May 19, 2011

Letters to Lois - Segli Camp

Dear Lois,

I received your note today, as I stepped into Segli Camp. Despite the cold mountain vista in front and 7000ft of chill, it warmed me to the bone. These letters remain (much after the trek) my way of reciprocating to your notes left at each camp.

The trek from Babeli (7kms off Kullu, HP, India) to Segli, was an easy walk, made easier with the peppy group of thirteen to keep company. The diversity of the group was much subdued by the common purpose at hand. Not surprisingly, you (and Merwyn) were subject of much discussion and for a while I did wish I was with you guys. Over the days, this however waned and as I write this I understand that this trek could not have been any other way for me.

We walked through the villages of ‘Baragram’, ‘Sokhni’ and ‘Nyalag’ today meeting children on their way to school and elderly people sporting their toothy grins and generous offers of buttermilk. Had a brush with stinging nettles in the quest for a shot of the shy beetle and spent quite a time going berserk itching.

The highlight was the pine forest though; I spent a considerable time alone here. Just soaking in the tall pines that made me feel tiny, their luscious green tips painted golden in the sun. The mighty snowcapped Himalayas loomed just in the horizon beyond. The emptiness of the mind was such a delicious feeling; and then I opened my heart to Enya’s “May it be” from the Lord of the Rings Soundtrack. That music I bear in my heart, long after the pines and mountains have receded as a longing memory.

A note about the trek

I joined the Youth Hostels of India Trek to Saurkhundi Pass this May and above is an account of that, in the form of ‘Letters to Lois’. Lois was this incredibly sweet girl I met who was in the group before mine and left me the sweetest notes at each camp as she left and I arrived.

The trek was roughly 45kms over a span of 8 days starting at 4000 feet above m.s.l. and scaling up to 12700 feet above m.s.l. through hamlets, mountain sides, pine forests, meadows and finally a great white expanse of snow.


Dark Knight said...

You are a photography Don!

Anonymous said...

Oh! This so lovely. You are such a talented, wonderful and sweet person. I did not take time to write more than 2 notes, the sheets ripped out from my book for that purpose remain where I put them :(