By Adda

Mountain biking: Phagupul - Jibhi (17 kms more up)

It rained last evening and it was cold. I have a problem of snoring (well it is not my problem, I can peacefully sleep thought it :)), specially when I am cold at night. There was one more guy in the camp who had a terrible snoring problem - cold or otherwise. And then there was this guy who happened to sleep between the two of us. Needless to say, he had a 'sound' sleep - or maybe, doubly so :D
Some minor bike repairs and we head off to the next camp. Today it is going to be really up. We started together and in no time, we were riding in small groups - one group not having the sight of the other. We were gaining altitude and breathing was getting heavier. The backpack was weighing 10 times more than what it weighed today. And the only additional luggage I had was a few photographs on my camera. Sweating like a pig and panting like a dog, I made it to the camp, and in good time. On the way we crossed some really beautiful spots and a few people. The world was getting beautiful as we were gaining ascent. Once a few of us were at the camp, we decided to go for a dip in the river. It was bright and sunny up in the sky but the water was freezing. There was no sensation left in the part of the body that was under water. But still what an experience it was! By the time we were out, we were so refreshed that we felt we can do 17kms more. The campsite today was particularly beautiful. Beautiful birds, really tall trees, gushing river by the camp - it had all.
Later in the evening, we got talking to a lady in a small grocery shop. She gave us quite an insight into the life up in the hills. Their culture, festivals, clothes, and life in general. She has never seen the world outside the mountains and doesn't regret it either. She told us stories of her experiences with people from villages and towns down below. We were surprised to learn the differences in the lifestyle and culture of the people who are just 30 kms apart. She seemed genuine and also representative of opinion of the people from the village about people from villages down below. She was a very sweet woman and we could have kept on talking to her but had to get back to the camp for dinner and a good night sleep. I decided to put on my thermal wear to save myself from the cold and my fellow-rider from the snores :). Tomorrow is another day.


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