Looking at this picture I think it’s correct to say that the top ridge there with the trees, just before the rocky mountain is where we trekked up to the other day. Looking at it like that, I’m quite impressed with myself.
We set off at 630AM to be walking when it was cooler and also to get to the top early enough so that the clouds hadn’t come in. Ryan and I were a little skeptical about getting at that time but you know, biting the bullet has to be done sometimes.
Walking through Mcleod before shops had opened and without many people on the street was a different experience and it wasn’t long before we picked up a dog to walk with us. It’s pretty hilly round here, and the road to Heather’s is a particularly steep one with monkeys guarding the path, so our faithful hound was pretty good at clearing the way. I’m not sure if I’ve heard two men puffing and panting so much after some moderate exercise and we had barely started. Heather does cross country skiing so is much more used to this sort of thing but the two of us were competing to see which was more useless.
At the top of the first steep section is another village called Dharamkot and it was here that we picked up the rest of our pack of dogs. The initial old boy, with his black and gold coat was joined by an excitable golden retriever type and two black and white dogs. There are so many strays around town but they all seem pretty healthy and unthreatening.
The trek up the mountain was between 3 and four hours, uphill for large stretches and quite steep at times, noticeably towards the end where a series of switchbacks going straight up for an extended period are a killer after the long hike and at an increased altitude.
Despite all this though, our dogs followed us all the way up. We tried to get rid of them at one point after being told that they may threaten the sheep at the top but our attempts to pretend we were going down didn’t convince them, well apart from the mad gold one but he was out-voted. He stopped to eat some shit at one point which was nice, although he had a much better meal later when we turned around to see his head in our biscuits.
At the top we arrived just in time to see the clear vista, and it remained this way for about an hour before the cloud came in. Collapsing on the floor, Ryan and I snacked on our “Non Stop Bingo” and the dogs formed a perimeter around us, chasing off any cow that came too near (well, the old boy was too exhausted by this stage, having visibly aged during the trek, so he just raised his head but the rest nearly ran one off a cliff!)
The dogs followed us most of the way down, the old boy came the whole way with us despite the threat of monkeys. At one point the exhausted old fella was surrounded by 4 in the road ahead as they shimmied down trees behind in what looked like a well rehearsed ambush. He looked wistfully over his shoulder at us as if to say “help?” but luckily his girlfriend turned up and chased them off with real vigour!
At the bottom of the hill we stopped at the Common Ground Café for dinner and our loyal old dog – WAITED OUTSIDE. After about an hour he came to the door as if to say “I have to go now guys” and he stayed until one of us went to say goodbye.