Most travellers stick to the well beaten track but there are some whose hobbies take them off the track to extraordinary experiences and places. Surfers are known for searching the world for the perfect wave and often see places which rarely receive visitors. The inland version of surfers are the climbers who search for their favourite routes and problems on rocks in remote areas. These travellers are more inclined to stay longer in the remoter areas, learning and experiencing more of the culture than most other travellers.
I was lucky enough to join some climbers and go bouldering at a small stop called Chatru in the Spiti Valley. Bouldering according to wikipedia is: a style of rock climbing undertaken without a rope and normally limited to very short climbs over a crash pad (called a bouldering mat) so that a fall will not result in serious injury. It is also good fun.
Chatru is an incredibly beautiful place but one which only a handful of tourists visit and most of whom only drive though or stop for one chai tea. Staying there for almost a week we were able to experience the local way of living, see the view change with the weather and meet a few shepherds. Some of the other climbers with us for the week had travelled the world climbing and I can’t think of a better way to see the world. Hopefully my search for architecture will also lead to similar amazing travel experiences.