The snow tourist
It was late afternoon when I stepped on the river for the first time, and promptly fell. In another hour, we retired for the night near a place where the ice had melted, to help ourselves to water. Our local members put down their rucksacks and in no time, assembled a wooden sledge. They set up a modest kitchen with a few vessels, a kerosene stove and insulated containers to carry water. We had with us a lot of ready-to-eat food — semi-cooked chicken, instant noodles, theplas and nuts. That night, as we sat down to eat, it was a surreal feeling as looming mountains towered over us and an impregnable silence reigned all around – we seemed to be the only living beings around as the world hibernated.
Life in the region is arduous in winter. Roads are snowed up, connectivity is minimal and even getting daily supplies is difficult. But, when you watch the locals, you feel inspired. We had planned this trek on our own, so it was a learning experience to see how they handled it. We met people going about their daily lives along the route, without a care about the difficulty of
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