About my second childhoodThat is a gift that nature gave us on 23rd March.
At 10 in the morning with (hold your breath!) apple juice, buttered bread, cornflakes, parathas and coffee in the right place, wearing the warmest clothes we had with us, my husband and I settled into the allotted car. After a twenty minute drive we stopped at a shack that rents out snow gear. For 1600/- we get skis, snow wear and a guide. We settled for snow clothes-boots-gloves and doled out 700/- for a pair.
Soon we began to see dirty white stuff piled by the road, behind walls and between trees. It suddenly dawned on us…that it is frozen snow!
The car swerved into a curve and screeched to a halt. ‘You get off here and climb to the snow point’. He said. ‘You take mules, or bikes. It’s quite far!’
A fifteen minute climb does not seem so daunting. We have the entire day. Armed with a hard tree branch for a stick (cost us 10/- rupees) we climb up the steep slopes. The stick is a real blessing. Mule dung gives our snow shoes a non-slippery warm footing. And we reach the top. We are in Solang Valley.
I really did not expect this large expanse of snow. It’s like we see in calendar pictures. White gleaming peaks, dark green pines, untouched snow and paragliding in the blue sky. The age group ranges from 7 months to 70 years! Everyone has their share of frolic.
For what we did there on the white playground, wait for tomorrow's blog!
Five hours later it's time to head back. My knees are screaming. I can’t climb down 200 feet to reach the car. But hey! We make one phone call and learn that the car is within 10 feet of the snowy playground. The stop at the base was to make possible business for the mules and bikes! We dint fall for that did we? The climb was pretty enjoyable too…dung and all!
|mules at solang valley|