Dec 23, 2010

The sky is always bluer on the other side

"Nature is not a place to visit - it is our home", says a signpost next to the road up from the lower Dharamsala to McLeod Ganj. Taking the tip, we went to explore our home more profoundly.

We set off before dusk for the 3-4 hour walk up to Triund looming above McLeod Ganj. We barely managed to crawl halfway up through the tiny village before the sun rose from behind the ragged horizon. Cheeks flushed, sweating and breathing heavily, we sat down for the first breakfast, munching on our usual round Tibetan breads bought from a certain old man at a certain street corner.

Estimating another 3 and half hours at the same pace, we soon took another break on the cross-roads, or rather the cross-paths, making friends with a pack of dogs who decided to join our gang for the way up. Numerous resting stops followed, the longest and the nicest one was half way up, with guitar music and chai, under a considerably bluer sky than before. Still, it couldn't bare the comparison with Triund - the actual mountain top.

As for provisions, worrying or carrying extra is unnecessary: there are several tea stalls on the way up to the summit, one every half-hour or so. One of them sells tissue packs, named "Estonia". Commenting on that memorable event, I learned from the guy in the booth that the day before some other estonians had been laughing at it too. There's an estonian in every port, they used to say back in the old days. There's an estonian on every mountain top, I should add to make it more contemporary.

It was a strenuous walk on a well established path winding through the patches of ancient forest as well as out in the open, but always staying within the limits of moderate exercise. With the pretty views, beautiful weather and in good company, the time passed surprisingly fast. The clear air and closeness of those snowy summits (which I had been staring at down in the village for over a week) were more than a fare prize for the hours of trekking.

With the Southern sun fiercly blazing, the daytime weather was still quite warm and dry in mid-October, although a week before there had been a snow-storm up on Triund, transforming into a rainstorm 1500m lower in Dharamsala.

When talking about the Himalayas I find it hard to speak without overusing clichés. Whether the grass is always greener on the other side will depend on the season of a given spot in the mountains, the climate zones change very fast with the hight and whatnot. However, there is no doubt as to the sky being bluer than in my wildest dreams.


irve said...

I'll just leave this here :)

Vabandust, ei suutnud kiusatusele vastu panna.

Triin said...

nõmik :)

vabandust, ei suutnud kiusatusele vastu panna.

Alice said...

and Triin is doing her part for that Estonian mountaintop legacy :)

"If you look at me..." Triin dearest, I had to break off fom reading to do a little monkey dance around the flat :) I LOVE your updates, even when I´ve heard the stories!