12 août 2008

Inner trip 2

Second email de mon ami qui est parti à la recherche de quoi au juste ? en voyage.

Here I am again, in ****** for over half a month already, but in a place with internet for the first time (I think it is a satellite connection, and it sucks, but for up in the mountains it it is great).
I am now in *****, after having spent a week and a half trekking in the ****** on the watershed between Central Asia and the Indian subcontinent. The village there (******) finally has a 'road' (only a jeep has a remote chance of making it, and often does not)since a couple of years ago (2003 or 4 or something), before it was a
3-day walk to any other village and anything resembling civilization.
Today, some of the houses in the village even have electricity year round due to solar panels donated by Canada (so they were all really happy to see me).
Did not spend much time in the village itself as half of the population migrates east for 5 months in the summer to better pastures for their yaks, goats, and sheep.
This summer settlement is a 3-day trek from Shimshal village itself and is where I spent several days, walking around, helping the local shepherdesses gather yaks, eating nothing but yak cheese and chapathi for days on end (and salty yak milk chai of course). All of this is at 4700 meters above sea level. Noone was surprised to see a snowstorm (I mean down in the valley, not up on the peaks) in the beginning of
August. Nights were almost all below zero, sometimes considerably so.
Now I am down in the valley, only at 2500 meters above sea level, in the capital of the fabled ***** kingdom some of you may have heard speak about (it is believed that the novel ****** was written about these parts). Weather permits staying outside in one layer until the wee hours of the night.
Having problems uploading photos to this computer (was really excited about sharing some scenery), so it will have to wait until a proper connection and a proper town I guess.
If it keeps on raining here like it has been for the last two days, since the main activities here are nature related, I am heading south to ****** (where it is probably raining harder, but that has more than one restaurant at least). I did manage to get a nice walk in yesterday
morning meeting lots of local kids and eating lots of local fruit on the way. ******* is really beautiful compared to anything further north, as this is basically a high-altitude desert in these areas, but ******* have developped an ingenious irrigation system utilizing melting glacier water that keeps this part of the valley extremely green and fertile.
I will get in touch again soon and hope to be able to send some photos soon as well.
Thank you for all the kind words and wishes.
Lots of love

The sun has come out while I was waiting for the connection to be reestabslished so as to send this off, so I am going outside to play.

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