train I was surprised to see that papa had booked the seat just to the left of the door near carriage B1.

Stuthi with her parents on the Dayara Bugyal Trek.

As soon as we went in we settled down and stuffed our luggage. Then I leaped on our seat. First papa set-up the bed and made me sleep first. As soon as I laid my head on the soft pillow I was asleep. I rubbed my eyes and asked dad which was the next station? But he was asleep and after a few short minutes he woke up. He said we are going to reach Roorkee in few hours and from there we going to drive to Dehradun. I said “UuuuuGgggg” but I had fun jumping here and there on the seat as we reached Roorkee and stepped out I felt I was in a tandoor; it was very hot. We hired a car after coming out to the tanning sun. We sat in it. After a few hours, we reached the hotel in Dehradhun, 

Next day morning we went to the Dehradun railway station. There we saw a small group of trekkers talking to each other. We went to them and asked them are you going to Dayara Bugyal? They answered NO. I felt WHAT! 

I thought all the trekkers were going for the same trek. We went a little further and found a small clearing. We stood and waited for the others. Sometime later we saw young Bhai and Didi they asked the same question. But we answered YES. So they introduced themselves. 

Didi’s name was Sagarika and Bhai I didn’t hear. So soon papa saw that all the trekkers had arrived at a spot. There were two boys. Their names were Tanmay and Siddharth introduced himself as Nitin. 

Soon the driver came we (Dad, Maa and me) and didi and bhai sat in one bolero and then we started our journey to Raithal and dad sat in front seat along with me while others sat at the back. We all chit-chatted and I had become close to them. As they were from Bangalore so as me. I named bhai as crazy bhai as said crazy for everything. 

During the journey ma showed me step cultivation, I thought how could the villagers cut the mountains? I also saw houses in the valley and near the step cultivated farms. we soon reached Raithal. We warmly welcomed by our trek leader “Pragya Ma’am”. 

She showed us our 8 bed dorm. We chose our beds and sat on them. I jumped on bed with great joy. A few minutes after Nitin Uncle and his sons reached. Siddarth pounced on the bed which was near the window, Tanmay took the same bed on the other side, and uncle right beside Siddharth. Then they asked me do u know how to play UNO? I said yes. They jumped and shouted….yes!!. so they took a pack of Emoji UNO out of their bag. And told me all the rules and we played the game in full joy. In the first game I won. So I jumped in joy. So we played continuously. 

Later Maam called all the 20 trekkers to our dorm for an introductory meeting. In the meeting we had to introduce ourselves with why we have come for the trek, have we been for the trek before. I introduced myself in a simple manner but I felt nervous.

I liked the introduction of Diksha di as she had introduced as I have been to Dayara in winters and it was snowing. I have come in summers for exploring more about the place. There were other people too who introduced themselves. 

Then Pragya ma’am introduced herself, our guide Deep sir, our co guide Mahi Sir. she showed us the ECO bag and she said “keep the mountains clean by picking up the trash in the mountains”. After that we ended our meeting and rushed down stairs for dinner along with the box and mug. I ate hungrily the simple yet tasty dal chawal. 

Stuthi with her trek leader Pragya. Picture by – Rajesh Aithal

On the next day I took a cold freezing water bath and got ready for the trek. I felt really excited and bit scared, that I might slip and fall or it might rain and get wet. Then we took our boxes and mugs and went down for breakfast. There Mahi sir said…today it would be packed lunch. So we packed our lunch and gathered at the spot in a circle. 

Everyone looked very excited and perfectly ready for the amazing trek. Then ma’am came and distributed the ECO bags and made us do simple exercise and told us to set our rental trek poles. We left for our amazing trek with a great feeling of enthusiasm We started our trek with cool and pleasant weather. It was a 4 km trek, there were three guides along with 20 trekkers. Deep Sir , Siddharth and Tanmay were in the lead. On the trek we saw different types of trees and saw the Himalayas so near that I felt like I could just reach it in an arm’s length. We also saw large rocks. 

 After sometime we reached the rest point and I lied on the grass. Sometime later I asked Deep sir the names of the dogs which were accompanying us. He told their names as Basket, Laila and Bagheera.  After sometime during the trek it became steep, then Deep sir helped me and we all the children and Deep sir were in the lead. 

Stuthi at a rest point on the way to Dayara Bugyal. PC – Rajesh Aithal

When we were about to reach Nayata there was a narrow stream. There was a piece of wood as a tiny bridge, I thought I was helpless but an uncle helped me and I thanked him. We reached Nayata and I stood before a tent and waited for my parents to come.

 I was felt very tired after the trek. When everyone reached ma’am told us how to set up our tents. We entered our tents and ma’am told us that the tents were water proof as it was cloudy and could rain anytime. We slept because of tiredness, when I woke I had a heavy headache and kept on whining about the pain. Mom said drink water then I kept on drinking water. It started raining and didn’t stop until tea time. 

We wore our sweaters and went out. I was shivering from head to toe as it was very cold. Dad told ma’am about my headache. She suggested to drink water and take rest. We went to dinning tent with our boxes, we ate macaroni it was very tasty! We washed our boxes and returned to tent before leaving the dining tent ma’am told to be for dinner at 7.30 pm. 

We returned back and I slept inside the sleeping bag and when I woke up I sipped water every now and then. I was energetic, for some time I talked and then I looked at my MI 2 watch to see the steps it showed. It showed 10023.

Stuthi along with her mother, and the rest of their batch. PC – Rajesh Aithal

I couldn’t even imagine I could do it. over 10000!!!!then we heard a call “Dinner Time”!! we quickly took our boxes and mugs towards the dining tent. I sat at the corner so that I would not feel cold. Ma’am checked everyone Oxymeter. Then we ate our dinner hungrily. We went to our tents and just then we heard “tomorrow tea time 6.30, breakfast 7.30 leaving time 8.00 am. I cried from our tent “OK MAAM”!! then we went into our sleeping bags and slept comfortably. 

The next day I woke up around 4.40. I was lucky. I could see the sunrise. I was surprised to see the sun rise for the first time. Then we brushed our teeth, and I ate my breakfast at 6.00 AM as mom had asked in beforehand from them. Before I could finish I went to the toilet tents. Then I came back and sat on a big stone in the sun and finished my poha. It was warm by then, then di and bhai came, I spoke to them for some time. 

We did our regular exercise and started our second day trek. It was very steep at the beginning. We went through a small wood. We crossed a meadow, on the meadow I kept drinking water as I kept getting tired. Ma’am showed me battery charge exercise. 

We reached a rest point and I threw myself on the grass were the lake and temple were, ma’am told us the story of the lake and the temple, after sometime we again started. We went bit quicker as the weather was cloudy and we thought it might rain. 

We reached our next campsite Chilapada.  We drank our welcome drink (lemon juice) and ma’am showed us how to pitch our tents. We quickly pitched our tents and rushed to the dinning tent along with our boxes and mugs for lunch. We ate our delicious lunch as we finished it, rain started. We stayed in dining tent all evening! 

I came to know that crazy bhai was also a great fan of Harry Potter just like me. I played ludo with Guddu di, Siddarth, Mahi Sir. It was fun game and I played UNO several times. In that we also played group ATLAS in which there were 2 groups. They were Pragya ma’am team and Siddharth team. In the end we won, as I was in ma’am team. In the game we also added the names of the metro stations. We laughed and enjoyed very much. 

We asked ma’am after we had our dinner what are the time for tomorrow? She replied Tomorrow is SUMMIT DAY so we will start early, 5.30, 6.30, 7.30 AM.I was thinking who would wake up so early?!! 

So that night I slept early having a dream of the experience of the two days. It was about how ma’am had motivated me and maa . She taught me battery charge exercise, it was fun dream.

 The next day at 4.30 AM we all woke up, we saw the sunrise. We brushed our teeth and ate our breakfast and started our third day and important day trek. It was a 11 km trek. I started the summit day very happily and was very excited. We had a water resource where we refilled our water bottles and took some rest. Hali Didi took some photos of ours with the mountains. 

Stuthi at Dayara Bugyal. PC – Rajesh Aithal

Then we started towards the final summit climb. I found climbing the summit very difficult but Ma’am helped me climb it. We stopped at the rest point and sat down then we removed our bags at the spot and started the final climb. 

When I came to the Summit I went to the place where others were sitting and I danced around and chanted I HAVE REACHED THE SUMMIT!!!……. We clicked a lot of photos, we also had a group photograph. 

Then we had to descend, I thought this place is so nice !!! I wanted to slide down instead of walking back from the Summit. I was in the lead while descending. On the way down we found a dung less spot and had our lunch and started our trek again. Then we stopped at a dabbha. The adults drank tea, while I made some new riddles.  

Then we started and reached a rest point and drank water. We started again but on the way mules were coming so when they were coming ma’am shouted “mules aaa rehe hai” so we flattened ourselves before a fallen tree. Then we came to an area were a tree was slanting. I wanted to climb on it and slide down directly to Gui and reach first. We reached Gui. 

Tanmay was already rolling on the sparkling clean green grass. I was so excited that I wanted to roll too. We reached a tent which was already settled! We took our sleeping bags. We stayed outdoors I like the Gui the best than other campsites, as it was clean and we could ROLL ROLL ROLL!!. 

When we were getting fresh and washing our hands we smelled the chowmein. All the children’s mouth watered. At tea time we ate our chowmein which was yumm….then we went back to our tents and changed. Then we played Frisbee then UNO and spent evening playing. 

Then it was dinner time and had our tasty dinner and went out and saw an amazing!! Outstanding!! Sight in the sky. There were so many stars that you cannot imagine!!!!! It was the most wonderful sight ever seen in the sky. 

We washed our hands and utensils and went back to our tent and came back with the torch and roamed about watching the twinkling stars. We went back to our tent and slept in our sleeping bags soundly. But I kept hearing the birthday celebration of Pragya Ma’am.

 Next morning, we woke up and saw the sun rise and we brushed our teeth and drank our black tea and rolled on the grass for 2 times. It was very much fun. We came for dining tent with boxes and mugs it was my favorite breakfast….Chola Puri, and Khakra after having the delicious breakfast we started our trek which was 4 km trek to Raithal. 

We reached a Stoney way then we came to a straight way were Basket was waiting, I patted her head. Then we walked on the road for some time till we reached our start point (basecamp). 

I felt at last we were back and went to our dorm. We all took a bath, and I felt fresh and clean. Then when we came out and went down stairs for lunch everyone was happy, hungry and tired. It was my favorite Rajma Chawal.

 Ma’am gave us Dayara Bugyal fridge magnet. Then we went back the dorm. The next morning, we got ready and then we boarded our BOLERO to Dehradun. We reached Dehradun and Papa booked a taxi to Lucknow. We returned safely home.

This trek was my first trek so I was excited and I enjoyed it very much. I will remember this trek forever even if I do many treks more, which I will….

Stuthi Aithal

About the author

Stuthi Aithal is an enthusiastic short story writer and a budding artist. A couple of her short stories have been published in “Children’s World” a monthly children’s magazine published by CBT. She at Indus Valley Public school, Lucknow. After her trekking experience in Dayara Bugyal, she has gained interested in trekking and plans to do more treks in the coming years.