We walked around the lazy town, flashlights in hand, jackets zipped up to the limit and wonder in our eyes. Lachen did not have street lights so we had to be extra careful not to bump into the many cows on the way. The inky blackness finally gave way to a small light in a store, promising snacks and drinks.
The few tourists that we saw seemed to be stumbling and making merry, like us.
I bought a few local snacks while Sahil handled the rum and coke part of it and we headed back to our, hopefully, toasty room.
The staff brought us one of the most delicious thalis we've ever had. I don't know what it is about the mountain people but they have the power to make even bitter gourd taste amazing!
The thali consisted of rotis (flatbread), rice, chicken curry, kidney beans, cauliflower and potatoes.
We scarfed down everything on the plate and kept moving closer to the heater as it was getting colder by the minute.
We downed our last drink, that was stronger for obvious reasons and headed to the ice cold bed.
The next thing I knew was it was 4 in the morning as D'punk was knocking on our door, asking us to wake up. Reluctant as we were to leave the now snuggly bed we knew if we wanted to see the lake, it had to be now.
The staff members brought us eggs, toast and chai and carried our luggage down on the same trip.
We bid farewell to the hotel staff and their beautiful dog, climbing into the now toasty cab. D'Punk was a gift from the Gods. He blasted the heater a little more until everything was loaded up, and off we were to see the astonishingly beautiful Gurudongmar Lake.
Travel music is extremely valuable to us. It has the ability to make our journeys sweeter and lift our spirits even more than they usually are. After a lot of skipping and shuffling, we settled on Porcupine Tree's In Absentia. One of the best decisions we've ever made. It also branded one of the best moments of our lives that we cherish whenever the album plays.
As we started ascending, the track Lips of Ashes started playing. I could see the wonder in his eyes as the first tufts of snow started falling. It had begun to hail. You'd think only rain pitter-patters down, you may be wrong.
As the little-frozen balls of water bounced off the windshield, we rolled down the windows and breathed in. The air suddenly had this exotic quality to it and no matter the temperature, it brought us a feeling of infinity.
Nothing could take this moment from us. He laughed like a child, wide-eyed, in awe. He had never seen snowfall before. I had, but it paled in comparison to what I witnessed at that moment.
Feeling pure ecstasy, we ascended further in distance as we did in exuberance.