Trekking with the Mother-Son Duo of Neelima & Nikhil

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Hosted by
Tapas Biala

Doon school dude, high-altitude mountaineer, outdoor learning & adventure entrepreneur. Expert in organising expeditions & treks. Podcasting is his latest passion and he co-hosts a few shows.

This episode is an introduction to trekking together as a family. It is about the experiences of the mother-son duo of Neelima and Nikhil for whom the mountains were literally love at first sight and how age is never a barrier when it comes to following your passions in life. Neelima was introduced to the Himalayas when she was nearly 40 years old and Nikhil at the age 9 years when they did the Dayara Bugyal trek. They have never looked back since then and have made it a point to explore new hikes every few months. They have some fabulous stories to tell about their travel and trekking journey including their encounter with wild ponies during a trek in the Himalayas, how Neelima introduced her father to the Himalayas when he did his first trek at the young age 70 years and how a little bit of brandy in the cold there turned him into Super Man. 🙂 

Neelima Koneru is a programmer currently working from home. She loves the outdoors and is a volunteer adult lead- boy scouts. She is very passionate about camping, covid gardening, dragon boat racing, cycling, swimming and throwball.
Nikhil is first year student in the University of Florida, studying to be a rocket scientist. He is a certified advanced open water scuba diver and a boy scout who loves tutoring and teaches Calculus to high school students in his free time.

They join us from Florida, US, where they are presently based to narrate their amazing stories along with a trekkers perspective on how to begin one’s journey into the Himalayas. In this episode we would trek with them in the Himalayas through their stories and experiences.

Podcast Summary: Trekking with the Mother-Son Duo of Neelima & Nikhil
Hosts: Hemant Soreng & Tapas Biala

00:00:00 – 00:06:30: Introduction. Favourite places traveled to.
00:06:30 – 01:03:30: Trekking in the the Himalayas. 
– How and why it all started?
– First trek: Dayara Bugyal in the Garhwal Himalayas.
– How and what to prepare for a trek esp. the first one ever?
– Stories and anecdotes: Playing cricket, carrying live chicken to the top, taking a bath vs not taking.
– Why should one trek in the Himalayas?
– Har Ki Doon Trek (00:27:15): Pristine beauty like Mt. Kailash.
– Beas Kund Trek (00:28:37): Watching avalanche up and close. Finding the way. First trek for Neelima’s father a 70 year old. Keeping warm with Brandy. Cooking “saucener”. 
– Spiti Trip (00:36:37)
– Creating memories. Meeting different people. Experiencing life through travel.
– Improving mental strength through trekking and being in the outdoors.
– Conservation, Awareness of issues such as global warming, receding of glaciers like Gaumukh.
– Spiti Trip contd. (00:49:22)
– Tips for first time trekkers.
– Food during the treks.
01:03:30 – 01:10:00: What next? Concluding remarks. 

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