The fear of Covid 19 has hampered the travel industry big time. With enduring qualms about the safety and well-being of being in a crowded, cramped places, the enthusiasm of some of the probable travelers will continue to ponder against the urgency of the need to travel. The pandemic outbreak has altered the way we travel. Although, travelling during the Covid 19 crisis is a personal choice, as everyone is worried about their personal safety. But, when I booked by Gaumukh Tapovan Trek with Indiahikes my excitement level spiked up and the adrenaline rush was giving me goosebumps, as it was my first ever trek. Though, I was initially a bit apprehensive as I didn’t want to risk getting or giving the virus to someone else.
In a couple of days, I received the mandatory requirements from Indiahikes regarding the safety precautions during coronavirus outbreak which really startled me. After reading the mail, I was quite persuaded that, I am in the safe hands. I had a discussion with my family regarding the same, so that, they don’t get scared and start treating me like an alien upon my arrival. So, let me share my fabulous experience with Indiahikes as far as safety is concerned.
Since I started my journey from my hometown Delhi till I reached Gangotri every step has been very expedient. The reason being Indiahikes has already instructed us to carry all essential documents like medical reports, necessary permits, self-declaration form, I’d cards, photocopy of Id cards and the most important thing Covid 19 negative report. Although it’s not necessary as per Uttarakhand regulation to carry Covid 19 negative report. But it was a compulsory requirement of the Indiahikes team. Initially, I felt why they are asking for the Covid 19 test report, when there is no regulation? But, after a while, when I reached Gangotri and saw the mesmerizing beauty, I realized how essential it was for all of us to get the test report. This was by far the foremost significant measure as far as safety is concerned, which includes me, my fellow trekkers, the Indiahikes team and of course the people whomsoever I will be in contact with.
During the current pandemic situation travel can be a risk, but since Indiahikes asked for the Covid 19 negative report me and my family were very peaceful in their head as they were worried for my welfare. Of course, nobody wants to fall sick. And another prime reason is this will also stop the spread of the virus from a trekkers home town to Uttarakhand or journey en route. Travel enhances the chance of spreading the infection, so it’s “Better to be Safe than Sorry”. Here are few precautions taken by the Indiahikes team to safeguard the trekkers:
1.The trekking group size was reduced to 8, so that there is limited point of contact with other people throughout the trek.
2.Although, Uttarakhand rules were relaxed about getting a Covid 19 negative report but the Indiahikes told us to get a report within the last 72 hours. They continued with the same measure.
3.There were restrictions on the number of people to be accommodated in a tempo traveler i.e. maximum 8 trekkers.
4.We were asked to carry our own cutlery for meals, so that utensils don’t get mixed.
5. Regular health checkups at the camp throughout the trek such as Oxygen level, BP and other medical conditions (I wasn’t expecting this at all).
6. In case, any of the trekker was unable to continue with the trek due to health condition, he was sent back to the base camp.
7. The sleeping bags and tents were numbered, so that the trekker can easily identify the same (it really impressed me).
8. We were not allowed to go to the kitchen to maintain the sanitization of the kitchen.
9. The entire Indiahikes team wore mask all the time and maintained social distance.
10. Only 2 people were permitted to share the tent. One can also request for a single tent at a nominal amount.
11. There was no provision for dining tents and we were served food outdoors, so that trekkers can maintain distance.
12. We were taught to make our own tent and pack it as well so, to minimize human contact as much as possible (this filled me with excitement).
13. Our trek leader was serving us the food, which also reduced the human contact.
14. There was a provision of dry toilets near the campsite in which we carried our own toilet roll and sanitizer.
Three cheers to Indiahikes for being so precise about all the safety measures. Our Trek Leader Dhaval, explained everything so well, which showed his care and concern towards all the trekkers and his team. I felt the team was thorough professional and particular about small details. My experience has been splendid and outstanding. I will keep booking my treks with Indiahikes in the future.