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Magic 2017

A place I’ll never forget

James Rosengren

India

Pinpricks of light sparkle above us in their thousands, seeing a world they have watched spin past for millions of years.
Seeing us, they remember another age, an age when men first gazed at the rolling hills, an age when men first discovered fire, an age when men followed their instinctive curiosity and journeyed into the unknown – looking for answers.

The stars look down on us, and smile.

Arriving at the bus terminal on Saturday morning we are surrounded by a swarm of people pushing and shoving to get on the bus. Spending the next few hours completely absorbed in the amazing scenery passing by the busses exterior, Mikhail and I sit. We are like wide eyed babies as we watch the lush green landscape flash by. The crazy bus driver throws his oversized vehicle around the mountain corners at breakneck speed – leaving us as vulnerable as fish in a tsunami. Eventually arriving at a little mountain village outside of Ooty, we decide to use it only as a base of operations, having the spark of brilliance to ‘screw the system’ and make our way into the mountains for a night in the wild where we could reconnect with our purest inner self untainted by the world’s politics and expectations (it saved us money on a night’s accommodation as well).

Packing one rucksack with the main essentials for each of us; including sleeping bags, a warm jacket, a watermelon and pineapple, we hit the road looking for a mountain that seems challenging enough for us to conquer. As we continue along the main road that twists and turns with the contours of the mountain range, we admire the awe-inspiring sight of towns perched precariously on the wild slopes.

Stopping briefly for a food refuel revealed itself as ingenious; definitely needed in preparation for our hike up the highest peak in the Nilgiris Mountain range. Mikhail has taken first bag shift, thus, I am left with the brunt of the weight as we headed straight up the seemingly vertical slope. A photographer by trade; Mikhail strolls along capturing our experiences through the lens of his camera – whist I struggle up the hill. We resemble a classic representation of a famous photographer and his porter! Despite proving to be a little tiring, the climb cannot be described as anything other than stunning. The views down the valley as the sun sets around us is breathtaking.

Waking early the next morning buried in the depths of my sleeping bag's warmth, I venture out to watch the sun rise over the distant hills, gazing at it’s simple beauty.


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