The place we inhabit as much as the present is the memory of it, and it is in the nature of memory to beget the making of more.
You don’t walk in the Himalaya as much as you straddle an edge between extreme elation and potential despair. And you can’t take your foot off the edge, because the edge is all there is.
Then it was time to go to the riverside, and bird from the bridge, where a female kalij pheasant was perched interestingly. Then, on the honeyguide path, I managed to snap up a streaked laughingthrush. Witnessing a dip in activity, we decided to drive back towards Ukhimath, and found a Himalayan bulbul perched beautifully.
This marvel of the rhododendron bloom and all sorts of pretty birds on the spectacular flowers, was the speciality of Chopta in the spring (March and April), and if the initial signs were anything to go by, my timing of the trip was being entirely vindicated.
As we made our way up to our camp for the night in the ailing Ertiga, a nasty surprise awaited us at the end of a long day.
In the March of 2020 I had this brilliant idea of a self-drive trip to Chopta, Uttarakhand, for bird photography, in an unknown car. This is part one of how it went – or failed to go.