Published: November 15th 2008November 9th 2008
Having met two favourable Australian chaps in Rishikesh who unannounced to myself were high on Valumn at the time and therefore quite agreeable, it was decided that traveling North as a trio would be a particularly friendly idea, having survived both the mighty Ganga River (Ganges) together on a floating vessel and the abuse and hassle of the local convenience store shafting us after a week of custom to their shop, not impressed were we to say the least. Well done Tommo on assisting with rubbing it in their face when the authorities decided we were nice enough to sort it out and recover the money, it was brilliant.
So on the way to Dharamsala, we stopped in Mussorie for two nights, via the Dehra Dun bus exchange, to a hill station much like Darjeeling only seemingly a lot busier although the difference in a few weeks could have been the answer there, it was also a weekend and its the place to go for your wedding if you live near, up up and away into the clouds, fresh air, Dominoes pizza and Baskin Robbins. Needless to say it was not really India but can not help but be a
part of it, the geography is beautiful and it was just the right amount of time there, you can only live in a musty stinking room for so long and the monkeys scared the crap out of me, particularly aggressive suckers, enough so that it encouraged Tom and I legitimately to don reasonably large sticks while on an afternoon walk into the sky.
Back to Dehra Dun in a taxi cab as the bus was full, whether or the death defying passing on the open road is worth the extra moola im not too sure, passing the scene of a fatality does not help your nerves. Then it was an overnight bump fest to the residing Tibetan Dalai Lama in exile and 10 % of his fellow countrymen, in McCload Ganj, in the vicinity of the above mentioned Dharamsala, central Eastern Himachal Pradesh, or HP as the locals would call it, western locals. Not surprising to find a monk or two walking around with a white face and orange robes.
Dharamsala is a place to visit, a place to return to and a place that I could never leave, only I did cause there was a plan to
head to Nepal with a friend, even so it was a day late so that Saturday night could be spent here, if not for that, who knows, would have spent a month here. As it happens it was 8 nights, and every day was just cool, it has a magic air about the place, something in the water. Usually you can catch the Dalai Lama giving a talk outside, as it happens he was off in Delhi getting some minor surgery and the town was anticipating his arrival. The Dalai Lama, just a sweet Tibetan bloke who everyone loves, home here in McCload Ganj. Awsome. Street Momos (Tibetan Dumplings), cooking classes, trek to Triund Ridge, dinner with mates, movies, cafes and books. A Tibetan Holiday.
There are more photos below