Had I heard heavy rain at night while I slept? I looked out of the picture window of the hotel and realized that I had. The previous day the view had been a screen of murky white beyond the town of Munsiyari below us. Today I could see mountains beyond the town. I shrugged a… Continue reading A cold murky morning
The morning’s light was not much to speak of, but the afternoon was much darker. A heavy downpour which cleared off the smoke would have been very welcome, but it didn’t rain. There was a lack of light, and a heavy dampness in the air reduced the visibility further. Walking was unhealthy in this smoke-filled… Continue reading Surprises
When you ask someone what you can do in Munsiyari apart from walking through the hillsides, people will often recommend a visit to Darkot village. Women of this village raise Angora rabbits, and weave their wool into the wonderfully soft stoles, shawls, and caps which you can see in high-end stores in cities. The heavy… Continue reading Angora shawls
Darkot village (altitude 2000 m?) near Munsiyari is known for the angora caps and shawls which the local women weave. But any place in the Himalayas is good for a look at its flora and fauna. I stood on the steep path which leads down to the village from the highway and looked at the… Continue reading Two yellow flowers
On road trips I’ve got used to stopping at road-side shacks for a tea now and then. The trip to Kumaon last month was the first time I found this to be difficult. As we travelled north of Almora, traffic thinned out and the little shacks by the road where you can normally stop for… Continue reading Looking for chai on the road
Long walks and close views of the high Himalayas are why you would visit Munsiyari (altitude 2200 m). The thick smoke from forest fires meant that walks would be a health risk. Our chances of seeing the Pnachachauli massif close up also seemed to be shot. In addition, I was beginning to be concerned about… Continue reading Three butterflies
Flowering of the Rhododendron arboreum, the tree Rhododendron, is said to be extremely temperature sensitive. My own experience also verifies this. Four years ago I found that the second week of March was too early for flowers at Barsey Rhododendron Sanctuary (altitude 2500 m) in Sikkim. But when I was in Yuksom (altitude 1780 m)… Continue reading Changes
It wasn’t exactly rain that we had that afternoon in Munsiyari, more of a heavy fog which slowly settled. We went back to the spot where we had seen the Koklass pheasant the previous day, but a Koklass never crosses the same road twice. The cold and the fog made the prospect of a chai… Continue reading Is it possible to brew good tea on a mountain?