The Naked Lady
In the first sunlight, cattle wander by a pool as Nanga Parbat (lit. "Naked Mountain") rises above the idyllic pastures of Fairy Meadows.
We finally reached the high point of our trip, seeing this mountain has been a dream for some years, and on the previous trip we were cheated by foul weather to even see it at a distance. By changing our schedule around we had better weather forecasts, and the thrilling jeep ride and hike up to this high-altitude village was well worth the effort.
As we approached our cabin resort in the afternoon, the weather was overcast and light snow, with the mountain hidden in clouds and fog. We settled down and waited out the evening by trading stories with Ali and our high-altitude porter and new friend Murseleen. The next morning our prayers to whatever weather-influencing forces we believed in had apparently been heard, and for the rest of our stay there was barely a cloud to see--indeed quite exceptionally good weather.
We had a great hike towards the Base Camp, trekking through a slight sprinkling of last night's snow and reaching small shepherds' community in the middle of the mountains where we frolicked in the sun and slept in the shades while sipping mountain tea and eating a warm lunch.
Just as we started on our return, a large avalanche appeared on the mountainside. Even though we were more than 10 Km away, the thunderous roard was clearly audible. Whether she bade us farewell or said "here, but not closer" I do not know.
Total bliss; this is one of the most beautiful places I have ever visited.