When I opened my tent the next morning, I found one of the most mesmerising sights before me. Rising high above the tents covered in thick snow were the majestic Himalayan mountains. Since we’d arrived after dark the previous day, I hadn’t noticed what a beautiful campsite Tilad Do was. We had descended from the road and were right on the banks of Zanskar River, with nearly half its surface frozen and perfect to walk on. However, it was a gloomy day with an overcast sky that continuously showered us with snow. I already felt that I had seen enough snow to keep me contented for a lifetime.
My day started, like most good days do, with an urge to poo. So off I went, with a roll of toilet paper in one hand and a hiking pole in the other, to one of the toilet tents that was set up fifty yards above our tents on the hill. Well, they were pretty basic toilets with nothing but a shallow pit in the ground surrounded by a tiny tent. Believe me when I say that these toilet tents are the best-suited only for the first user, which unfortunately I wasn’t. As I neared them, the stench made me gag and turn back almost instantly. Capitulating to the human needs and disregarding all shame, I hiked further uphill until I found a spot that overlooked the entire campsite, the nearby hills and the river snaking through the valley, and yet remained concealed from below. I set about stomping my own pit in the snow and went about my business, with one hell of a view in front of me.