Chasing Himalayan Dreams - Never too late to fulfil a dream
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You fulfil it by taking the first step — by walking!
Chasing Himalayan Dreams takes you off to a part of the Himalayas that you might not be familiar with, a ridge overseeing a mountain called Kanchenjunga.
It had been a dream of mine for 40 years to complete this trek going back to my childhood growing up in military bases across north India and the first year of university I spent in Darjeeling. Thats where I fell in love with mountains.
Darjeeling, it’s in that little part of northeast India. It’s not really eastern India yet, but where India meets Nepal and Tibet. So literally, when you walk along this trail, which I did, you’re walking on the border of India and Tibet. When you reach Sandakphu, you can see in the distance Everest, Nepal, and look into the plateaus of Tibet.
The Himalayas sweep down from the west of India, starting in Afghanistan, and come down in this amazing arc over the north of India. They finally peter out over the top of Burma and into the western part of China. So literally, when you’re standing there, you can see four countries.
While it sounds beautiful, it’s also a trip that requires planning. It’s not the kind of thing you can be spontaneous about because you need a local guide. On that note, what are the logistics of the trip? How do you organise it? What’s it like, and what do you see?
Where is Kanchenjunga and Sandakphu. What are these places?
Firstly, Sandakphu is just a point on the Singalila Ridge. So the Singalila Ridge is a ridge, and the path is on top of it. To the left is Nepal, and to the right is India, right? As you walk along this, you crisscross between the two countries.It’s not guarded by fierce warriors holding guns; I mean, there is heavy protection, but it’s for the wildlife and the plants. It’s protected because there are plants over there so valuable that they don’t want anyone to…