Survive in the Jungle Tour

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Survive in the Jungle tour Part 1 How do you bond with other young men living with hemophilia? That's me with Paras in Haldwani The obvious answer would be to spend time with them. That was the basic idea behind the „Survive in the Jungle‟ tour last August. I teamed up with my friends from our local youth group which I admin and we started planning to hit the Great Himalayas. We decided to tour Ranikhet and surrounding areas in the state of Uttarakhand. The mountains were a natural choice. Th
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  Survive in the Jungle tour Part 1 How do you bond with other young men living with hemophilia? That's me with Paras in Haldwani The obvious answer would be to spend time with them. That was the basic idea  behind the „Survive in the Jungle‟ tour last August. I teamed up with my friends from our local youth group which I admin and we started planning to hit the GreatHimalayas. We decided to tour Ranikhet and surrounding areas in the state of  Uttarakhand. The mountains were a natural choice. They represent something that‟s powerful and invincible. There is an inherent feeling of a challenge about touringthem. Uttarakhand - The Land of Divine Spirits  August is right in the middle of the Monsoons (the rainy season), and thus not a verygood time to try out something adventurous in the Himalayas. However, one of ourgroup members, Pankaj, was a native of Ranikhet and we were convinced that we canmanage things well as he had a strong local network. We started out with thisoptimistic feeling at noon on 13 th August and reached Haldwani the same night after a long drive. Signboards saying “Welcome to the Devbhoomi - Uttarakhand” greete d us. Uttarakhand is also known by the name Devbhoomi which would mean “Land of the Divine Spirits”. And the unquestionable beliefs of locals certainly make you think  about the spirits living in these mountains. The tourers The next day, we took off for the Jaina village, a relatively unknown location that wasuntouched by tourism. I and my friend Paras had very little knowledge about life inthe Himalayas. We were surprised by the challenges that locals face on a daily basis,people had to trek long distances just to get items of basic need which we get homedelivered in cities. Pankaj told us that life has become very convenient in the past fewyears with roads being laid out in most areas. It is hard to imagine how things wouldhave been before that. The feet still stay a very important means of transport. One caneasily outrun a car while going up or down mountains as it will have to travel on roadswinding around the hills while one can just trek up or down a vertical foot trail. For aperson with a bleeding disorder, this can be the worst place to develop a bleed.Having our clotting factors with us was such a comforting thought. We sure neededthem in the coming days.    The view from our accommodation in the Jaina village  Part 2 –   Murphy’s Law   The morning was beautiful. We could feel the cool mountain breeze rush into our room as soonas the window opened. I burrowed myself deeper in my blanket. The other boys were nestledtightly in their beds. Our place at the Jaina village Rising up finally, we opened the door to see what awaited us right outside. Light drizzle. WHAT! DRIZZLE! What was the possibility of it getting worse?! “It‟ll stop in a moment, let‟s pack our stuff, we should move early if we have to do all treks we planned.” Pankaj feltcomfortably at home while saying this. No surprises there…it was his home! Jaina was his village, and we were standing at the doorstep of his home waiting for the drizzle to stop. It didn‟t!  We were all packed up but we were not leaving as yet. We had to assess ourselves for any fresh joint bleeds and wait for the drizzle to stop. Everyone seemed fit, so after a long time waiting forthe clouds to show mercy, we decided to start out anyway. We had parked our car by the mainroad which was at a distance from the village. The trail from the village to the road was steep anddeserved men with good lungs. We were building our stamina and our hamstrings in the middleof the highest mountains of the world while the rain gods were making our path even morechallenging by lubricating it!
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