‘Travel is flight and pursuit in equal parts.’
– Paul Theroux, The Great Railway Bazaar
Paddling around a bend in the river, I finally catch a glimpse of prayer flags high on a cliff. Climbing the steep trail to the monastery, I’m greeted by a handful of saffron-robed monks. We bow and exchange smiles from our mutually weathered faces. They are the first people I’ve seen for days and it feels natural to exchange only a few words, comfortable in our respective silences. As their evening chants begin, I stand peacefully alone watching dusk fall across the Tibetan plateau as a million stars wink into view.