This lovely woman...
did not become my overbearing senior.
Although she did suggest I enter the family
as her husband's 'second' wife.
She even let me try on her hand woven blanket
to get a feel for the life I could aspire to.
I reckon she'd seen the size of my backpack and decided
I'd be perfect for hauling bales of hay up the slope to the house ;-)
This was the warning of the fine I did not get for bathing
in the natural thermal springs of Khirganga at about 3000m altitude
under a Himalayan sky blanketed in a million stars.
It's not the luxurious French Alps
But it was deserted, clean and HOT,
in a campsite surrounded by snow.
This is the Khirganga trail in the Parvati Valley
where I was not arrested by the Indian police!
Nearly 10 years in the metros of Paris
and not one identity control.
Who would've thought I'd have my passport checked
half way up a mountain side
in off season!!??
These are the pots and pans...
(We bought them on the way. As you can see, you pay by weight)
that saved me from freezing
in my tent,
on my punctured air mattress
once we left the hotsprings.
I tell you
the promise of hot coffee ...
...even at 3 500m altitude
EVEN in -10°
EVEN WITH POWDERED MILK!
was incentive enough to leave the sleeping bag
in the morning and kick start the day!
I Love Indian pot shops.
They are such a culture shock from the kitchen shops I'm used to.
This is the sign
that kept me on the straight and narrow :)
This way to heaven :)
and despite the perillous
(Clearly, I'm not such a dab hand at taking photographs from the back of a moving motorbike. Guess I'll give up my dreams of being a paparazzi photograpgher, illico presto!)
7 hr motorbike trip up to Manikaran
and the start of the trek
I'm still looking for heaven.
Although, Khirganga definitely came close!
More news on the Indian project soon :)
For now, I have two hours ahead of me to splash in paint.
Hope you are all in wonderful spirits