Those of you who have been following my blog would be well aware that I rarely, if ever, post pictures of myself in my blog posts. The closest I get to is the inclusion of a photograph of my hand holding something I’d picked up at the site or that of my feet. There is neither a deep philosophical reason, nor an effort to create a sense of enigma, behind this. It is simply because I usually travel alone, and I am lousy at taking selfies.
So, when my driver offered to take a picture of me during a recent 15-day solo road trip though Kinnaur, Spiti and Lahaul, deep in the remote northern reaches of Himachal Pradesh, amongst the towering Himalayas, I jumped at it. It was a precious opportunity to make my joy whilst travelling to this part of the world achieve posterity. 🙂
Spiti has to be one of the most incredibly beautiful places on earth I have ever seen. Entered through Kinnaur, and exited through Lahaul, Spiti, which literally means ‘The Middle Land’ lies sandwiched between the Indian peninsula and the Tibetan plateau. The sparsely populated barren cold mountain desert lies on an average elevation of 4,270 metres above sea level and is dotted with Buddhist monasteries.
Life is not easy here. Electricity and internet are intermittent. The roads wind around deep ravines and over boulders and rivulets. Tap water freezes in winter. The oxygen is thin and the UV is harsh. When snow falls, much of the area becomes inaccessible. Yet, every face smiles.
In the coming months I will be writing about my travels to this magical land. I hope you enjoy reading the posts as much as I enjoyed exploring the region. Till then, here’s me at Tashigang, an escarpment high up in the Himalayas at 4,650 metres with the Spiti River behind me. ❤