01.07.2011 - 03.07.2011
Woah, so much to write about! Ok, I’ll back track to last week…. We stayed just one night in Kasol and the next day us four (the Israeli couple and us) took a local bus to the small village called Bashani. We didn’t want to carry our heavy backpacks up the mountain, so a kind Nepali offered to keep our bags. We were a little weary of how safe it would be (especially because I left my laptop), but at some stage you just have to trust and let go.
The hike up to Khirganga was one of the most beautiful I’d ever done. We first walked along a path that ran alongside the mighty and gushing Parvati River. We stopped for a tea and noodles at a little village and sat in awe at the way these people live out here: So far away from anything, so cold in winter and so many flies!!! The path took us up and down and then we reached the bridge to cross the river. The impressive river below us was something else- you could hardly hear yourself think due to the crashing and thundering force of the mountain water. After crossing the path got a bit harder- but only because I am so unfit and any up hills just about kill me! It was just amazing, fairy land as we used to call this kind of environment as kids: Tall trees reaching for the sky with awesomely bright green moss and small bushes at its feet. I could almost sense the magic working all around me. We marched on for 2 hours until we finally reached the top. It wasn’t at all what I expected: instead of there being a “top of the mountain”, it was more like an “open area we call the top”. It was weird to be at 2930m and for there to be like a field of grass with rocks and small pebbles and cows and goats. Directly across from us is the most impressive scenery: since it’s a valley we had a fantastic spot to see how steep the opposite mountain cuts down into the river. And in the distance we can see even higher snow-capped peaks.
The main attraction to this place is the holy hot springs. So after finding a room (there is about 20 small rooms- wooden, like a barn), we went to take a well-deserved dip. Now this is the time I got a bit annoyed at India. The hot spring was divided into a ladies and men section. The ladies is all boarded up so there is no view except the sky, whereas the guys section is out in the open with beautiful views all around. We didn’t want to be boxed up so we sat in the boys section. But then a guy came and told us to get out or else we would have to pay a fine! So irritating!!
A short rant: Why is it that women in the east are always shunned away, put away, hidden and covered? Are men so weak that they can’t control themselves whenever they see a girl in a short skirt? It makes me really angry that I have to cover up in order not to distract or to tempt them… I do understand that in countries like India things work differently, but I am looking forward to the day when women start a revolution against men who have basically forced them, for “their protection”, to cover themselves up and to feel ashamed for their sexuality.
Ok, I’m finished ranting…
While we were eating lunch we met this Swiss guy, Mauro who was currently living in a cave! I had to have a look at this setup, so later we took a walk to his “den”. I have put up photos on Facebook of his cave, so you can get a better idea. But it looked pretty sweet- large area in front to build fires and a small stream close by. He had been there for a few days and was planning on spending a few more.
That night we just chilled in the restaurant- staying close to the wood-fired heater. It was surprisingly warm in our room and we all got a good night’s rest. The next day we just sat and admired the beauty around us before we took the long way back. We arrived in Bashani just as the rain came down and went to get our bags. True to his word- everything was as we left it. We then got a ride up to a small village called Tosh, where we stayed the night. The view from there was spectacular! I can’t get over how amazing these mountains are!
The next morning Angie and I left for Manali. After changing buses 3 times we eventually made it in 5 hours. It was actually pretty interesting how perfect it all worked out- as soon we got out one bus, our next bus was there, ready to go! We only stayed there 2 nights and on the third we left for the most epic and arduous drive of my life: the Manali-Leh highway.
More about it coming soon!! :-)