The year is 2010. It is a pleasant morning in the big town of Manado in Indonesia. The traffic is moving at a steady pace, men & women are crowding the Microlet (local transport van) interchange, and we are trying to haggle a ride to the ferry terminal in the four words of Bahasa we’ve learnt in the one day we’ve been here. We must be on our way to the little known island of Bunaken today.
As I walk along the green fields of Pin, I smile in delight at the pink, purple and yellow flowers in bloom; I haven’t seen greenery for the last 3 days in the mountain desert terrain of Spiti. I carefully walk the fragile bridge across the Spiti River, to the village of Gulling, where I hope to hitch-hike my way back to Kaza, Spiti’s capital, instead of waiting for a bus the next morning. I have never hitch-hiked in India before; it would be a parent’s worst nightmare for their 23-year-old daughter in the northern cities of India […Continue reading on Clay] To read & share more travel stories, join The Shooting Star’s new fanpage on Facebook!
As we drive into the heart of India, dubbed Madhya Pradesh, I awake my sleepy self to the sight of the Betwa River, a beautiful expanse of clear water vigorously flowing through a dam. I am suddenly kicked about venturing into an India that is far off the tourist circuit; Spiti & Hegdenagar feel like a long time ago.
In a country of 28 states, each with its signature culture, food, language, history & landscape, it’s not easy for a traveler to scratch the tourism surface of India beyond the golden triangle. The need of the hour, as recognized by Indian Tourism, UNDP and a string of social entrepreneurs, is to develop sustainable, responsible travel initiatives in high-potential regions of rural India.
No butterflies in my stomach, no goose bumps, no insomniac nights, no cold sweats; just 3 suitcases filled with life in Singapore and 6 years of travel memories from Southeast Asia. That marked my move last week. That has made Delhi my home atleast for the next one year.
Steve Jobs once said that we can connect the dots of our life only in hindsight. When Angela Corrias of Chasing the Unexpected nominated me for Tripbase‘s My 7 Links project, I began to flip through my blog posts, and in the process, began to unravel and connect the phases of travel blogging addiction I’ve been through.
This is The Shooting Star’s first ever guest post. Adnan Bashir, a traveler from Pakistan, who goes by the pen name Delirium, explores one of the most fascinating peaks on the other side of the Himalayas, the Nanga Parbat aka the Killer Mountain.
Climb with me to the mountains on the roof of the world. I’ll walk you by gushing rivers. I’ll show you curious summits staring starry skies. I’ll float you to the depths of ancient seas. I’ll take you to the world’s highest inhabited villages. I’ll enchant you with blue streams in deep gorges. Won’t you come with me on a journey through Spiti, the most breathtaking valley in the north of India? 1. Mountain ropeway at Chichum. This is literally breath-taking. As an alternative to the long uphill walk from the village of Kibber to Chichum, the locals built an ingenious ropeway between two mountain peaks, over a deep gorge. The small open box on the pulley is used to transport men, cattle and raw materials, has no weight limits, and can’t be kind to your shoulders, though if you’re lucky, you’ll find someone on the other end to pull your ropes. The ropeway was built 5 years ago, and it has never yet collapsed. This local engineering feat is worth a ride for the …
As I awake from my slumber and look out the bus window, I’m transported back into a dream. Clusters of pine trees arise from amid the clouds and reach out to the Himachal sky. I instinctively turn left, but there isn’t anyone to soak in that view with. In my long battle with my parents on traveling alone, I forgot to think it might be intimidating. And intimidating it is.
I sit by a Stupa on an elevation above the shore of the Spiti River, shielding myself from the sun. It’ll be a good fifteen minutes before the ball of fire sinks behind the mountain range and relieves human skins. Such penetrating sun rays would make a great premise for a sunscreen advert, I muse.