Years ago I heard of the tiny Himalayan region of Zanskar in the far North of India, which was completely cut off from the rest of the world during winter when the mountain passes were blocked by snow, except for a narrow river gorge whose waters froze, forming an icy highway link.
For years slow progress has been made on a road to link Zanskar permanently to India all year round, but today, the road is still far short and the frozen river remains the only way to get in and out of Zanskar during the winter. There is a helicopter service but - as we were to find out - this is for emergencies only and the waiting list for non-emergency passengers is a long one.
The frozen river is called the ‘chadar’ meaning blanket and i’ve just got back from hiking the chadar into Zanskar (and back out again) with a group of women gathered on Facebook. The Chadar and Zanskar has undoubtedly changed unrecognisably from the place I read about all those years ago but I was still blown away - like countless others before me - by the beauty of the place and the culture. I was also deeply grateful for the good company of the group, which goes to show that Facebook is not completely populated by axe-murderers and weirdos.
The Himalayas now loom large in my daydreams and I’m already starting to plot other journeys in the region…here’s to future Momos!