Monday, June 09, 2008
This is ... my favourite travel memory
My favourite travel memory (thanks to Hila for trip down memory lane and for the theme for this weeks This is theme), is living in this beautiful valley in Northen India.
It is Parvati Valley and we rented a one room wooden house with no water or power and lived there for about a month. We lived a days walk up the valley from Manikaran amongst the pine forest, the valley was surrounded by the highest snow top peaks, it was summertime but still a little chilly in the mornings. The hut was warmed by two cows that lived underneath us in the stable, we nicknamed them Freedom.
In those days there was only access by foot along a windy track, but our peaceful sabbatical was often interupted by the sound of explosions in the distance. They were building a dam on the other side of the valley.
I learned how to cook on a wood fire and drank chai and make chapatis. The water in the nearby stream was freezing, so washing was a very quick affair. Towards the end of the stay we walked another half day further up the valley to bathe in the hot springs at Khirganga which was the place Shiva was supposed to have meditated for 3,000 years. It was bliss, I think I soaked in the hot hot water for what must have been an hour. The women's bathhouse was empty so I had the spring all to myself.
When we finally left the valley we walked back to the main town and rode on the roof of the bus through the winding roads and green forests back to civilisation. I remember feeling totally free, it was an amazing feeling and a wonderful month in the valley of the gods. I was 22.