Two Canadians, one American, a European and an Indian guide trekked through Singalila National Park last weekend. We covered 13 km on our first day, reaching Tumbling, Nepal. We skirted over the border of India and Nepal, our guide gesturing every few moments with a grand sweep of his arm, “India to the right and Nepal to the left.” It was impressive, it’s rolling green hills, faint blue mountains in the distance, winding up tall stairs into clouds of mist. On the second day Pemba, our guide, woke us at 5 in the morning to view the mountains and the sun resting her pale pink light over the walls of them, until each and every one was lit with a faint glow. This formation, he informed us, is called The Sleeping Buddha.
Then we were off, after a glorious breakfast of porridge and sweet bread, this second day we completed 18 km and ended up in Sandakphu. Again the next morning, a 5 o’clock wake up and a morning stance on a windy hill where we viewed again the beautiful Himalayas, Mt Everest being one of them.
Then Pemba took off at a ferocious speed, down the mountain, and we followed panting behind. Apparently we needed to catch our Jeep around noon and did not have much time. Pemba kindly crafted walking sticks for me with bamboo shoots and I limped along. Despite the hiking I’ve done before this one did something nasty to my knees. I wondered if it was my lack of proper hiking boots and the wearing of Chaco’s instead. I have never doubted Chaco’s before, but now I begin to (I apologize to other Chaco fans, and leave room for the possibility that maybe my knees simply were not prepared for the up/down motion)
In any case, we practically ran down the mountain, completed this all before breakfast, a full 10 km downwards. Beautiful views on the way down, and I wished to pitch a tent and stay longer, but Pemba was persistent that we make our Jeep ride in time, which in the end, we missed anyways.
Today we are in Gangtok, Sikkim. The capital of Sikkim, surrounded in cloud and mist, as we eat breakfast the clouds crawl in through the window, resting quietly around us, and weaving among us we meet and are met by multiple travelers, kind Indians who are curious about our country and the mystery that is India. Where as I’ve been told, “Anything is possible.”