After a good night’s sleep in a warm comfy bed and a strong coffee in the morning, I head off to the local post office and send back my collected seeds and some small gifts for family and friends. It’s a pretty nervous moment because all the work of the last 4 weeks is now in someone else’s hands and there is, of course, no guarantee that my packages will arrive.
I decided to spend my last day just walking along the river and take some time to reflect on the last 4 weeks. It has been a whirlwind experience, from landing in Delhi and going straight to the old city and the madness of Paharganj to the tranquillity of isolation high up in the mountains of the Himalayas.
There have been tough times and great times, some of the physical effort required to get to the higher villages and growing areas has taken its toll and I’ve got a pretty serious cough which I put down to the altitude and smoking so many chillums. I have lost around 10 pounds in weight and I’m feeling generally pretty tired.
However, the effort has been completely worth it. The places I’ve seen and the people I have met have blown my mind. It has surpassed any expectations that I had and the feeling of sadness on leaving the Parvati valley reminds me of the impact this beautiful place has had on me.
Then there is the Charas! Over the last 4 weeks, I have seen and smoked the best Charas on earth. There is an absolute variance of style, quality, and taste between the different villages and altitudes. You could spend years here and still be discovering more amazing farmers hidden away and delicious undiscovered genetics lurk up every secret valley.
I would absolutely encourage anyone to come here, I have felt safe and welcome everywhere I visited. The roads are a little scary in places and trekking alone up at altitude is not for the weak-hearted or inexperienced. One bad step in many places I went to would result in certain death, but overall this is an area of India that is easy to access if you don’t mind a long bus journey or can afford the quick flight up from Delhi. Once in the valley, there are plenty of places to stay and eat and really you are only limited here by your motivation to walk long distances and your desire to have an adventure. The main harvest season is September and November and wild cannabis plants can be seen everywhere in the valley from march until after the main harvest with the snows arriving around December.
The next stop for me after another long bus journey is Delhi to gather my thoughts and head on to the next destination, The Kingdom of Thailand!!