It was still raining. But we had to get going.
We put on our ponchos (rain coats), the few of us who were left after the rest had marched ahead.
What followed was one among the most beautiful walks of my life. The walk through clouds.
You could see a hundred feet ahead but no more. Beyond that all world was mist.
The poncho that effectively wrapped me made it difficult to take out the camera. To add to it, I was running out of memory.
But I did take a few pictures.
Having taken one picture, when I walked further, I saw that the new scenery before me was more beautiful and I thought, may be, I should have captured this one instead of the previous one. I told you I was running out of memory.
As the clouds enveloping us started thinning, the change in the scenery became more dramatic.
In the valley below, we could see tops of conifer trees all round, rising from a soft bed of mist.
The mountain beside us, on the other side was golden from the rays of a westward sun. When we reached the bend and walked around it, we saw a blue sky and green golden mountains.
That was the first time my friend, N, who had been until then, pleading me – to stop taking too many pictures, for God’s sake, and that too in burst mode, and walk fast please, it’s getting late – asked me to slow down and enjoy the walk. I was relieved. How I wish that walk had lasted longer.
Finally, we reached Namche.
As we entered our hotel, the same one we had left 2 weeks ago, I thought, how soon it had all come to an end.
That evening, we pooled in money towards the tip to our porters and guides – the unsung heroes who were not beasts but had carried our burden just the same, all along.
The travel guides recommend 10% but we left 5% - 2400 Indian rupees.
I gave away my remaining 500 rupee notes, shed my weight and transferred my burden, once again, to those porters.