the indians are so helpful, they always go out of their way and want nothing in return. my last night in rishikesh isabelle and i wanted a beer (illegal in this town), and an indian guy took me 10km on his motorbike and made 5 black market phone calls just to help us out as we are guests in his country - this sort of thing always happens. Bit different to the vice versa in england - "you are foreign....wallop" that goes on.
the next day I walked, got a taxi (delayed by ppl dancing in street with drums), sleeper train (ouch), rickshaw (10 people on it), bus (with a serious death wish driver who thought it was an off road go-kart), another bus, rickshaw then hike (17 hours in total) to daramsala. Negotiating indian bus and rail stations is one of the craziest things ever, you ask 5 people something and they allsay different, indians never say no and rather lie than say they do not know, its because they want to help so they guess...heheh.
I went to bagsu 2km away from D'shala in the beautiful hills just under the mountains. eagles, butterflies fly about and there is
yoga, reiki, tibetan healing and all sorts of holistic courses to do amongst the chilled cafes that have jams with musicians.
the tibetans are in exile here and many refugees have walked here across the himalayas! here you get lots of info on what the chinese really do to the tibetans (kill, make dissapear, torture and oppress). They also allow no journalists in tibet nor is anyone allowed to cross to tibet via the himalayas anymore. the tibetans are so kind and warm its unreal how they have been treated so badly, and its wierd how the world looks on and does nothing (maybe X-factor is more important?). hopefuly someone blows out the olympic torch when it gets to beijing.
there are lots of wonderful guesthouses with great views (5000ft up) and it made it hard to choose but i found one i liked and plotted up.
I started doing yoga with my indian pal from varanasi (he comes here to get away from the heat) and got an amazing pad looking down the valley with big windows - i keep the curtains open so the natural light in the morning wakes and the moon crosses the
window at night.
I finished reading 'Ramayana' - this is a collection of ancient vedic texts pre 2000BC (some of the oldest texts on the planet) originally in sanskrit and recently converted to an english compilation by one of ghandis mates. It is epic stories that form the basis of hindu mythology. The texts are not forced on ppl as being non-fiction, they are whatever one wants them to be, avataars of dieties or imagined characters - it does not matter.
What i realised is that these stories are ingrained into every indian and into india itself, it is not a cultural text, it is the culture. An amazing read and a country based on such pure stories is a joy to live through and witness. This epic now explains to me why so many indians are friendly, helpful, content and un-materialistic.
My writings are near finished for my own book so i am off to do a 10 day tibetan buddhist course nearby soon - it is held in a sleep-in mountain retreat amongst wildlife (lots of eagles and mongoose around) in a forest with a bit of yoga and healthy food thrown in.
out someone in california has been going to town on my visa...hope he had fun as I got the money back obviously. He was doing it all on the banks insurance companies expense - so he should of spent more i say.
I met some ppl from Brighton here in Bagsu, both live here for most of the year and I can see why. we hung out and mark is writing about quantum physics and its links to tantra and beth is an ayuvedic healer, surfer and yoga teacher. both are such a good laugh. this place reminds me of san marcos in guatemala; holistic, beautiful nature, good people and lots to do. shame they are both complete opposite sides of the planet.
we went for a hike to this waterfall 3 hours away, it was breathtaking. spring is in full bloom. we swam but it was ice cold and my bones froze up solid in a second, think of a secluded enchanted waterfall in the himalayas with crystal clean water :-) i also went to the tibetan museum at the temple and learned more on what the chinese have done and do to the tibetans. some ppl
got tortured for 7 years just for showing their own flag in their own country!
some friends and i went to a noon goa style boogie in an open air room looking 3000 feet down the valley - it was amazing and i have also been doing yoga on my roof at sunrise, some bhajans at a fire high up the valley with a severly dangerous walk back in the dark where one false step is death, and i have stumbled upon an amazing women who is perfect for teaching me another level of reiki.
it is hot and perfect here, upper bagsu in daramshala is my favourite place so far and i will stay here till i next visit england :-)
hope all are well :-)
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