Saturday, February 16, 2008

West of the Moon, East of the Sun.

It was late at night. The townfolk were of a superstitious kind, disappearing indoors soon after nightfall. Or perhaps it was just too cold for anyone sensible to be out. We were out, of course. Sensible is not an epithet anyone's ever given me, and with good reason. A lone light far away casted long shadows that seemed to race ahead of us.

And lo! We make it back to a cheery fire. Warming ourselves and watching others shake themselves silly, we head to our rooms, eagerly awaiting the next day.

Yawn. Shiver. Blink. Blink. It's sunrise. Photograph the spectacular sunrise vs. freeze your butt off. The former won, surprisingly enough. You'd think that something that looks so fiery would produce a little more heat. Hmpf.

Looking down at the misty expanse ahead of you, you see the sun melting away the top layers of the mist. Small peaks start jutting up out of nowhere, eventually telling us their true size.

Only for a little while though. There are lakes there, in the valleys beneath the peaks. As the sun rises higher, it pulls up more water from them, and the mist it begins to grow again, obscuring much of what was seen earlier. And then, then you see. The Nilgiris. The blue mountains.

Hey ho, lets go. And off we went. I clicked pics of a tower near the first base camp from various points of our little trek. A little reference point in an unknown world.

The fauna I'm afraid we didn't really get a chance to see (except for some bisons for a fraction of a second while on the bus,) but the flora... the flora was quite something. From the incredibly rare tree ferns to all variety of mosses and lichens to stuff we couldn't really place.

The tree ferns were very Octopussian. (Now, there ought to be a better term for that. Lemme know if you find one.)

The day it eventually came to a close. Eventfully, at that. One nutter in our group claimed that his shoulder was dislocated, and after much hue and cry he was escorted off. Bed rest is an excellent cure for dislocated shoulders, apparently. After having slept in a warm, cozy bed (as opposed to our sleeping in crummy overstuffed tents) he returned the next day, fit as a fiddle. Even his wife was embarassed about the "cunning" he used to get a good bed for a night.

Anyhou. Sunsets, like the sunrises don't disappoint in them hills.

Lie down. Squirm. (No place to squirm.) Twist. (No place to twist.) Kick. Get kicked. Shiver. Groan. And it's sunrise again. The watery, extra sweet black coffee worked wonders, I must say. The sun it peeked up from behind the leaves.

Turn around. And lo! You can still see the tower. (You can, too. Just about.)

And the day it had just begun.

PS. There's still more from whence it all came.

PPS. The title's from this little piece of verse.
Still round the corner there may wait
A new road or a secret gate,
And though I oft have passed them by,
A day will come at last when I
Shall take the hidden paths that run
West of the Moon, East of the Sun.
PPPS. Foolish of me, I forgot to put in the picture that inspired the title. The sun had already risen in parts west of us, yet we were still waiting.


Ganesh said...

Pics 3 and 4 made me gape so bad I almost screwed up my jaw! :D amazing shots!

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MM said...

Beautiful pictures! especially the one of the sunrise!
You get the most amazing sunrise photos. I've never seen a sunrise myself.
I'm never awake that early.
But if I have I dont remember one ever looking like that.

Lovely post!