“May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds. May your rivers flow without end… where something strange and more beautiful and more full of wonder than your deepest dreams waits for you — beyond that next turning of the canyon walls.”
Of course, the trudge up wasn’t always easy…
I started out the New Year in Nepal, excited to see what adventures 2014 would hold.
“Don’t tell me has educated you are. Tell me how much you have traveled.”
Why do we cycle? We do it for the peaceful nights at 4,000m surrounded by the stars and the snowy peaks. We do it to explore and discover rather than to simply sit and wonder, and we do it for the lovely people we meet along the way. One of the main reasons Kevin and I chose to travel as we do, and one of the thing that has kept us going through each and every country, is the astounding kindness of strangers and the wonderful homestays we have been lucky enough to partake in. Though it may seem pretty crazy if you haven’t experienced it yourself, total strangers really will invite you into their homes for a cup of tea (or even a night), and despite what the media may constantly tell you, our world is indeed a truly wonderful place.
“I can’t have bad dreams when I sleep under the stars.”
As a final farewell to the Himalayas and to mountains in general for the next little while (ok, long while, the alps are still quite a few kilometers away) here are a few of my favorite camping spots (that I remembered to take pictures at) from my stay in the mountains.
“A wise person knows there is something to be learned from everybody.”
As we were driving towards Leh we hit rush hour and I made a mental note not to drive on country roads after six p.m. It’s definitely not the type of rush hour you are thinking about though, remember this is a road that only sees a handful of cars everyday. Instead of cars, this rush hour involves lots of sheep, goats, cows, and the occasional yak.
How do you sum up a year which has changed the course of your life? A year in which I experienced innumerable acts of kindness throughout my own country as well as in India and Nepal. A year throughout which I also learned the daily hardships of many women in our world who live in oppressively patriarchal societies . A year which involved cycling over the highest passes in the world, trekking in some of the most isolated regions, and camping for weeks on end beneath the stars in the middle of the Himalayas. A year during which I was invited in by families in every country I visited to eat with them, sleep with them, and live, if only for a day or a week, as they do.