Until We Meet Again

It’s never easy saying goodbye. After an eventful 6 days in the mountains, it was time for us to head back home. The trip from Dalhousie to Gaggal Airport (Kangra) would clock 3 hours. I dreaded having to traverse the winding mountain roads again. Our driver was the same young guy who had driven us to Kalatop Sanctuary. He was surprisingly chirpy at 6:30 in the morning.

For the first hour of the journey, I tried to close my eyes and forget the familiar feeling of queasiness. In between winks, we saw army personnel training in the darkness. I couldn’t imagine running along the mountain road in the blistering cold. There was a point, beyond which, I couldn’t take it anymore and rolled down my window. The cool wind continuously hit my face and after a while – caused a sharp shooting pain in my right ear.

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A breakfast halt provided respite from the travails of the journey. We stopped at a local dhabba (highway lunch house) and ordered two aloo parathas (flattened wheat rolls with potato stuffing). The sun was good and breakfast even better. After a break of half an hour, we were on the road again.

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We had an hour before we reached the airport. We had already made it to the Kangra valley and the only mountains that we saw – were in the distance. As we passed fields and bridges, the mountains stood there, unshakeable and awe inspiring. The Dhauladhar range was much like a shadow that never left the Kangra valley.

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 I was in better spirits by the time we reached the airport. I couldn’t say the same for my throbbing ear and blocked nose. We waited patiently for our flight and were pleasantly surprised to see it scheduled on time. And as we made it to the flight, we glimpsed the last fleeting view of the mountain range. Despite feeling sick, I made a mental note that we had add one more place to our bucket-list. Hopefully, we’ll see the Himalayas again.

17 responses to “Until We Meet Again

  1. So sorry to hear that the cold air gave you a painful ear. Maybe you have sensitive ears and sinuses, or maybe you might be feeling tired to begin with. When winter hits here in Melbourne, my ears don’t feel too right.

    But glad the flight was on time and those are lovely views. Hope that cheered you up 🙂

    • Thanks for your concern, Mabel. 🙂 I do have a minor sinus problem. Gets painful in cold weather. Yeah, our trip did turn out to be exhaustive. We walked more than 10 km on the last two days. That’s what took a toll. The view was definitely worth it. 🙂

    • It was excruciating. I guess, I shouldn’t have left the window open. 😦 And my ear got blocked in flight. Lasted two days after the trip. Yup! The mountains do look amazing from up!

  2. I could look at mountains forever – there is nothing quite like them, but the pain of the ears reminded me that I need to wear a headband when I head out to walk or run in the cold. I forgot a couple of days ago and got the pain in the ears even though the rest of me was warm. (This is pretty standard in the winter here in Canada if a wind is blowing) This also reminded me that I will soon be heading to Cuenca, Ecuador & I’d better pack a few headache tablets as I will probably suffer for 3 days from headaches when I get there. The acclimatization to altitude can be quite painful.

    • I know, I should have covered my ears. 😦 I just wanted the queasiness to stop. To tell you the truth, I wasn’t thinking straight. What is the mean altitude in Cuenca? Three days should be enough to acclimatise. I hate high altitudes and symptoms of AMS. Sadly, it’s the only way to see some stunning sights! All the best with your trip! 🙂

      • The altitude is 2500 m. (8200 ft.) Unfortunately, as you say, there is this problem of altitude to get the good views. They call altitude sickness ‘soroche’ in the Andes. Take care.

      • That’s the height when all those weird symptoms appear. I guess, nature compensates in a way. Can’t wait to read your posts on your trip! 🙂

    • Sadly, the earache was followed by a toothache. 😦 But, all’s well now. The mountains can take quite a toll, but definitely worth it. Thank you for your compliment. We love parathas too! They were yum!

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