yesterday i ended up sleeping at Triund (about 3000m) high above the snow line, a place with a fantastic view of the local mountain range,
the 3 biggest being Moonpeak, something unutterable and the Matterhorn(!?), possibly not!
these are somewhat tiddlers (5000m or so) compared to the mighty Annapurnas of last year, but none the less, not to be sniffed at!
as ever, rather an accidental Himalayan adventure, a leisurely breakfast and i thought, well maybe i’ll just go for a stroll up the gorge…
and one footstep leading to another, just kept going
beautiful scenery, Rhoddedenhdrons, a view back to Mcleod ganj, as the path zig zagged higher and higher
but the mountains still shyly hidden, tantalising, tucked down behind the ridge!
then i was amongst the snow, in places it was a bit dodgy, a lot dodgy!
but tip toed extremely carefully, you always have to when your walking alone
i met a few other tourists coming down and they told me how amazing it was up top, but also, that the lodge was open.
hmmm why not!
with a final heave ho and a huff and a puff, i was up at the top
gorgeous! gob smacking view!
there was a chai stall and the owner said i could stay in the lodge, it was already getting somewhat late for traipsing back down
there were 5 blankets, couldn’t be that cold? could it?
having become somewhat neurotic about falling off the cliff, on the way up, fear is a very versatile thing, i now began to think ‘just me and the chai bloke up here, maybe he’ll murder me in the night! chuck my body into the gorge’
It was a sumptous sunset! tinge of pink on the peaks, finally softening further, nestling to purple, then black
.. then the chai shop bloke said he too was going down, he was missing his fanily.. and would be back in the morning
click your fingers, instantly my mood changed, he was now my only friend in the entire world! thinking ‘aargghhh don’t go, don’t leave me here alone, not with the ghosts, monsters and demons’
but off he toddled
a curious night, just me and the mountains and the stars.. sitting outside around a tin with a small smouldering fire in it, raking up the embers, huddled right up to it, sucking up every last iota of warmth
trying very hard to be alone and not lonely
the stars were incredible, the moon but a few days old, laggardly tarrying, chasing after the sunset
then the big slow wheel, the reel of the stars overhead… Orion… as ever
even in the dark, i felt loomed over by the immense sky straddling bulk of Moonpeak
a very chisel jawed, sculpted rugged mountain
strange to think that the next human being was 2 hours walk down, at least a 1000m lower from me
you’d think the mountains would be utterly silent at night.. and mostly they were, but every creak and whistle had me wide eyed staring about, peering
at night, the light from snow and reflected starlight has a peculiar quality
sound muffled, yet bounced
in bed at night i was totally frozen, couldn’t sleep for the nagging quality of the cold
then halfway through the night. rustle crackle
yikes! what be that! i turned on the torch, to find a mouse!
he was a bold little brown thing, big ears, rodent twitchy
busy guzzling away on one of my biscuits! sneaky.
aren’t mice supposed to be scared? run away at the light? well not this one, he hopped up close for a further rummage
i gave him a biscuit and was really rather pleased to see him. a living creature!
eventually i slept
woke in the morning, survivor, with the light, and a lot of shouting and hooting
outside 4 tibetan monks having a snowball fight! they’d got up very early and trekked up, to hang a few new prayer flags, or so
in an exuberant mood, kids at the seaside, they gave me tea and took an awful lot of photos
all the tibetans seem much wealthier than the local indians, better educated, better clobber, not quite sure why!
anyway after brekkie, the slow trudge and snow slide back down!