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Retreat to the Mountains

April 30, 2013
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We have now retreated to the mountains to hide out from the constant deluge of reports in the India Times of corruption, rapes, child abuse and warring factions.

We flew out of Delhi heading north guiding the plane with mantras absorbed from visiting McLeodganj, the home of the Dalai Lama in exile. We drifted over the plains of Rajasthan, up to the foothills of the Himalayas and then with a violent jostling of the aircraft hit the real mountains – WOW

The captain announced we were flying at 37,000 feet then suddenly another air blast and the seat belt sign goes on, everyone looks around to be reassured, the wings flex up and down and below us lies the desolate and snowy glaciers and dry valleys of the wondrous Himalayas. There is no option for emergency landings in this territory.

I keep peering out the window looking for signs of human habitation. The scenery is awe inspiring and now we are starting a slow descent to Leh at about three and a half thousand metres (11,500 ft). Valleys widen, rivers start to be bigger, cultivated fields and small landholdings open to orchards well defined by sand dunes and scrub.

Now the plane is once again getting buffeted and the announcement comes over the intercom: “fasten your seatbelts as we are approaching Leh. Photography is forbidden (click as I get my last shot) on the approach, landing and unloading”. We fly in on the approach to Leh and notice a military helicopter hovering over the airport and as we land can see the bunkers hiding the Indian jet fighters. Yes, the chinese have made further incurrsions on the nearby border. 30 tents put up by the chinese were discoverd by the Indians in Indian territory. So what did the Indians do? They put up 50 tents and yelled at the chinese to get out of India. Now it’s escalating and who knows where it will go. Meanwhile we have landed, ready to acclimitize to living at 3000 metres.

I can already feel my heart beating quicker but can’t tell if it is the altitude or if it’s excitement at arriving back in the mountains.

Interested in travelling to India? Read:

1 – City of Djinns by William Dallywrimple
2 – A Journey in Ladakh by Andrew Harvey
At least this is what we have picked up and ebjoyed recently

One Comment leave one →
  1. Anne Boldt permalink
    April 30, 2013 11:39

    Sorry NO, NOT interested in travelling in India, not now or ever thank you very much!!
    Is Gail still with you?
    Annie b.

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