When I looked out of the tent in the morning, I was relieved: no thick cloud cover. As usual, I walked around before having breakfast. However, there wasn’t that much to discover here – except for a nice view of the site. In any case, tea was already being prepared in the “kitchen”.
Our plan for the day was to climb to the highest point of the Marhani Meadows and have a great time there. Since we would be returning to camp for the night, we only needed small backpacks and the porters could have a leisurely day. Not only did our guide Keshav go with us but so did Negi – nice company. We went through trees, across a meadow, through trees again and then up the meadows:
Vultures often circled above us:
There is not much to say about this day – it was beautiful all around. The clouds were always there, but rarely above us, and rain didn’t come out either. At the top, it seemed to me that this was one of the most beautiful mountain places I had ever been to. That’s probably not entirely true, but for the time I was there it was completely true. The mountain magic had got me all over again, I sat, looked, sunbathed, snapped, nodded off for a bit and then we jumped around a bit. We had our packed lunch and lingered there for quite a long time.
But a time when we had to go back. During that I continued with photos – especially I liked this little shephards hut.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get the big backdrop on the picture so well, which was partly because clouds covered the mountain peaks, which wasn’t quite so pretty, and partly because the light wasn’t so great there either. But it was absolutely sufficient to sit around and look around and be happy.
And then we reached the camp again.
The previous evening we had to do without because of rain, but this evening there was a bonfire again:
That was nice. Sitting around, eating dinner, looking at the flames and poking around in the wood. Natasha is Parsi, by the way. The Parsis come from an area in Iran and fled to India in the 8th century. There are not that many of them (numbers vary, in India there are maybe around 60,000. They are mainly found in Mumbai and surrounding areas and Gujarat. Despite the small number, some of them have become famous, e.g. Freddy Mercury, Rohinton Mistry (a writer I love) and the Indian industrialists Tata and Godrej.
Natasha is wonderful at telling stories, I often had to laugh at her manner. And Sanil is a very sweet reticent person, but he also contributed a lot from his life around the campfire. They both said that they were the only ones in their circle of acquaintances, friends and relatives who would like to go to the mountains and that one would be very surprised about that. They were actually very uncomplicated about it all, despite the fact that poor Natasha had sinus stress and couldn’t sleep much. And as South Indians, they were more cold than I was. They don’t have that much holiday in India and so their tour was almost crazy with a flight to Chandigarh, a 9-hour drive to the trek, a 4-day trek and back again the following day for an evening departure.
That almost sounds like the end – but we still had a whole day of trekking ahead of us!