I'm a freelance writer and yogi living in Tepoztlan, Mexico where I'm running www.casadelcorazon.mx with my girlfriend. You can keep up with my other writing on www.bollocks2thewellingtons.com/
Published December 26th 2012
Trekking above the clouds from Dharamsala
There are many things to spend your time on when in Dharamsala, the Dalai Lama's home in exile but one of the best ways to get out of the town and into the beautiful surrounding mountains is to take a trek up to the hillside of Triund.
I did it twice in my month in town, firstly on a high power speed hike up and down with Heather who was more energetic than Ryan and I realised and left us and the gang of dogs that followed us all the way in her wake. The second time I went with a more relaxed group, taking over an hour longer to walk up and then spending the night camped up there to see the amazing sunset, sunrise and array of constellations and stars that lit up the night sky with such blinding clarity.
The first trek was started at 6.30am and saw us starting through a deserted Mcleod Ganj and walking up through Dharamkot up the very steep Tushita Road and then across what I remember as a field of boulders before joining the relatively steep path which culminates in a series of switchbacks before reaching the summit.
It is worth setting off early, particularly if you don't plan on staying up there, because the weather tends to set-in meaning that the fabulous mountain peak looming right in front of you can be entirely obscured when the clouds form. Early morning and after sunset they seem to clear and the views both up at the vista and down the hill back across the valley are stunning.
I would recommend staying though. There aren't many options admittedly, an old Himachal Pradesh tourism guesthouse with two rooms and one other decrepit shack being the only real solid options but you can camp up here and even rent a tent from one of the three Chai shops that also offer rudimentary food. At a push, it is also possible to camp in the entrance to these shops but it didn't look like providing the most comfortable nights sleep.
You can carry on up over the snow line and carry on trekking for another few days to reach the next town if you feel inclined but for me the trek which can take between 3 and 5 hours, depending on your levels of exuberance, was a nice test with a good reward at the end of it.