AuthorTopic: Lost in the Valley of Death  (Read 612 times)

Offline azozeo

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Lost in the Valley of Death
« on: February 20, 2020, 03:24:51 AM »

Two men said goodbye with a godlike river thundering in their ears. Andrey Gapon, a 47-year-old Russian man, had spent three months on a self-made spiritual retreat in the Parvati Valley, deep in the Indian Himalayas. Walking alongside was an American man, 35-year-old Justin Alexander, a seasoned traveler and experienced outdoorsman who’d impressed Gapon with his wilderness survival skills, having just spent weeks living in a mountain cave. Now Alexander was embarking on a three-day trek to a holy site called Mantalai Lake, where he would camp under the stars with few supplies.

Gapon offered to go with him, but Alexander said it was a journey he wanted to do with a sadhu, a Hindu holy man who renounces possessions in a search for enlightenment. “I didn’t want to persuade him not to go,” recalls Gapon, but he was concerned. Just weeks before, Gapon had also trekked to Mantalai, a cluster of pools murky with glacial flour at the source of the Parvati River. The lake lies in a broad basin relentlessly tormented by winds and subfreezing temperatures. At around 13,500 feet, the icy moraine produces no trees for either shelter or firewood. Alexander didn’t have a stove or cooking fuel, so Gapon pressed something into his hand, a fitting parting gift to someone who valued both practicality and minimalism: a red windproof butane lighter.
I know exactly what you mean. Let me tell you why you’re here. You’re here because you know something. What you know you can’t explain, but you feel it. You’ve felt it your entire life, that there’s something wrong with the world.
You don’t know what it is but its there, like a splinter in your mind


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