Like many, I had always dreamt of owning a holiday home at a hill station. This dream was fulfilled recently when we received the key to our villament at Parisheya in Malavali in a glittering ceremony. Right from the balcony of our villament, we can see Lohagad, a hill fort near Malavali.
Parishreya with Lohagad in the background on left
Lohagad, is a very special place for me. It is here, on a hike, 35 years ago, I fell in love with a girl who is now my life partner since last 33 years. So when Mukund told me about Parishreya, a complex of 2nd homes in Malavali that he was planning to build, I was immediately interested in it.
[Himyatra – 2018 This is part VIII of the series. You can read the first part here.]
Today, we were to push as close to Manali as possible. If yesterday was the day of the lakes, today was the day of the passes. We would cross as many as five high altitude passes.
I spent some time looking for my lost specs, but it was futile. Finally, I reconciled to the fact that I had lost them. After a quick breakfast, we finished the morning ritual of packing Girija, and left around 7.30.
After an initial descent, the road started ascending and entered a valley, which seemed to be made of very fragile, brittle mountains of sand. It looked as if all the mountains around us would just disintegrate in heavy shower.
This arch is just by the side of the road. Looks very fragile.
[Himyatra – 2018 This is part VII of the series. You can read the first part here.]
Plan for today was to reach Tso Moriri, come back to Sumdo, and then push towards Leh Manali highway via Tso Kar. Find a suitable place and stay the night there.
We woke up around 6.30. Tsoma offered to make us a breakfast of roti and omelette, which we very gladly accepted. This was also included in the rent. While Tsoma was making the breakfast, Jimmy kept bothering her, so Tsoma put her up in her playpen. Here is how Jimmy’s playpen looked.
It was a big compound enclosed by metal net. You can see Jimmy in the playpen. She kept crying all the time, and was complaining to her canine friends. I did not understand the words, but her tone said it all. 🙂 Continue reading
[Himyatra – 2018 This is part VI of the series. You can read the first part here.]
Warning, this is a long post. Today was a long day. I woke up around 6 AM. Balya had woken up even earlier, and had had his coffee, which he made on a small gas burner and cylinders we were carrying. I made another round of coffee and woke everyone else up.
Along with us, the guesthouse had a couple of PWD employees staying over. One of them was an engineer, in his fifties and the other guy was a dumper driver. They were working on the new road that we had spotted after Maan. The road was still work in progress, and not completed. Boy, we were happy that we did not try to take that road.
Packing done, ready to leave
[Himyatra – 2018 This is part V of the series. You can read the first part here.]
Today, we would go to Pangong.
We woke up early. Earlier night, we had told the orderly that we would wake up at 6, and so he was ready with a cup of bed tea at 6 AM. Today again, we had a chance to have hot water baths as the guest house had geysers. We had toast and omelette for breakfast again and left the camp by 7 AM.
A little ahead of Durbuk is Tangtse. As we left Tangatse, we came across this quaint gompa, Tangatse Gompa.
[Himyatra – 2018 This is part IV of the series. You can read the first part here.]
This was my birthday. I tuned 58. It’s only the second birthday I remember being away from the family. The first time was in 1983, when I was sent to Germany by my company for some training. I was in Munich at that time and spent it alone in the Munich Olympic Village.
We woke up early. Had a hot water bath. Once in the mountains, you start savoring every hot water bath, because you don’t know when the next one will be possible. We had an early breakfast of omelette and bread. We were planning to start around 8.15 am. Today’s plan was a bit hazy. We had started towards Pangong Lake, but we were not sure whether we would reach there.
Finished packing Girija for the day. All of us in front of Girija with Padma Tashi, Manager of the Kartok hotel and his son.
[Himyatra – 2018 This is part III of the series. You can read the first part here.]
View of Leh from the palace. Stok Kangri at the far end.
[You can click on most photos to see a larger image]
As you are aware, eight different guest teams joined the Himyatra over a eight week period. A little bit about how the logistics worked. The switches were scheduled to happen every Sunday. The new team was expected to arrive before Sunday, and meet the earlier team. And the earlier team left for home either on the same day, or on Monday. The day was also used to restock the supplies, get any other essentials etc. Today was our day of the switch.