After the heat and madness of Delhi it was a pleasure to arrive in the Chamba Valley, in Himachal Pradesh, in north west India. We were here to trek for 8 days through the mountains of this Indian State. On the drive from Pathenkot, a town we had traveled to by overnight train from Delhi, there had been some distant views of snow capped peaks, but now they seemed within touching distance. Initially we stayed at the beautiful Orchard Huts, which is a superb place to stay if you happen to find yourself in this corner of the Indian sub-continent.
Our convoy of jeeps traveled to the road head, from where we started our climb. We caused quite a stir, with local school children coming out of the classroom to watch us pass by. Camp that evening was at 2,450 metres, we had climbed nearly 1,000 metres from where we started in the morning.
The first part of the trek involved some sections of downhill as we followed the course of the river, prior to heading up the ridge towards higher land. Fortunately a lot of the route was through trees, providing welcome shade from the Indian sun.
This water mill was busy grinding local flour. It reminded me of the old tidal mills in northern Brittany, some of which have been lovingly restored.
This was the last village we passed through as we climbed out of the valley. Little did we realize that we would be camping in this village a week later.
Looking back to the village. It was clearly a rich agricultural region. It never failed to amaze, the steepness of the slopes that villages clung to.
First night's camp. The horses were free to wander after their efforts of carrying some of our equipment.
Before it went dark some of the distant snow fields were lit by the final rays of the sun. Hopefully promising another good day tomorrow.