Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Great Eastern Ramblings: Part IV - Top of the world!

Day 7 – Natu La Pass

It’s the pass that also serves as the border between India and China. We start off. We’re right in the middle of a cloud. I think we’re almost there. But to my surprise, 40 more km to go. Yikes. This place must be high.

Steep steep roads. Very very narrow. I wonder how they were even made. The roads I mean. Unbelievable, people actually live at those heights. I saw many random houses with laundry hung outside and a kid playing outside and nothing is sight for miles. Quite surprising. As we go higher, it gets wayy cold… We stopped at some place and hired huge fluffy long jackets. Mine had BAD BOY written on it in big red letters on the back. Hehehe.

We reached the pass and snow everywhere! That was the first time I had ever seen snow so I was excited to say the least.. and promptly started a snow fight which lasted till we left the place. The pass is the most gorgeous thing I have ever seen. For 14,200 feet above sea level, it was also the highest meal I have ever had on solid ground. There were Indian soldiers who looked amused, and Chinese soldiers, who looked thoroughly bored. I don’t blame them. All they see all day are tourists who treat them like animals in a zoo ogling them and saying hi to them. Oh, but the view is beyond gorgeous. It was like sight seeing in heaven! And I sure got delighted to see smoke coming out of my mouth. Or whatever you call those fumes. I was soon puffing away like a chain smoker :) The place is too beautiful to describe effectively…

Then we go to Baba Mandir. I was under the the impression that you see one temple, you’ve seen them all. And I still stand by that. But this temple is an exception. Its in the honour of a soldier who died and someone dreamt that he wanted a temple built and it became like a shrine. What’s interesting about this temple is that people say that someone has to wash and iron his uniform everyday because it gets crumpled and dirty. He even gets a salary and regularly gets promotions! Hahahahahaha! Strange but very interesting.

On the way back down, we stop to return the coats. I see a yak for the first time ever. Oh they are cute!! Look so gently confused at something.. oh adorable.. :) I had the best momos I’ve ever tasted and had thukpa for the first time (noodle soup- Tibetan dish). And trust me, having momos and thukpa which are piping hot at 13000 feet near the India-China/ Tibet border while sitting in a hailstorn which converts to a rainstorm while its freezing outside is like nothing else. Seriously. The cute old lady who made the food kept jabbering away in some language, maybe Nepali while we understood about half and tried to reply and keep up with her.

Random sights were also seen such as continuous signs on the winding road such as Speed thrills but kills (ok…), Be soft on my curves (ahem…), Drive like hell and you will be there (chuckle..), On my curves watch your nerves (hehehehe) and Road is hilly don't be silly (hahahahahahahahahahaha!!!); a goat wearing a raincoat; and a dude looking gorkha guy who was perched on a rock and winked at me and blew me a kiss as I sped past, obviously enjoying the sight of my eyebrows shooting up into my hair. My insides were already very warm due to the Tibetan food, and my cheeks promptly followed suit and joined the club :P

Whatta day... :)


another brick in the wall said...

oh! first time in snow! it's aweomse isn't it? :)
"All they see all day are tourists who treat them like animals in a zoo ogling them and saying hi to them."

hehe.. yea.. sad but true :S

u had momos! aren't they awesome! but veg momos exist?????
"Be soft on my curves"
hahhahhahaha.. oh yea! :D

great post :D

Divya said...

Duh.. obv they exist! had them many many times in different cities and venues ya.. but these were the best ever!