Nako, July 16, 2016, 0935 hours.
This morning we were up at 5.40 am, bathed in cold water and got ready by 6.30 am. I had considered having tea and skipping the solid part of the breakfast but then The Wayfarer asked for Jersey cow milk and when I saw the milk, my eyes sent a quick command to my brain and before I knew it, I was half into an aloo paratha which I was munching along with long sips of rich, creamy milk. By the time I was done with breakfast I had had two parathas (which I had happily smothered in butter) and three glasses of hot creamy milk from a Jersey cow. When I say creamy, I don’t mean malai that forms on milk as it goes from hot to warm; I mean a layer of fresh natural cream, which looks like whipped cream on top of milk.
As we walked up to visit the huge Prayer Wheel and an old Monastery complex (we had spotted them last evening) perched respectively on higher mountain ridges, I kept thinking of how to obtain rich creamy milk from a Jersey cow back home in Pune. By this time, my breath was coming out in rasping gasps and my leg muscles were screaming murder while my knees were asking the big question: “you think we are going to last this trip?” I looked back down and realised I was only 50 metres from where we had started, Abhishek was walking up easily some 100 metres ahead and The Wayfarer had disappeared over the hill.
I stood on a shoulder of the hill and looked out at the vast expanse of mountain below me – Nako village and lake were looking stunning and peaceful. I looked up, set my eyes on an old stone complex of Stupas as a first Milestone and the Prayer Wheel as the first destination and started walking again.