Landslides spit rocks down the hills, wind-stirred, spinning through the dust, one wave of stone then another. We watch and wait, and then, in the lull, we hurry across the scree. I glance up once at the gully, now still: frozen motion.
A huge boulder has landed on the tarmac. It is the size of two, three jeeps. It is alone. No soldiers or helmeted workers attend to it. We clamber past. The valley, the rockfall, the journey is exhilarating.
The third slide is jagged, crumpled pieces beneath a fissured overhang. Our steps send stones skittering down. Beyond it a river has taken upon itself to flow over the road. Indians with pickaxes hang in the air as they leap from stone to stone.
Rain has turned the rivers black.
The silt is dark and grainy, not cloying. It is heaped beside the streams and along the rivers, dumped against the twisted iron of the bridge, subsumes the mud hut.
When we arrive people crowd around us. ‘We heard you came from the other side.’ They want news of the road. We talk over each other of slides, towns, farness. Possible/impossible. Foot/car. Motorbike? Rock/road/river. Problems. Days, weeks, maybe. We pull out our cameras and show them – see, this is the bridge… They shake their heads. We are fresh with adventure.