After driving for around an hour on the high altitude plateaus from Kibbar, the road bifurcated right next to an ugly concrete structure that was constructed after the 14th Dalai Lama sat here to meditate.  With no people around, we had no idea about our location and where the road was going. We decided to take the road on the left. After few minutes, I saw two kids and a donkey climbing towards the road. I ran towards them and my friend followed.

Norbu and Tenzing pulling their donkey up to the unpaved road to ride it back to their village, Tashi Gang. © Himanshu Khagta

Norbu and Tenzing pulling their donkey up to the unpaved road to ride it back to their village, Tashi Gang. © Himanshu Khagta

Julley! Aap kahan ja rahe ho?” (Greetings! Where are you guys going?), I asked.

Julley! Bas Khote ki sawari pe nikle hain.” (Greetings! We are just out for a donkey ride), replied the 12 year old Norbu who was pulling the donkey up the hill with his friend Tenzin.

Yeh upar nahi Chadta hai, toh dhakka dena parta hai. Fir upar sadak se hum iski sawari karte hain gaon tak.” (He doesn’t climb the hill, so we have to push him till the road, then we ride him back to the village.)

After a short discussion and sharing the dried apricots we got from kinnaur, we left Norbu and Tenzin to reach Thinnum, a two house village where no one lives.