“All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.” - Gandalf The Grey
Why have we always felt content among the wild, the rivers and the mountains not fearing the cold, the extreme weather or the arduous efforts to be one with the nature even after building our comfortable concrete blocks in the crowded cities. Our inherent nature, I guess, lures us to the primitive.
After the solo road trip to Spiti Valley, a long pending trekking to the mountains needed to happen. As the weekend approached, I flew to Dharamshala with plans to trek to the Triund Hilltop. This trip was later joined in by one of my school friend, whom I happened to meet after 3 years here in the mountains.
As I arrived at the airport, I got the bus to Dharamshala, McleodGanj and then walked up to Dharamkot. A village situated on the crest of a hill that sits with a wide view to the Kangra Valley and Dhauladhar mountain range. There are a lot of Homestays with dead cheap rent. I paid mere 250 bucks for the day at a Homestay. My friend, who seemed to know the local dialect of the language got along very well with kids in the house.
In the morning we started our trek to the top. As soon as the trek gained some altitude, the mist was all around us, like walking in an afterlife journey. On the way, I had put on some music, and "Kashmir" by Led Zeppelin was playing, an American traveler with his friend stopped us and started telling his friend about how much he loved the song that was being played. I, being a Led Zep fan myself, got into a conversation with him. As we hiked the path up the mountain, we shared a lot of stories about life, music and our travels. (Thank you Bob and Richard!)
The trek was at times demanding but the hikers on the way cheered one other and the view got better and better. In about 5 hours, we were on the Hilltop. One one side was the mighty Dhauladhar mountain range and on the other was endless view into the Kangra Valley. As I setup my camera for the timelapse of the sunset, I witnessed one of the spectacular sunsets of my life with clouds folding unto each other below the hilltop.
The tents are available for overnight stay at the hilltop for around 700 bucks(Make sure to bring warm clothes and body warmers as the temperature drops quickly after sunset). At night the local guys lit the campfire. At the campfire, I met this French girl who was with her mother, whom I had mistaken for her friend, she asked me in her sweet French dialect about the places to travel to and where I had come from. While the other travelers sang songs around the campfire, I took a stroll near the camping ground. The whole Kangra Valley was shining like distant stars twinkling due to the mist. The view at night was like this.
In the morning we spent some time savoring the beauty one last time before we started our descent from the top. In one of those moments, my friend asked me why sometime, the best of the moments are not captured on camera but only felt in silence and the awe of that moment, It was then I quoted Mr. Sean Penn from 'The Secret Life of Walter Mitty', "Beautiful things don't ask for attention".
As the sun raced towards the zenith, we trekked down with a promise in our heart to return to this place sometime soon in near future.