i could go on describing the mundane details of the trek - from point a to b, one long day after another, this camp ground and that one, on and on. but its the essence of the whole experience that i really want to capture not just the fluff.
so what was it? the 5 of us? each one of our unique yet similar personalities?
the terrain? all the way from Islamabad on the kkh, to passu and on the shimshal road to shimshal?
the shimshalis themselves? their lean good looks, their easy going, gentle yet confident personalities, their intense love and pride of their land?
or the interaction with cheerful happy as larks people, mostly women, enjoying their summer of lolling and toiling at 4700m?
or perhaps the land itself - the parts we traversed so briefly, and began to recognize with every step we took. by the end in tune with every difficult bend, every scree slope that had to be ascended or descended, every endless rocky expanse to be crossed, till walking became an effortless rhythm. the present physical pain just not important - only the end in constant sight.
kamila - dear friend and fellow lover of mountains in all their forms. 8 years my senior, with a zest for life and spirit for adventure many a younger woman don't posses. creative, restless, impatient, infinitely compassionate and kind, heart larger than she can manage, and so many more qualities good bad and everything in between, that a short paragraph wont do justice - no not buttering you up, its one of the subjects PCC doesn't offer, or id sign up!
her 28 year old son nadir - always ready for adventure, games, laughter, belieying a serious sober mind, grappling with complicated issues of physics and mathematics for fun!. unassuming and easy going never a dull moment in his life. kind, caring and sharp as a whip, with feet solidly on the ground, was the man who could make you laugh at any time.
nargis - my 21 year old daughter, easy going, laid back, generous and kind hearted, seemingly disinterested in the outdoors or adventure, but sporting a huge appetite for both. her girlish princess ways a cover for a tough as nails, no nonsense, intelligent soul. able to sort a confusing complicated situation with such ease and clarity you wonder how you missed it yourself. another grounded young adult able to laugh at life even when the going was tough as nails.
the eldest of the andrabi kids ,
having known her intimately for just three weeks i can only say this about this exceptional 18 year old. you couldn't tell she was a teenager. cheerful, full of beans and silliness, never too serious yet a sound, secure, intelligent girl with her head screwed on right. able to tolerate not just the harshest of surroundings but the ways of the 50 somethings, to those of 5 year olds. another generous kind hearted young woman.
don't know why everything is underlined - ive pressed a button i don't know how to undo. sounds like a familiar pattern??!!
what did we all have in common?
i think our shared sense of adventure - each one of us, no nonsense, feet on the ground, with an ability to laugh and not take everything personally and too seriously type of person. each of us very different in our approach to dealing with people and each other, yet all on exactly the same page. too many words weren't needed to hash out any situation. for the most part we were all thinking alike, and when we didn't, the world didn't come apart.
its funny, but the order in which I've listed everyone is exactly how i would do it if i were Chinese and introducing myself and my family to someone - from the oldest, to the older male, older female, youngest female and myself at the very end. i guess a year of Chinese has rubbed off after all!