To visit the Himalayas, the highest mountain system in the world, is probably the dream of anyone even slightly interested in recreational activities and mountains. Svitlana Chernyakhova, a yoga instructor from Uzhhorod, quite recently managed to realize this dream. This July she had the opportunity to make a journey to Himalayas.
Indian democratic character
– What interestingness, customs or traditions of local people life impressed or surprised you the most?
– Probably, Delhi. It is a city of contrasts. In its central part traffic rules, as we know it, do not exist. Everyone drives as they want and see fit. Sometimes it’s just like some race for survival. The side mirror on many cars are missing, because the traffic is very tight.
As for pedestrians, they too do not seem usual to our European perception. For example, many people out there sleep right on the streets – on the grass or on the pavement. My friends and I even joked that because of this favorable climate Indians became lazy scince they have no need to build a house or even rent it.
I was surprised by grocery markets. The quality of food there is far from even "satisfactory", often a suffocating stench of spoiled vegetables can be smelled. By the way, one should be very careful with Indian exotic food. It can easily cause some stomach disease.
– What distance did you cover in the mountains?
– 60-70 kilometers in 8 days. It seems that it’s not much. In fact, at such a height distance and time of travel are perceived quite differently. Because the air is rarefied, any exercise is done with considerable effort.
– How serious physical training a person must have in order go on such a trip?
– The most important is endurance. And be sure to undergo preliminary acclimatization at altitudes of 3500 and 4500 meters. The mountains can "keep out" even already experienced and physically fit people. "Altitude sickness" can develop suddenly even in those who are already doing high-altitude climbing. It is unpredictable. A few days at altitude, which seem "aimlessly lost" may actually get rid of a terrible headache, nausea, weakness, stomach disorders and many other symptoms of "altitude sickness."
Magic word "julay"
– What was the biggest surprise in the mountains?
– The fact that the Himalayas are very reminiscent of our … Svydovets! When I was going there, for some reason I imagined them more stringent, snowy … But at those (albeit very serious) altitudes, where we traveled, we saw snow only couple of times in the morning. Ladakh is the coldest desert in the world. Very dry climate, poor vegetation. However below, along rivers, there are small green oases. By the way, we also saw Himalayan sheep grazing there. We also saw long hair covered Himalayan yaks.
– And how many tourists are in the Himalayas?
– A lot. We met with representatives of many countries. Once even chatted with an elderly married couple from Italy. Old man and woman about 70, had been in the Himalayas when they were young and now came there again with small backpacks to remember that journey long time ago.
– What new exotic words did you learn during the trip?
– The most versatile word I learned is a Tibetan "julay." In the mountains this word is used to greet, say goodbye, wish good appetite, success, good day and so on. The magic word!