The journey to push my mental and physical endurance, took me to the starkly beautiful Spiti Valley in the Trans Himalayan range this month. As I trekked the bare mountain to reach Panari peak at over 4000m, I felt my lungs burn, white streaks flashed in my eyes, my calves hummed a tuneless song, icy wind cut through my ears, the tips of my fingers went numb…but when I reached our destination high up in the clouds, the elation I felt was like nothing I ever felt before. Pride, joy, relief and an amazing, indescribable feeling that burst through my heart.
I could see the three forks of the valley from the vantage point, and about 11 villages scattered between the mountains. Our village guide, Padma explained that on a clear day, 18 villages are visible. I took three turns around the prayer pole which was perched precariously on the edge of the cliff. I sat for a few minutes on the edge, wondering what it feels to dive off from that point and fly so high up, like the eagles soaring around the peak. It feels so good to be alive!