Friday, January 13

-5 and Breathless at 9,000ft.

Glimpses of our trek in the Himalayas. 2012 was ushered in silently at 9,000 ft  high up in the Himalayas while we slept or tossed and turned in our sleeping bags at -5 degrees C.
Frozen fingers didn't stop me sketching on the first morning of the new year, had to set the right tone for the rest of the year. The tents at Manjhi and a frozen stream between the tents. 
  Gathered around the fire to keep warm and drink tea. L and going clockwise - Nabeen one of the mule drivers, Amit, Ramesh, Charu, Vamsi and Indu with her back to the camera.
Water heating in a large vessel. Everything was cooked or heated on a wood fire so the drinking water and food had a smoky flavour to it. There were two Nepalese cooks on the trek - Dipinder and Kamal  who took such good care of us. 
Frozen doesn't describe how cold we were. Nothing like a fire to warm you up, thermals and three or four layers don't work quite like a wood fire. 
Agoda village clings to the mountain side.The older houses are made of stone and wood and the roofs have slate tiles but the newer ones are made of brick and cement and have cable television. 
The women in the mountains are a hard working bunch.They walk kilometers in the mountain to gather and carry heavily laden baskets of firewood and fodder for their animals  like the woman in the picture above.. 

Vasu Dev Rawat our guide. His encouragment and patience made it possible for me to do this trek. This beautiful dog found us at Manjhi and accompanied us down the mountain, all the campsites were closed for the season and we were the last ones down from Dodital and Manjhi. He belongs to no one and accompanies groups of trekkers up and down the trail.  

 Pathways strewn with boulders and rocks which wind precariously along the mountainside connects villages and people. These narrow paths are used by man and mule to transport everything from the towns in the valley,  there are no motorable roads. Don't want to think what one would do in an emergency.  
Walking down to Bebra.The grass and shrubs on the mountainside are burnt. I like the colours in this photograph and I'm going to use the same colour palette for the first page in my Crazy Quilt Journal Project (CQJP).  
Don't you like the illustration of that trekker?  

Bridge over the stream at Bebra. The water was icy cold and froze in the pipes at night..

Snow dusted mountain tops.The weather was unpredictable, sunny one moment, cloudy and windy the next.  
Devi or the goddess is worshipped in the mountains. This tree we passed had one rupee coins wedged into the trunk of the tree and flags and cloth trimmed with tinsel were tied on the tree. Our guide told us pujas were performed at the base of the tree for the Goddess Durga. Elements from this picture like the coins, tinsel and colours are going to find their way into my CQJP page for January.   
L to R. Charu, Vamsi, Ramesh and Maya. Tired with sore feet and wobbly legs but with a great sense of elation and achievement. We did it! It was a tough five days with many a first but we got there and back in one piece. Hurray for trekking, we plan to do shorter treks in South India. Vamsi and Amit are talking about this trek .It would be very different.Cheers! to a more active 2012 then.   


pRiyA said...

So this is what it all looked like. And that was the path! Not bad Maya, you managed to sketch in spite of freezing weather and precarious paths. Very interesting. Hope you go off on more treks in future. The train track one looks fabulous and sure to be easier.

Maya Sara Matthew said...

Yeah the Green Trek on the railway track looks so different and certainly easier but on one blog they mentioned elephants. Each trek has its own unique challenge I guess.

Penny said...

What an adventure, love your sketches and the photos, it does look cold.Love to do this but I think it is better seen through your eyes.

Inky Leaves said...

Thanks for sharing this with us - I really enjoyed reading it and seeing all the pictures. I especially liked your sketches - beautiful! Happy New Year to you.

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