Kalga, Pulga and Tulga; also known as the three sisters are a trio of pretty villages what lie across the valley from Tosh. They are well known for their apple orchards and of course like everywhere here their charas production.
It’s a beautiful morning as I set out from Tosh, by this time it is really cold at night and before the sun comes out, so I am constantly wearing a full set of thermals and multiple layers of socks. If you are going to come here in the winter, I highly suggest bringing appropriate cold-weather clothing and a good pair of walking boots.
I head back down the road and make my way to the hydro dam that crosses the Parvati river, the dam has had a huge impact on the valley and multiple hydro projects are currently under construction in the area. While they have brought roads and more reliable electric, they have also had a significant impact on the environment and the physical appearance of the valley. It’s possible to walk over the top of the dam and cross the river easily so I take that option and climb the steep path up to Kalga. The thick layer of ice which now covers all the pathways makes the trek precarious and I end up on my hands and knees more than once
Kalga is another attractive sleepy village with a small number of longer-term western visitors and beautiful apple tree orchards amongst all the traditional houses. During the cannabis growing season, the plants grow amongst the apple trees and I have wonderful visions of picking apples and big buds at the same time.
It’s from Kalga that I have to climb high up above the villages to my next seed collecting contact so after a nice chillum session and a cup of hot tea I set off once again and this time I know it’s going to be a long hike. My contact lives up high in a little valley, rarely visited by anyone; just the way he likes it.
In all the walk takes about 3 hours and by the time I arrive at the head of the valley, it is with great relief that I see the little farmhouse that will be home for the next few days. Its already getting dark when I arrive so the Tandoor is lit, and food and hot drinks prepared. Up at this altitude, the temperatures are no joke. if you can get a fire alight or if you end up stuck outside at night there is a good chance you won’t survive long.
To my delight as I’m about to crawl into bed my very kind and highly experienced mountain contact passes me a hot water bottle. I’m so happy I could almost cry, its been a very long journey to get here crossing continents and climbing up mountains in the snow. I curl up into a ball under a pile of blankets and hug the warm bottle and drift off into an incredible sleep. When I wake up I will be my own personal paradise.