17 December 2005
We left the dunes and rode into darkness known as a village called Hunder. Guided by the omnipresent Indian Army, after losing our way many times, we were very lucky to find a clean, small room in the middle of the wilderness.
The negotiation for the room-price went like this... The chinky owner said "Rs.400... take it or leave it." Joy simply said "But we're Indians." "Ok, 300 it is."
Besides the stunning scenery wherever we looked, we were also served completely organic food for dinner. No pesticides, no fertilizers, no junk. I never knew greens and salads tasted so good! Spurred on by the cold, Gopal and I hogged like we'd not eaten for a week. It was like a proper home-made dinner (not my home, of course).
Joy, I think, is allergic to green food. Actually, he's allergic to anything that is not deep fried, golden brown or deep red in colour, preferably with a visible coating of oil of some sort. He scoffed at the idea of organic food, and chose to starve instead. His ability to go hungry and remain his energetic self is amazing. He'd skip 3 meals on the trot, in extreme cold, and the next day, under the burning mid-day sun, he'd break his fast with potato-fries or chips.
This place we stayed at was so self-contained... they had diverted a part of the stream bordering the house, to flow through the garden... there was fresh (cold) running water at all times. The next morning we had Ladakhi bread with lots of butter and honey. Brilliant again. Honestly, organic food tastes infinitely better... it's addictive. Living in the cities, I don't think we realise what we're missing.
A Bactrian camel...
How about this for a sunrise...