20. June 2014 – 12:59
A sunny day in the monsoon season. During the day it is hot, but now in the afternoon quite pleasant in the shade of the mountains. I enjoy the steady uphill in a light gear, consciously inhaling the air purified from the previous day by the rain. Breathe in and out. A small school bus overtakes me and Indian school children wave to me from the rear window. I wave back. I myself overtake knitting women who walk with their cows for grasing and old men sitting together along the small path, wearing their Kullu hats and smoking bidi.
The most diverse smells enter my nose and the smell of fresh mint is particularly intense..
Young women collect apricots to produce oil from the stones. A man kindly carries my bike over a small stream, the water level has now risen during the monsoon season. The man laughs when I fail to keep balance on the shaky stones as I cross the river and reach the next shore with wet shoes.
The path is bad, more like a dry and loose riverbed, but it’s fun: only me, nature and the locals. Shepards meet me and a woman asks me, bewildered, where I’m going. “Upper,” (up) I reply. In the village children scream excitedly: “Cycle, cycle” and then I turn around and do the descent. Controlled it goes down over loose stones, through water and some mud. Also some cow dung squirts on my clothes, it doesn’t matter? Later, as the path gets better, I fly past countless apple trees and birds sing their song to me.