switchback . . .
adding another stone
to the cairn
I like the abruptness of the opening line, and reminded of movies as much as actual journeys in India, Europe, and other parts of the world. I think of James Bond and the Goldfinger movie with Sean Connery.
Switchback can mean:
A road joined by hairpin turn
A roller coaster, or a roller coaster-like road
A motorcycle having detachable windscreens and luggage bags, e.g. Harley-Davidson's Dyna 2012 model
A horseshoe curve
Switchback, West Virginia, an unincorporated community in the United States
One of the famous hairpinned roads in the world is Lysevegen in Forsand in Ryfylke, Norway, where many little cairns are built by travellers.
I like the play on words, and that the author may be a highly regular visitor.
My grandmother always referred to a particular roller coaster ride in our town as a 'switchback' , so I was immediately transported to a childhood funfair. However, the cairn threw me, so I assume it's a mountain trail rather than a funfair that is the switchback. Is the narrator repairing it, perhaps?