Saturday, 30 January 2016

Working in India (Part 2)

I regret now that I didn't do much travelling within the country during my two years in India. For the most part, my travel was limited to the trip back and forth to Delhi every 5 months or so for my time off, which I spent outside of the country. That said, I did make three trips further up the Satluj River during my time there. The first was necessary, to have my residency paperwork updated, while the second and third were purely sightseeing with some of the other ex-pats on the project. There was actually a fourth "sight-seeing" visit that I took, but I will cover that one separately for reasons that will become obvious. In addition, there were a number of work-related scouting expeditions during which I managed to take some photos of the landscape.

The regional administrative centre was in a town called Reckong Peo / Kalpa, which is less than 50km up the Satluj River from where our offices were in Sholding, but it probably took at least 2 hours of driving to get there. The condition of "National Highway" #22 left something to be desired for most of its length - it was subject to frequent landslides and washouts. 

The road near Wangtu - actually a fairly good bit, all things considered.
How would you like to trust your life to the masonry "guards" on the site of the road?
Still, before NH 22 was built, I believe the main route was the narrow path showing as a line half-way up the mountain in this view looking west from our camp at Ponda. So I shouldn't complain too much.
Reckong Peo / Kalpa are situated on the west bank of the Satluj River, and look east towards the 6050m high peak of Kinner Kailash. The settlement is quite high up the mountain, although I suspect it plateaus a bit, as there is a fair amount of fairly level areas around the town.

It was kind of hard on the nerves to be so high up that you could look down on other high up settlements, without having a rail between your vehicle and the drop.
The "parade" ground outside the government building where we got out papers.
View from a schoolyard looking east towards Kinner Kailash.
This rock wall and fence is on the edge of a school yard, a fair ways up the slope of the mountain on the north bank of the Satluj. The cloud at the top of the photo is obscuring the peak of Kinner Kailash.

The schoolyard itself. Classes were held outside that day.
My next post will cover some other travels up the Satluj River.

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