the wonderful world of veena.

07 October 2012

30 before 30: sunrise over the himalayas.

  1. Go bungee jumping.
  2. Go sky-diving.
  3. Spend one week on my own in Honey Valley, cut off from the world and from all of my electronic gadgets.
  4. Do a wine tour [preferably in California, but due to logistical constraints, improvisations may have to be made].
  5. Complete my Master of Public Service degree.
  6. Run a half marathon.
  7. Explore a new part of India.
  8. Be vegetarian for one month.
  9. Go skinny-dipping.
  10. Learn to scuba dive.
  11. Learn one Indian language properly [it's about time, wouldn't you think?].
  12. See the Grand Canyon [I smell a US road trip in my future].
  13. Get a professional massage.
  14. Try 2 foods I've never tried before.
  15. Take a photography class.
  16. See the sun rise over the Himalayas.
One morning last week, I arose at 4 to begin my journey up to Sarangkot, a village on a hill overlooking Pokhara. I had heard the sunrise was very nice up there, and my guesthouse very nicely offered to drop me part of the way up to save me some time. So at 4.30am, we set out from the guesthouse, and at 5 the driver dropped me off and pointed me on my way. Armed [headed?] with my torch, I set off and up. After about half an hour of a combination of steps and trails, I found myself at the viewpoint atop Sarangkot just as the first rays of the sun were beginning to peek through the clouds. [the clouds were worrisome, as I was afraid the mountains would not be visible, and my journey would be for naught, but luckily the clouds were just sitting low, and the mountains could still be seen]

[just a few rays peeking through]

[cloud cover over Pokhara]

[a view of the Annapurna range]

[a view of "Fishtail"]
When I arrived, there were only 4 others already up there, so I was able to take a few initial pictures and then stake out a spot for myself to sit and watch the light hit the peaks.

[first rays hitting the mountains]

[Annapurna range]

[just hitting the peak of "Fishtail"]

[slowly creeping up through the clouds]

[and the haze begins to set in]

[Annapurna range, circa 6.20am]
Around 6.30am, it became quite hazy and the visibility was getting pretty bad, so I began my descent a bit earlier than most others. I had a nice leisurely stroll down to the turnoff for the lake, but because it was still cloudy, and because there were too many locals trying to get me to hire them as my guides, I decided to follow the road and take the long way back into town.

And a long way it was.

About 10km down and over [at a guess. possibly longer] later, I arrived back at the lakeside for breakfast which was quickly followed by a nap.

It was certainly a long morning, but it was definitely worth it. The pictures don't do it justice, not just because of the clouds and haze, but because there are some sights that cannot be captured in a photograph [and also, I'm still experimenting with my camera].

I'm glad I got up to make the journey, and I'm also glad to be able to cross a second happening off my list. Hopefully I'll be more productive now that I'm back in India.
We'll see.
woo pig.

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