Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The people in the caravan

At Lamayuru, we also met the folks who were going to go with us on this trip; our guides, porters, horsemen and the cook. In this post I introduce the men who consistently bowled us over with their awesomeness.

Thandlay Dorjay, the closest I've seen anyone come to being a superhero. Watching him sprint down the gravel-covered mountains was the stuff of legends. This photo that you see is a remarkable feat because it was almost impossible for him to stay still. Even when we took a break to catch our breath, he would run up the smaller peaks and rearrange the buddhist flags that mountaineers leave in these parts. He kept running from the back of the queue to the front over and over again all the while singing some catchy bollywood number. As if the thin air wasn't a challenge enough, he smoked four packs. And he smiled non-stop all day.

(Junior) Dorjay: Here's another man who's incapable of looking clumsy. He would walk along with us during the difficult parts of the trek. During one particular treacherous climb, he carried three rucksacks. After the challenging part was done, he would start running so that he could set up the camp before we reached there.

Tundlup Bhai was almost invisible, but his contributions didn't go unnoticed. And his smile was particularly infectious.

Kumar Bhai: I admit that you can't really be objective while judging a cook on a trek because your appetite is perpetually stoked up. Still, by all standards, Kumar Bhai was a true magician. Whether he was making Thukpa or Upma, Parantha or Chowmein he was just stellar. On the last night, he even baked us a cake. Let me see you make me forget that!

Then there were the horsemen, Dorjay (another one!), Sandeep and Deepesh, who toiled in the background. We never really interacted with them too much, but can't take anything away from how much they added to our trip.

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