The name is also an adventure event , so the trip activities vary from ziplining, white water rafting , to mountain biking . I ended up choosing “Walking Holiday in the Himalayas – Kullu Valley” by Banjara Camps because the level of difficulty is the lowest, which is 2 out of 5. Do not imagine the Himalaya is Mount Everest but this is only in a small part of the Himalayas, precisely in the province of Himachal Pradesh in India. However, this trip has the longest period, which is one full week on 6-13 December 2018.

Frankly, I immediately jiper! Walking Holiday means a walking holiday, but this is in the Himalayas! That is, walking at an altitude of thousands of meters above sea level. It’s impossible for the road to be flat, right? This activity is more accurately called hiking , or even trekking . And done in a week? Omaigat ! In the snowy winter too! Brrrr! Add another jiper this is an international group. You know the Caucasians when walking is really messy, especially when hiking . In height, his step is our two steps. I can only hope that later in the group there will be a slower pace than me.

Long story short, we all met at the New Delhi railway station. Turns out my prayer was answered. The group consisted of only three, namely me, an Indian girl who is a hard-line mountain kid, and a 67 year old American grandpa! Our guide was Rajesh, a 190cm tall Indian guy, big as a bear and the owner of Banjara Camps who organized this trip. Weird combination isn’t it?

The Team: Rajesh, me, Archana, Tom

We took a train bound for Delhi-Chandigargh for 3 hours. Followed by a car driven by Rajesh to Thanedhar with a winding road along the slopes of the mountains. We went through Shimla, where the famous Indian film “3 Idiots” was shot, which turned out to be very crowded. Late at night we finally arrived at Banjara Orchard Retreat and we stayed in a log cabin overlooking a 2,000 meter deep valley!

View from my cabin’s window

The next day, the first hike began. I don’t know at what altitude, what is clear is that the vegetation is dominated by highland pine trees. At first it was still a slightly uphill path, I confidently walked while whistling because the scenery was beautiful. Between the pine trees rise mountains with snowy peaks: the Himalayas! After a while we entered the forest where the trees were getting denser and a bit darker, which were getting steeper and more breath-taking. I just realized that the Indian girl who was in front of me was nowhere to be seen, as well as the Caucasian battery behind me was nowhere to be seen. God, we’re so far from each other! I continued to walk uphill while cursing in my heart, “Why am I following this? Tired, you know!

You know, there’s a stretch of snow in front of you! You tacky, I immediately grabbed hold of the ice and waited for the battery to be driven. You know #anakmedsos! The battery finally came and successfully slipped and fell! Ouch ! Long story short, we were walking while sliding on the ice, on the sand, continuing to climb upwards until… why is there a paved road? 1 km from there we arrived at a sign that reads “Hatu Peak at 3,352 m” and above it is a temple! Well, why are you tired of hiking for hours if you can take a car all the way up here?! Rajesh laughed, “Well, we’re on a walking tour , not a car tour !” Unlucky. Eh, but proud because I managed to finish the climb that day.


From Thanedhar we drive all day to Sojha through the slopes of the Himalayas. Because there were only four of us in the car, we just relaxed if we wanted to stop to take pictures. However, the battery, who turned out to be a diabetic, most often asked to stop urinating on the side of the road. Duh, if I was blessed with being 67 years old, how would I go on a hiking trip like this! In the afternoon we arrived at Banjara Retreat and Cottage which is in the Seraj Valley and overlooking the Pir Panjal Range – the snowy mountains that are part of the Inner Himalaya that extends to Kashmir. The weather is cold! I was shivering and smoke came out of my mouth like in AC Milan.

The next hike starts from the Jalori Pass with a height of 3,120 meters. Wow, almost as high as the peak of Mount Lawu – the highest mountain I ever climbed 20 kg ago! The battery, who was still traumatized by yesterday’s climb, decided not to go. Wow, I’m going to be this tail alone! We entered the forest with a slightly uphill path. In some parts the ground was covered with snow but I didn’t care anymore for fear of missing out considering that the Indian girl was nowhere to be seen. It turned out that after that the road was very steep until I asked many timesForgive meplease Rajesh to pull my body. I almost gave up but as I stepped out of the oak forest, there was a meadow. This is it! I immediately lay down because of the relief.

“We’re not done yet!” Rajesh said. HAH? He pointed to a point at the top of the hill which he said was Raghupur Fort. Damn, that means it’s still a long way off! I continued walking with a muffled voice. Not long after that my face turned into a gloomy one because the view was truly spectacular. We are at the top overlooking the Tirthan Valley with 360° views of the snowy mountains of the Himalayas, Dhauladhar and Kinnaur in layers! It’s such a high place, just an eagle is flying under us! At the edge of the cliff, the snow spreads beautifully. We were also busy taking pictures and I refused to continue to the fort because to reach it means we have to go down the valley to go up again.


Because we were tired, in the morning we just walked around the village – and even then the battery fell down again! Plans to stay two nights at Sojha were canceled as we were all cold. We also moved to Sonaugi which is “only” at an altitude of 1,920 meters above sea level. To get there, we had to drive two thousand meters down to the bottom first, across the river, then up the mountainside again. The last stay of our trip was at the newest and most beautiful Sonaugi Homestead . The snowy Himalayas are most clearly visible from Kullu because they are the closest to the lodge. Homey atmosphereit makes us lazy to work. We spent one day traveling by car to Manali – the most popular tourist destination and eating the most delicious pizza in India.


The last hike in Sonaugi , Rajesh suggested taking the Janna Village Walk route. Sounds like an easy walk in the village, but after only half an hour of walking uphill the battery gave up, followed by an Indian girl with lazy excuses. It was just me, Rajesh, a dog named Lakshmi, and a 16 year old boy who worked at the inn. Two hours of walking I was still holding on until finally we were confronted by stepped rocks that flowed like a waterfall. From there, I took my mercy for the ride because it was difficult to keep my balance on the slippery rocks and mud, plus the rain that suddenly fell! We did finally arrive at Janna Village, but this village was situated on the slopes of a mountain. All the way in the form of natural stone stairs that never end climbing to the top.

“ Come on! You can do it! Just a little more! We’ll eat up there!” said Rajesh encouraging me while pointing at the far end of the village – just to see it I had to lift my head! Omaigat ! My legs felt very heavy, my heart was pounding hard, cold sweat was pouring out, my mentality was dropping – I was almost paralyzed! I walked up to tears of frustration! Arriving at the top, walking another 1 km, we arrived at a restaurant on the edge of the waterfall. Miraculously, it suddenly snowed! Ah, what a happy ending!


I am really proud of this achievement. After losing a significant amount of weight, I became stronger hiking . A year ago where would I go on a trip like this! But then I thought: is it because I’m fat that I’m lazy? Or is it because I’m lazy that I’m fat?