So I have arrived to that one place hid in my heart as home and, yes, it feels like home. The plan is to spend at least a good solid week writing. My room with a view is idylic.
The plan also is to walk around. I arrived at the Ivy Bank guest house mid day, unpacked, and then headed out for a walk. The back path up to Chaar Dhukhaan is very steep, and I realized it would take a while to get my lung capacity up to the 7000+ feet altitude. You just plug along at a steady plod and eventually you arrive at one of the oldest crossroads of town in front of St Paul's church. Every time I come there are more cafes. So no longer four (chaar) stores (dhukhaan). I sit down at Tip Top and its good to see a familiar face.
After chai and fried momo I got my second wind and walked on. The steepness of a path is always relative. As a youth here I never realised how steep the road was between St Paul and Kellogs. But not anywhere as steep as to Char Dukhaan. The weather was very comfortable for walking. I walked the path that ribbons the top of the mountain ridge in the secluded "suburb" called Landaur. Due to the government taking over most of the hill, and strict building restrictions, this part of town is pretty much the same. I don't know how many times I walked this road when I was young. To walk it again, after all these years, did feel like a homecoming.
Arriving at Prakash's I just went in and ordered some basic survival supplies, as if I had been shopping there last week. I couldn't remember if it was Anil or Sunil who had taken over the shop. I asked. He told me he was Sunil and then he instantly remembered that I use to live just up the hill in Buena Vista. He asked about my parents.
Now to head back home, This time around the back of the mountain, where few live. The path goes under what use to be our house, but that was torn down long ago and taken over by All India Radio. Its a quiet. path with pines that must be twice the size as 40 years ago.
The walk down any gradient proved to be very difficult on my knees. Just before the guest house where I am staying is possibly the very steepest road. I did my best to criss cross down or go sideways, as people rushed pass me with no problem. There is another road I can take that is a little more gradual, though three times longer.
So tomorrow I wanted to see the snows early in the morning, before smog and clouds come in. It may be that the best way to treat myself on my birthday is to stay home and rest my knees. Or I will go down Mullingar early in the day, and get the tension on my knees over with early, and see the snows from the Camels back road.
I will be traveling and visiting India, with my Father. Our primary destination in India is Ranchi, Jharkhand. We will also visit other towns and cities in that north-eastern region as well as other places in India.