It “ain’t” the altitude, its the attitude.

26th June : We have automatically “slowed down” on reaching Leh. There is patchy wi-fi and erratic phone signals. We are disengaging from the gadgets.

In the last twenty four hours, time has taken on a whole new dimension as it always does in Leh and places like it. There is time to eat and think about the next meal. There is time to read a book. Time to chat. Most of all there is time to think and be present in the moment.

We are drinking at least 6 litres of water daily and this along with slowing down has eased us into the acclimatization process remarkably well. No headaches, no light headedness or woolly headedness.

We met up with our climbing guide Takpa Norbu. I liked him immediately. He seems to be around 25 but could be 35. He is fit. He has a wonderfully mobile face that smiles and laughs easily. He seems like someone who could be sitting still for hours in meditation or doing long and arduous walks in the mountains, both with equal ease. His long hair tied up in a knot makes him look like a monk, a Samurai or a modern day Ninja. Either ways he seems pretty solid and someone we could trust with our lives on the mountain. This is my first impression.

We got our climbing gear sorted and hired our snow boots, crampons, ice axes, harnesses and helmets. A good hard hike in the mountains seems like the best detox programme and a perfect way to align mind and body.