Without thinking, we had accepted the undesirable side facing back seats in a truck driven by the mafia don of bad Indian drivers. My stomach of steel handled it fine thanks to Nectar, Ghost, Farmhouse and a lot of shoulder shaking, headbobbing backseat dancing. Megan’s, and those of half the 11 people crammed into the truck, did not fare so well, resorting to sacrificing their breakfasts to the pavement through open windows. Car sickness aside, we arrived in Utterkashi only slightly worse for wear and ready for the next days battle for information, permits, and supplies.
A little note on Utterkashi and Himalayan towns in general: If you are a woman, you are meant to be inside. Not roaming the market unescorted and certainly not trekking off into the mountain without a guide. It wasn’t until well into our 2nd day in the city that we became accustomed to the hustle and bustle of young Indian men, completely (and I mean completely) devoid of the fairer sex. After a long day of bureaucracy and red tape as only India can produce, we ended up with permit, rented sleeping materials, and company for the next day’s drive to Gongotri.