Goechala trek is blessed with abundant greenery, lush forest, wooden trails amidst the dense forest, some of the prettiest small streams and of course the backdrop of innumerable mountain ranges. The main motto during this whole trek is to see the sunrise at Kanchanjunga peak, the world’s third highest peak. But is that all? Is Goechala trek all about the trail and the sunrise from view points? No, Goechala is much more than all of these. Apart from the beautiful sunrises and sunsets, it is about the wilderness you stumble upon, the local encounters you get on the trail. Read ahead to find out what Goechala is about.
Wooden huts and washrooms at every camp site:
The camp sites at Goechala used to be villages before the forest was declared as a National Park. After this, the people of these villages were moved to the lower area of Sikkim, but their huts are still there, which are now used as shelters by trekkers. Also, listen people, attending nature’s call in the open is wild, but you get the luxury of enclosed wooden washrooms throughout the trail. So here you don’t have to worry about finding a huge rock or that isolated corners. A big problem solved.
Goechala is famous for watching Kanchenjunga peak from the nearest possible point (unless you decide to scale the peak itself!), but what I experienced is that this trek is more about mount Pandim than Kanchenjunga. No doubt that you get the most magnificent view of Kanchenjunga peak, but you are camping at the foothills of mount Pandim, and thus it slays it all with its enormous structure hanging right about your head! The magnanimity of mount Pandim is hard to put in words.
Wai Wai with Lai:
Are you one of those you are already excited about having Maggie noodles up in the mountains, who believes that it is as much necessary as customary to have the ‘mountain maggie?’ Well, if you trek to Goechala, Maggie is going to get replaced with Wai Wai. Why is it worth mentioning? Because the trek to Goechala without having Wai Wai is going to be marked as incomplete. Yes, you heard me right. You will get Wai Wai at almost all camp sites except Lumuney. Wai Wai here at Sikkim is topped with Lai, which is home grown spinach type of plant. These are organically grown and are freshly plucked at the time of preparing Wai Wai. Enjoy the healthy, tasty meal which can rightly be termed as ‘staple diet’ of Goechala trek!
How would you like your beer to be? Obviously chilled, that’s how it is suppose to be right? But have you ever heard of hot beer? Malt Tumba is the local hot beer prepared from the fermented millets and is served in the long mugs made of bamboo. You will find this local beer at almost all the cafes on the way to Goechala but it is recomemded to try this alcohol only after completing the trek, after reaching Yuksom. You won’t be able to restrict looking at these, tempting you from every cafe you visit, but now you have one more reason to complete the trek successfully, safe and sound. Malt Tumba is waiting!
Wild Mushrooms and Blue Berries:
Kanchenjunga National Park is the home of variety of wild mushrooms and berries. If you are someone with an eye to find out odd things, you are going to have an amazing time at Goechala. Every turn brings out something unique to notice. The trail from Korchorung to Phetang is flooded with varieties of Mushrooms. My favourite one was the black mushroom.
Sikkim is the only state that sells organically grown fruits and vegetables. It has also won a UN award for becoming world’s first organic state. No pesticides are used, no medicines are sprinkled and the vegetables you eat are produced using natural manure. So, enjoy your meal while trekking and be assured that whatever you are served is all organic!
Trekking over months I have realised one thing, the experiences I get by visiting the place myself, are nowhere mentioned on the internet. Every time I go on some trek, I stumble upon something new, something that my internet search didn’t present to me, and I bet, you too will find something unique. So what are you waiting for, book your Goechala trek and share your unique experiences with the rest of us!