The next morning, woke up very early because I had a very interesting day ahead because I had to cover lot of places and till this date, the places which were mysterious to me, were going to uncover their mystery. Since it was the beginning of February, I can’t say that I woke up to a wonderful morning… No! It was so cold and chilly I almost dropped the thought of waking up in the first place. But then I did… I had to somehow and opened the balcony of my hotel room and was mesmerized by the view outside, I knew then and there that this day will be offering me with some of my best memories.
The geyser of the hotel room wasn’t room wasn’t working. And I had to get out by 5 am. Fighting all odds, I set out at the given time by the driver because today our first destination was Changu (Tsmogo) Lake. I had only seen this lake in pictures and to my excitement increased in leaps and bounds when the car engine started and today’s journey began. I had already submitted the Xerox of my documents like Aadhar and Voter ID along with 4 recent photographs to the driver to get permission to visit the place as permit is of primary importance. Although this trip includes Baba Mandir and Nathula Pass as well, but as there was road blockage due to heavy snowfall at these places, so visit was denied at those places. But, there was no crying over spilt milk and I enjoyed my journey towards Changu Lake.
Before reaching the destination there are few local shops providing breakfast and they also sell woollens. The car stopped by such a shop and I decided to hire shoes suitable for walking on the snow and had steamy soupy egg Maggie for breakfast. We promised to return back to the shop while going back from here and pay the rent for the shoes.
As the car the moving towards the destination the temperature was constantly dropping and bits of snow was found lying here and there on the road. I was busy enjoying the heavenly view and was startled by the driver saying” We reached here.”
I got out of the car, walked towards the lake and had a feeling, “Even if I die after this, I will have no regrets”. The lake completely converted into ice and snow… Lots of tourists were already there enjoying their day… I was shivering even after wearing a sweater and a jacket. I ran towards the lake and started playing with snow… It was so much fun. The Kanchenjunga kept peeping every now and then making it more alluring. After clicking hell lot of pictures and playing with snow, I decided to do something different. I had heard about yak rides in Lake, but there were no take around. Upon enquiring I found out that there won’t be a ride available today as one of the yak riding community members had died and that they are mourning. This was really depressing and disturbing. With a heavy heart, I was just moving forward when I saw some people wearing the traditional Sikkimese dress and clicking pictures.
I just knew it made my day. There were people renting out dresses for clicking pictures. I quickly chose a nice colour for me and clicked some of my beautiful pictures. It really feels great to just blend with new culture and people, right? And so did I. I felt like one of them. But after some time it started getting really really cold, I dropped the idea of ropeway that provides out of the world views, without any hesitation as I couldn’t fight the cold anymore. I hopped back into the car going back to the hotel. Wait! This is not the end of the day. There was more to this day but I’ll continue with that nostalgia when again I miss my mountains, the winds, the pine..
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