Pune, Maharashtra, India, 10 January 2019, 0630 hours:
Am off from Pune. It is 14 degrees centigrade at the moment. Very pleasant jeans-half-T-shirt weather. By this evening, we should be in 3 degrees – which by itself isn’t that big a drop. Except of course that we would be at approximately 2,100 metres (6,890 feet) above mean sea-level- up from Pune’s 560 metres (1,840 feet). The first destination is Shimla.
The past month has apparently been very cold here. Newspapers have been publishing headlines like ‘Pune is colder than Shimla’. I am not a scientist nor a layperson when it comes to high-altitude winter travel. What I do know is that if I took the newspapers and media seriously, I would end up going to Shimla in a half T-shirt and jeans since it hasn’t been cold enough in Pune this entire winter to warrant anything more.😃
This is my first winter trip in 2 years. Nothing dramatic about this trip, unlike the one that my good acquaintance Anoop Mahajan is on. A Pune-based (globally eminent) scientist with the Indian Institute of Tropical Metereology, Anoop is somewhere in the Antarctic at the moment! (I don’t think I know a cooler scientist).
And unlike a scientist’s expedition, this trip has no defined goals, no fixed itinerary – only a broad intent, a purpose, a start point and an end date. The broad intent is to rediscover the winter in the Trans and Greater Himalayas of Himachal Pradesh.
Let’s see how it shapes up …