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June 12th 2008
Published: June 12th 2008
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In a way it is hard to believe... I am already back in India. But it is not a big surprise at the same time, as I loved it so much. For those who don't know, I have been offered a job to guide in Ladakh, Nepal and Tanzania. So I am now in Ladakh, exploring the area for 3 weeks before the group shows up...

So after a long day flying from Montreal to Amsterdam and then Delhi, I arrived late at night in the International airport. The local guide I will be working with was waiting for me, and took me to the other airport to fly to Leh. Delhi was 32 degrees and humid, thank God it was late at night! Then I sort of slept on top of my luggage at the domestic airport until I could catch my plane. I was very very tired. But I was smiling again, so happy to see India and Indians again. The colorful saris and salwar kameez, the same caracteristic smell... Nothing seemed to have changed, of course it wasn't all that long ago that I was here. But still, I was delighted to see that people were still as eager as before to start talking to a total stranger (me), and smiling and all. I chatted with a young man, who went and bought me something to drink while we were both waiting. This is the magic of India... I am not sure this would happen so easily in my country. Even the security guys at the airport were friendly.

The flight to Leh is quite something. In 1h15, we go over the Himalayas and land in a big valley. Simply amazing! It took a while before we had permission to land so we circled around a bit. I thought landing in dawson City was interesting, this beats it by a long shot! Fascinating landscape, white peaks, brown valley, blue blue sky and green fields, my eyes were as wide open as I could manage with only a few hours of sleep in 2 days! And it was hot and sunny in Leh.

We landed and all went well again, I was awaited in leh and at 8h30 I was already in the Guest House, drinking tea. The Guest House is a 20 minute walk from the city, in a very green and peaceful location. Absolutely amazing, clean and quiet, I feel so relaxed here. At home already. I was told to sleep and drink lots to help acclimatize. I checked the altitude at the guest house... 3600m. So I listened very well and slept lots and slept more. I met Tsomo, the young girl who cooks absolutely incredible meals, I chatted with her and her little sister, and then retreated to my room again. And slept all night. When I open my eyes in the morning, I could see the Himalayan peaks right in front of me... The whole wall is just a bunch of windows, and there is also a little balcony. I hear the sound of the wind in the trees and the little river that flows next to the fields. Doesn't get much better than this. I am happy.

And today I just walked aroung a bit, bought a few things, tried the ATM machine with no luck. I went to the office of Lopsang, our local contact here and we talked briefly about the trek. I have lots of time to acclimatize anyway and in a few days I will do part of the trek. But for now, I totally enjoy being in India again, in this very quiet yet still Indian town, and I loving it. Yeah, there is something about India that I really love. I am as happy as I was this winter just going into shops and buying shampoo! Ah Ah! truly, I find it all fun. And I can predict that i will get lost later today trying to go back to my hotel. But I am happy doing very little for now, reading about Ladakh, and enjoying some quiet days after 3-4 weeks rushing to get ready to go again. I can't complain too much though as it was GREAT to see so many of you, and of course, it was hard to leave knowing I wouldn't be back for a long time. But life is a big adventure and this one is going to be a challenge I am sure, but for now, life is good.

Jule! More later...



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