An avid traveler, reader and culture enthusiast, Harsimran Kaur has a special love for the high Himalayas of northern India especially Ladakh and Kashmir. Harsimran has also worked as a guide and program leader with an experiential education organization with summer outdoor programs for youths and teens in India.
Harsimran is Vice President, Sales and Marketing for Be-Outdoors.com and I appreciate her taking the time to share glimpse of her outdoor experiences in India.
How and where were you introduced to the outdoors?
I belong to an Indian Army household and as a result was introduced to the outdoors at an early age, through camps that were organised by the Army for the officers’ children. I distinctly remember how, even though I was very young, about 8, I loved being on my own, sometimes with much older kids and enjoyed every bit of the activities we were put through, from very long treks to pretty tough rock climbing for an 8 year old.
What has been your favourite outdoor recreations area?
The bus stopped for a minute at our school and I scrambled inside and put together a few things to take along and we were off ! It deserves mention that we were the only 3 passengers in the bus, right till the time the bus reached this place called Sonmarg and the driver told us he wouldn’t go further and left us to fend for ourselves.
We started at about 4 in the evening and at 2 in the morning reached Drass, the second coldest inhabited place on earth, where the driver told us to get our sleeping bags out for we were going to halt for a few hours in the night. We stared blankly at him because we had no clue the bus was going to stop anywhere and he grumbled and gave us one of his flea infested blankets which the 3 of us used together without a complaint. 20 hours (for a 9 hour journey), a puncture, a deserting by the driver at Sonmarg and a very cold night later, we arrived in Srinagar, tired but exhilarated beyond words by the sights we got to see along the way – herds of wild horses, exotic flowers growing in the wild, beautiful monasteries perched atop very high mountains, majestic snow capped peaks, mountains in hues of orange, green and purple, not to mention the fearful thrill of being in a bus that’s trying to manoeuvre past a truck and almost going over the edge of a very high mountain road in the process.
What is your favourite outdoor website?