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Uttarakhand Trail-Day1

by Bhairab Giri Goswami last modified 2010-12-08 10:23

Reaching the HESCO campus late last night, after a fair bit of searching and losing our way and driving around in the wilderness with nowhere to go, we were just beginning to feel lucky for having reached safe and sound when we realized that our place of stay was in fact right beside the forest and very close to the river. Although that might evoke rather romantic notions of fancy riverside rooms (which weren’t so) and a beautiful campus (which it was), the simple, harsh truth for us at that very moment was that we were freezing to death! However, sans the luxury, the rooms were as comfortable as we could want them to be.

Spent the night well tucked in and woke up fresh. Strict instructions from Dr. Anil Joshi, the man behind all the activities at HESCO, did not allow us any breakfast without a visit to the temple first. The temple was a small, unassuming structure right next to the river and was not even visible from too far away. Its presence, however, could be felt in the soothing mantras playing inside. Went there, said our prayers and having finally qualified to eat some food, moved for breakfast.

The opening session began post-breakfast and went rather well. Dr. Joshi was very enthusiastic and spoke with a lot of passion about the environment. It was exciting to find out that Shri Sunderlal Bahuguna, someone we’ve only read about in books, actually stayed in the same campus. He too attended the session and interacted actively with students from the Government Polytechnic. The students were very confident and asked intelligent, relevant questions. It was encouraging to see them take an active part in the dialogue and not just be mute spectators, as happens in a lot many college events. This interaction and the discussions that ensued delayed lunch and we got late for our visit to CBRI.

We ended up reaching CBRI quite late and there wasn’t enough time to go through the entire proceedings as planned, so we skipped the presentation and headed for the Technology Park after brief introductions. The tech park was quite interesting, and most of the innovations displayed there could very well be replicated in most parts of the country. The visit was rather hurried because it was getting dark, but we managed to cover all that they had to show.

One of the cars broke down on the way back which delayed us even further, but did give us a chance to have a nice cup of tea at the banks of the Ganges. Having washed off as many of our sins as we could manage with all our clothes on, we moved on, the traffic of two cars stuffed into one, and reached the HESCO campus safe and sound, but cold and hungry. As before, the staff at the campus did not disappoint and had the food ready within 15 minutes. Had a good meal, had a good day, and now going off to sleep hoping tomorrow is even better! Adios!

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