On fine day of 6th May, suddenly I was called by our DFO (Divisional Forest Office) Mrs. Dechen Lachungpa to her office and was asked to plan a combined field trip to Panch Pokhari in Upper Dzongu for Biodiversity Survey and Musk Deer study along with Suraj and Dorjee. We immediately fixed our tour date from 12th June to 25th June 2015 and started our preparation, did bit of shopping like medicines, batteries, etc.
After reaching Mangan, we did the major shopping for the trek along with Mingdup, our guide for the trek….. we were so thrilled……..We had trekked with Mingdup earlier also…he is very experienced person and has wonderful knowledge on the local biodiversity, culture, etc.
We were supposed to make a halt at the Namprikdang guest house; nevertheless, due to heavy rain and……river blockage…we were suggested not to halt there….so Mingdup arranged our stay at Passingdang in home stay………staying there was nice experience…….
Since we had already decided to camp at Leek Gumpa, last night, we started bit late, somewhere around 10 AM in the morning. We enjoyed our food at home stay….red rice, green vegetables, papad, dahi (curd), dal, home made pickles…so delicious…and I was thinking in my mind that when will we be getting to eat such food again because……in the field you have to eat whatever comes in front, fully…no problem in that….we are used to it……
After having food, we three went to Mingdup’s house where he was with the boys packed up…..Mingdup was so particular about everything……he had made the lists of items each one was carrying so that there won’t be any difficulties in finding it whenever required…I liked the way he had made arrangements. After having chat with the boys for sometime, we started our trek from Passingdang…..The weather was good, it was sunny though it rained cats and dogs, the whole night……there were smiles on everyone’s face…….all were so excited as it was first trip for some of the boys including Suraj and Dorjee and for some, more than that…..they were feeling proud and were narrating their earlier visits and…….blah blah….and for me, it was second time to Panch Pokhari………
I had heard people saying that “Leek village is a paradise for the bird watchers”. It turned out to be true as we saw many beautiful birds on the way. The village road was well maintained till Leek, even though it was steep and we were sweating like anything, but we did not feel exhausted because we were busy taking photographs of the birds, butterflies, flowers, etc and also there was cool breeze for most of the time…..
Suddenly, Dorjee shouted pointing at the butterfly….there’s bird wing….for me it did not make any sense as I did not know what is bird wing….from him I came to know that it is one of the largest butterfly and he was vey happy that he got the evidence of its existence in Dzongu valley……we spent almost 30 minutes as Dorjee was busy making observation and taking its photographs and Suraj…marking the coordinates……and I got a chance to take rest for sometime….
It took almost 5 hours for us to reach Leek village. As we reached the village, it drizzled so we took shelter in one house where I got an opportunity to take a photograph of an elderly person weaving the basket out of the local bamboo…..
We did not have to pitch our tent at Leek as the house on the top of the village was vacant….Mingdup got the key of the house and we all settled our belongings there…
The trek was exhaustive but…we all enjoyed our first day…..