I could feel the weight of worry increasing with each successive bend, each halting climb, along the precarious mountain road en-route Kalatop Wildlife Sanctuary. I’d have preferred my feet over the make-believe safety of our hired car. It’s one of the moments, in travel, when you think, “Have we tempted fate? Would today be the end of the road?”.
The snow had narrowed down the path on either side and a traffic jam – with loud honking – brought our journey to a temporary halt. We had to get out of the car. There was nowhere to stand, between the mangled mess of vehicles and plunging valley below. Ironically, I had hoped to find some peace, if not enlightenment, in the mountains.
On reaching the Sanctuary, we began a 3 Km hike to reach the apex, ‘Kalatop’ (2438 m).With each passing kilometre, we left behind revelling crowds of holidaymakers, and started to enjoy scattered moments of solitude. The sheer joy of making it to the top, with the best views of the mountains in front of us, was all it took to wipe my mind blank. For those few minutes, with the cool wind hitting my face, and the vast spread of blue before me, I knew what it felt to be free of everything that weighed me down. Sometimes, to feel weight(less), you don’t need to fly. You just need to let go.