Monks everywhere but not the Dalai Lama

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October 8th 2015
Published: November 10th 2017
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After Amritsar we headed for Dharmasala, the home of the Dalai Lama. Dharmasala is a collection of guest houses, hanging precariously to the side of a mountain surrounded by Tibetan Refugee houses covered in Prayer Flags. The town is full of hippy dippy foreigners seeking enlightenment, the shops contain everything we could possibly want as foreigners… well almost. Navigating the queen mary up the very narrow roads hanging off the edge of the mountain was nothing short of scary. Trying to find a place to park was even harder. We managed to find a bit of flat land at the mountaineering institute, a kind of scout camp type place for students learning mountaineering skills. We managed to get a hot bucket shower (yes this is big news.. a hot shower is a rare event these days) and spent a wonderful evening fending off a meute (could not remember what a group of monkeys was called so inserted the german word instead) of monkeys with very big teeth. Talk about aggressive, Cousin Andrew's slingshot got a very good workout as did our sticks fending them off.

Now Dharamasala exists because of one person... the Dalai Lama. Foreigners including Lisa flock here seeking the secrets the Tibetan Lamas have for achieving enlightenment. Sadly the Dalai Lama is in America Teaching the Yanks. Bugger so we left a note on his front door and headed towards Manali. Manali, yep and not just because its an old hippy hangout. We need to pass it on our way to the Spiti Valley where we hope the snow has not come in yet and we can visit some remote Monasteries and get some apple pie.


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