I returned from my Himachal/Delhi trip on Monday night after a very delayed take off from Delhi. The weather was quite bad and I don’t think we could hold the airlines staff responsible for the delay. Even at 1 pm, anything beyond 100 mtrs was barely visible!
I have been totally disoriented for most of yesterday and today. The shallowness of office life is hitting me now and I feel an urgent need to escape from it. After having spent 10 days in the ‘real’ world I am back to corporate hypocrisy, faking deadlines, listening to managers with byte-sized IQs et-al. Of course, I could keep myself busy, but his 9-5 behind-glued-to-chair thingy is keeping me from the many things I have to do (like process 5 gigs of RAW files).
I am actually a tad bit disappointed because the snaps did not come as good as I expected. Let me say that again – the snaps are not up to the mark as per my expectations. I was hoping to do some Ansel Adams kinda magic but the cold and having to move along with the rest of the trekking group did not allow me to do quality photography. However my gear withstood the elements, and everything from the bag that I got stitched for my new tripod to my LowePro AW Orion Trekker came in handy during the rain and snow. That is something worthy of mention because when you have gear worth your life’s savings and are trekking in a jungle which can kill you with just the cold, you gotta have piece of mind. The only let down were those SterlingTek batteries. They did not last even as long as the regular Canon one. They are supposed to last longer because they are of higher capacity. I think I got duds. In any case this trip has been a good practice ground for a Leh trip which I am eager to do sometime next year. And this time I will not go with YHAI. With all due respect to the very capable field officers and camp leaders, I have certain hygiene standards which I’d like to maintain always and that was very difficult when there were 50 other people crammed in confined spaces. Sorry, even National Integration is not a good excuse for such overcrowding. I think I’ve seen enough of this in our unreserved compartments (read, bad loos). However the good part that came out of all this is the fact that I survived -1Â°C and learnt a few important things about warm clothing and backpacking.
Apart from the trek itself, the 2 days in Dharamshala and 3 days in Delhi were a blast. We were unprepared for that part of the trip too – we weren’t carrying extra empty bags! Both these places are shopping havens and I now miss not having shopped more Dharamshala is also a great place for street photography and this brings me to another crib – overhead wires criss-crossing all over the towns, country sides, jungles, highways…. These darn wires make the nicest of scenes ugly
Anyways, got to get back to work now. Hoping to complete processing the snaps and writing the catalogue by the end of this week.
Climbing to Kalatop. First signs of snowfall