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Published: November 6th 2012
Well it's been a whirlwind since my last post. I think when I wrote I had just left the Ashram and was headed back to Delhi to meet up with Dad. So i'll start there, met dad after many hours of being delayed by various modes of transportation in the backpackers area of Delhi, much like Koh San road in Thailand. Lots of action going on, lots of hassling and bartering as well. We were able to pack a lot in in our two day stay, doing a tour of the spice markets, old delhi and the red fort as well as parliament and various tombs. On our third day we took a flight to Leh dad's dream destination which was we landed at an elevation of 11,000 ft. We had 6 days to explore this majestic place and we had to spend 1 1/2 of them in our rooms acclimatizing to altitude sickness as requested by our hotel. It was a freezing -5 but the people and the sights made up for any discomforts we felt. In this town a mix of Tibetan refugees, chinese, buddhist and indian there was a lot to see and experience. So for the next
few days we walked around, learned some tibetan and ladakhi phrases and shopped. On day 4 we decided to take a tour into the Nubra Valley, climbing the highest motorable pass in the world at 18,400ft. we stayed overnight in the valley where we were surrounded by the Himalays but funnily also among camels and yaks, loads and loads of yaks. The one noticing factor I've seen here in Leh as well as later in Darjeeling is the amount of drivers whom have cataracts. I had read something about this and due to the high elevation and the inaccessibility of some of the places and cost becomes challenging for getting any eye care even sunglasses were expensive in these parts. I believe SEVA has a better write up and explanation if your interested. After Leh we made our way to Varanasi, the holiest city in the world. We walked the length of the Ghats, took the boat ride along the Ganga and listened to the puja ceremony. Interestingly we were also nearly attacked by red bummed monkeys at dinner one night and I have since then acquired a fear of red bummed monkeys. Varanasi we only spent three nights at
but I think it was plenty as we strode through alleyways trying not to step in cow, dog or goat poop. So we escaped the chaos that is Varanasi and hopped on a train to Sigurili again heading North but this time in the East. We got off the overnight train from Varanasi to Sigurili and met up with three young isralis whom we decided to share a cab with to Darjeeling which a Cab would cost about 40$ so awesome to share only we found an even better deal at only 2.60$ each we were able to get seats in a share jeep for this three hour trip. Although a bit squishy about 11 people in a jeep the views were phenomenal. Dad said he enjoyed it I promise. When we got to Darjeeling a place high up in the mountains but surrounded this time by tea fields and greenery, the only don't have taxis or tuk tuks or anything so we were told to hire a porter whom carried our bags up all around the steep winding streets. Dad is in awe I think and the hotel is pretty good aside from the heat and internet but an
awesome location right smack in the middle of market place, there was even a concert/party last night with the stage out our window. Although a few of the acts looked like traditional tibetan dancing the karaoke singing to one direction songs left a lot to be desired haha. I told dad we could go where ever he wanted for dinner, and he chose street food after we had checked out a couple establishments that were 'too posh' for his liking. So we had a feast that cost 1.10$ and the hotel brought up a nice cake for dad Black Forest. AS it happens about two hours after dinner I was struck with a wicked case of food poisoning so have been holed up in the hotel not able to move much unless to go to the washroom. I'm hoping it will pass quickly so tomorrow we have big plans to hike to tiger mountain to see the peak of the third tallest mountain in the world.
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