Boggy Barrow’s Haunted Hut

Boggy Barrows Haunted Hut

I heard it few years ago & people say it might be true. True or a legend – I made a story out of it. Enjoy 🙂

Early august downpour can be a bit of a worry when you are lost in dense woods of tropical rain forest. As seasoned adventurers Andrew & Jane knew the drill. They looked for the high grounds where they can reinstate their bearings. Jane quickly located a small hill which lied 30 minutes’ walk from their current location. Looking at his edifice adventurer’s watch Andrew said “Jane, we better start planning for an overnight stay as well. It won’t be more than an hour that we will start losing light.” Splattering sound of heavy rain on the wind breaker’s hood started to annoy the duo. Earth was soaking with water and mud. The tropical flora was as quite as it gets – just the sound of rain that exists. It took them about 45 minutes to reach the top. While the heavy rain had impaired the visibility, Andrew can see faint signs of modern civilization, but it must have been 30 miles away. With no other choice Andrew said “Common! Let’s look for some dry ground and get a fire going”. A quick scan of the location put a smile on Jane’s face “Look a small hut. I guess it must be occupied by some local cattle herder.”

Descending down the hill they found the hut was wildly surrounded by slimy & stinky swamp. A narrow pathway was leading to the wooden hut. Jane was holding Andrew’s hand as they crossed the swamp. The hut’s door was half open – a clear sign that no one occupied the hut. “Better something than nothing” Andrew exhaled. The rusty door made a creaky noise as they entered the hut. The smell of rotting wood was strong – at least the roof was not leaking. “This is our last resort for the night & boy isn’t it royal” said Andrew with a hint of humor. “Andrew, you have always fancied a spooky looking place to stay. Looks like god has finally heard you” replied Jane placing her backpack on the wooden floor. Jane & Andrew have been together from high school. And they have been to numerous adventures together. They probably were the best couple with common interest & lifestyle. They beautifully complimented each other.

Night fell & the rain grew even harder. Luckily the hut had a small fire place. Andrew picked up some dry wood from the floor & made a nice and cozy fire. It must be around 9pm & they had some cold sandwich for dinner. No time to waste, they must have a good night sleep for next day’s walk. Using the backpacks as pillows Jane slept on the arms of Andrew & Andrew held her tight. The fireplace was still alive, giving warmth to the hut. As they slowly drifted into sleep, Andrew heard sobbing sound. He looked at Jane to find she was sound asleep. He checked his watch, it was midnight and his digital clock just moved from 11:59pm to 12:00am. Then he heard a sharp sound at the door “Thud! Thud!” Someone was knocking at the door. They both were up and awake. 15 second passed and the heard it again “Thud Thud!”.. “I think few others are lost too” Andrew said. With a bit of courage he went to open the door. Jane had asked him to be cautious, so Andrew had a wooden plank in his hand. Thinking “Anything suspicious & I am gonna swing this piece of wood so hard” he open the door. Darkness – no one was at the doorstep. Rain was stopped & the forest was covered with post rain fog – lit with full moon in a cloudless sky. Andrew was properly spooked and took a step back. As he looked carefully he can see a figure standing across the slimy swamp. He gathered his wits & tried to figure out what was that.  As his vision got cleared, he could see a figure resembling a little girl was standing across the swamp. He took his eyes off her & spoke to Jane – “I guess you must have a look at it”. He moved his head back to look at the figure again & screamed! That little girl was standing next to him. Wearing a white night gown, the girl’s face was hidden in her overgrown hair. Jane was stunned at that moment & Andrew thought “God! I have seen this girl in horror movies & looks like time to say goodbye to this life”. Snapping out of shock Jane asked “Wwwwho are you?” What happened next changed Jane & Andrew’s life.

Moving the overgrown hair off her face, the little girl spoke “Well, I always try not to scare anyone. But, I guess I failed this time too.” “hmmm..Yes you did. But do you live here” “I used to – When I was alive. Now I try to save other beings who take shelter here.” Stammering Andrew spoke again “ssss..save beings. From what?” The girl spoke “I was killed by a tiger that lives in the forest nearby. Many local villagers & adventures are recommended not to venture this part of the forest. But few – like you, unfortunately wander off here. And its my duty to safeguard you from that tiger. That’s the reason why I had this deal with god – let me stay back some more time & save few souls from slaughter” Suddenly they heard a sharp roar of a female tiger. Jane was even more scared than she was before. The little girl said “Yes she is here. You both stay inside and let me stand guard outside. And take my word – No one will hurt you till I am around you”. “A ghost saving humans life – never heard that before” Andrew thought & shut the door tight. After a few more roars the tiger went quite.

As the dawn broke, the couple came out of the hut to see pure calm & beautiful forest. Jane said “Looks like we have a tale for our kids & grandkids”. Smiling at each other, but walked past the forest & reached the nearby town. They asked the locals about the hut & learnt a family was killed by a tiger in that hut.

Now the locals call it – Boggy Barrow’s haunted hut.

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More of a presonal affair – The Himalayan Memories

Following the current disastrous events in Nepal, I was left shaken & broken to my core. Having first hand experience of Himalayan hypnotism , it becomes more surreal to ingest the fact that such a beauty comes with periodic devastation. I have my deepest condolences with affected families & friends. And I am glad to read about the helping hand extended by Indian Government & Indian Air force/Army. This blog is dedicated to Nepal & all my friends from Nepal.

Himalayan Memories

While I am planning to re-visit Himalayas pretty soon, I pulled out my old memories to re-instate what  beauty lies in the bosoms of Himalayan peaks. The humble call from this unearthly creation is hard to deny when mountaineering is one of core enthusiasm. Many trekkers, explorers & mountaineers flock over to Himalayas to fullfill their dream of touching the untouchable.

1. It all starts with a clap:

253415_2095757999675_4464647_nIt seems like yesterday when I reached the base camp all alone. Cold & shivering in the northern winds, I met with the camp leader. At the very first look,the camp leader shouted “Can I get some hot water here”. So, that’s how my Himalayan experience started – Gulping on my hot canteen, still enjoying the unforgiving Himalayan winds. Bringing me back to senses the camp leader allocated Tent no.11 to me. As a first timer I had no idea these tent-mates will be my family for next 2 weeks. The dimly lit tent no. 11 made friendly noises as I walked towards it. Thinking “Atleast I should have convinced one of my friends to come along with me” I entered the tent with a big invitation noise “There comes our final brother in 11”. I was the last guy to join Tent No. 11 group for the whole journey. May be the fact that living in nature, away from urbane pollution, makes one humble and welcoming but I was glad to be inducted into tent no.11.FB_IMG_1430109664371

2. Acclimatized!

Three days of rigorous training, exercise, lifting weights to the top of a small mountain. And at the end of 3 days only the fit ones qualify to continue the journey of snowy mountain. We were glad that all the tentmates were well qualified and acclimatized. We were taught of how to fill our canteen from naturally springing water, conserving food and few worst case scenario drills. We all have also been trained on rock climbing and rappelling. As per the program leader, we were to face few tough rock climbs on top of the mountains. We were taught about breath control as the air at the apex will hold 10% oxygen. Pretty thin but we will manage.

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3. Two legs and a hikers stick

253678_2095790800495_5783993_nWe were on schedule as we departed the base camp at morning 7 am. On the books we were to make 5 evening halts at higher camps over next 5 days. The walk definitely grew harder as we scaled higher altitude. Cut off from all possible human civilization, I was mesmerized by the humbling experience one can get when with nature. In negative temperature, the only source of life was my sleeping bag. I kept my camera batteries warm in my trousers for the final climb usage. We walked from lower camp to the higher. We were given with a time schedule of reaching the next camp by evening. Well, that was obvious, if we cant make it to the next camp by evening then we were surely in for some rough night. The night Himalayan winds were unforgiving. And it becomes cruel even at the higher altitudes. With all our fate and luck we could able to reach all 5 camps right about time. Spending nights in the camps were quite interesting. We were a bunch of 25 trekkers. Every camp had their own evening plans. Head count, poop time (Optional), camp fire, camp leader de-brief & few stories, fire side dinner with songs & stories, 8pm – all in tents, final head count & tent close. Mornings had the same drill. But, mornings were the time when the Himalayas looked stunningly awe-inspiring. Every morning around 6 am we all sat quietly looking at the peaks. After an hour around 8am we prepare ourselves for departure.

4. Grahan!

1I found it a bit ironic that the top most camp was named Grahan, the English translation is Moon-less nights. On the contrary of the suggested name I had the best view of moon. Speaking of moon, even I had the best night sky view ever. I had no idea what a night sky looks like when all possible stars are visible. Even though we were dealing with -15 Degree C, I spent a good 2 hours staring at the starry sky. Grahan faces the most terrifying weather in Himalayan mountains. The camp leader had de-briefed us “I am sorry to say that no one in Grahan camp sleeps in the night”. At first I ignored him, but as we all got cozy in our tents we heard the sound of strong stormy winds. Even a monstrous beast would have sounded calm. Without a hint of sleep we all tent no.11 brothers stood on our toes. The first command was “No one must dare to open the tent flaps & peek outside”. Few minutes passed we saw the steel foundation holding the tent was coming off the ground. That was the moment when 11 concurrent chills might have run through the spines of 11 separate human beings. We split into group of 6 and 5, each group holding the foundation down. Bottom line, that was a night to remember. Few funny moments:FB_IMG_1430109729321FB_IMG_1430109826855

5. Friends lost in History

255605_2095794120578_5579655_nThe final climb and crossing the peak was tough but we all tentmates got each others backs. To be honest it was the best experience of my life (It might not be as beautiful as Trolltunga – Read my previous blog, but it looked amazing in its own untouchable sense). We were allowed to expose minimum skin to the sunlight to prevent UV burning. All looking like overgrown fat boys we all made fun of each others appearance. It was unbelievably fun to share such a beautiful location with amazing strangers but friends. It took us 5 more days to descend down to the base camp. The most painful part was bidding goodbye to this temporary family. The ‘first moment friend’ is what I call them.  We hardly stayed in contact after that. May be its the Himalayan effect – People tend to make close friends when suspended in harsh environment. Those were my 15 days of pure peace and serenity. There was not a hint of jealously or selfishness.

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Himalayas – Crown jewel for mankind yet dangerous to touch.

Snow, sandwich and a pair of sonic shoes

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This strange story of mine takes me back to July 2014. It was a fine Friday evening, I was bumping glasses of wine with friends to celebrate a good working week. Pretty drunk we were when it strike  to me that I want to visit at least one of top five locations to see before I die. And I wanted to do that before 2014 ends. Being in Norway in the month of July, the only place to visited was Trolltunga. Continue reading