James Johnson


James Johnson

Hi there, my name's James. I'm from London but I'm currently studying psychology in Wales. In 2011 i went on my first backpacking trip to India, starting in Delhi and heading north, zigzagging my way up to Leh, a city in the Himalayas. The trip was awesome and I can't wait to go travelling again, hopefully I'll have time after uni, which I'll finish soon.

Asia » India » Himachal Pradesh » Manali August 4th 2011

I didn’t miss the bus. An hour or so after my last post I met up with the others for lunch, we got sandwiches and fresh cookies in Roasted and Toasted and ended up staying there till about 7pm, joining our table with two or three others. I met a guy from London too, and we spent a few minutes doing what Londoners do, moaning about the price of drinks at home and the Great British weather. After this the four of us split up again, planning on meeting in a few hours for dinner. We met up for our last meal in Manali (I missed the opportunity to try one of Manali’s famous trout, which needs to be ordered a day in advance). Dinner was accompanied by beer, followed by a few more beers and ... read more

Asia » India » Himachal Pradesh » Manali August 1st 2011

Woke up pretty late after last night. After about 5 minutes I received a text from Helen suggesting we meet for breakfast, halfway through my reply I got another text from Steve asking the same. I met with Helen and we arranged to meet Steve and Keenan in town. We went for the very Indian option for breakfast, Little Italy, and waited for Steve and Keenan. As our breakfast arrived I got another text saying they had found breakfast somewhere else. We had breakfast and headed through Old Manali to meet the others. They were in ‘People’ cafe, a little place with a very friendly waiter which was covered in crayon pictures that had been done by customers, the quality of which ranged from art to scribbles. I grabbed a Chai whilst they finished eating and ... read more

Asia » India » Himachal Pradesh » Manali August 1st 2011

Today was the second day of activities. Got to the center by 10am, ready for a morning of paragliding and zorbing. Keenen arrived and soon after we were in a jeep and on the half an hour journey, along the usual bumpy roads and dodgy looking bridges, to the paragliding center. Once we arrived we could see parachutes already in the air, though wherever they were launching from was hidden from view by the forest around the landing zone. The jeep driver pointed towards the hill and promptly walked off, so we headed in the direction he was pointing and started up the hill on a narrow dirt path. This path, it turned out, was bloody long, and inhabited by snakes. It took about 45 minutes to get to the top, at a pretty steep gradient, ... read more

Asia » India » Himachal Pradesh » Manali July 31st 2011

Today was the first day of the 2 day adventure package that Keenen and i had signed up for yesterday. We had to arrive at the center at 9.30am. By 9.10 i thought it would be a good idea to stop pressing the snooze button and got up, got dressed and headed down to the center. Keenen was already there and after a cup of chai i picked up my climbing shoes and a rope and the five of us headed to the rock. As well as Keenen and myself there were two other guys and Cindi, the instructor. We walked for about 15 minutes up a steep narrow path before we reached the rock face. It was only about 25 feet high but below us was a steep drop and you had to climb a ... read more

Asia » India » Himachal Pradesh » Manali July 30th 2011

Got up pretty late today and arranged to meet up with Damien. We met up, planning to go to explore Old Manali. I realised i needed money so we decided to stop in Manali town. We found an ATM and i stuck in my card, rejected. We went to another one, also rejected. After the third rejection i decided to do what i had done in McLeod Ganj and found a Western Union place where I can make withdraws off my card. Damien had come to find walking boots and as we had been going from ATM to ATM we had been stopping to look in the shops. By the time i had my money he had decided that Manali was not a great place to find walking boots and so he decided to keep his ... read more

Asia » India » Himachal Pradesh » Manali July 28th 2011

Today seems to have gone in a flash. I got up early and headed back to my hotel, leaving Steve and Keenen behind. I packed up my things, paid the monks for my room and headed out to find food. Before i found it i went to Green Hotel, used the internet for a while and finished the last few chapters of the book i had been reading. I fancied pizza and had read in the LP guide that there was a non-veg pizza place called Jimmy's Italian round the corner, it sounded good so i headed out to find it. On my way there i ran into the Tibetan man who's camera had been taken yesterday. He was not in a good mood. Turns out his camera is now broken as a result of the ... read more

Asia » India » Himachal Pradesh » Mcleod Ganj July 27th 2011

Had another fairly relaxed day today, spent most of my time reading and walking around the town. The real excitement of the day was in the evening. Throughout the day a Tibetan guy called 'Lion Man' had been going around handing out fliers to his 'Traditional Tibetan and World Dance Show'. Somehow he managed to find me, Steve and Keenen all separately and we all decided to go. Caitlyn was leaving so we said goodbye and headed to the Drumstick Cafe where the show was to take place. We got a beer and sat down for what turned out to be one of the strangest performance i have ever seen. It started off with Lion Man singing a few traditional Tibetan songs in traditional dress, then he moved on to do a few dances, the first ... read more

Asia » India » Himachal Pradesh » Mcleod Ganj July 26th 2011

Had an early night last night. Today i got up around 11am and headed down for breakfast. After a few minutes Steve and Keenen came in and i had breakfast with them. I stayed with them for a few hours and then headed out to find lunch, i found Caitlyn in the hotel restaurant and we got talking to an American guy on the next table, he had just come from Richikesh and we were chatting about what we did there and who we met, after a few minutes i realised he was talking about Steve and Ilona. Apparently Steve was still in Richikesh. He also told us about a weekly event at the Tibetan refugee school. Once a week the school invites a Tibetan ex-political prisoner to come and talk to a group of people. ... read more

Asia » India » Himachal Pradesh » Mcleod Ganj July 25th 2011

Today has not gone well so far and i have only been up for about 2 hours. I got up around 10 and decided to find the other ATM in town to see if my card worked there. No such luck. I also tried the one that hadn't worked yesterday. Same result. I went back to the hotel and used 10 of my last 15 rupees to get my banks phone number using Green Hotels Internet. I returned to my room 15 minutes later with the banks number on the back of my hand. I called the bank and was asked to answer a few security questions which apparently i got wrong. I was told to call back in half an hour when a new set of questions would be asked. That's what I'm about to ... read more

Asia » India » Himachal Pradesh » Mcleod Ganj July 24th 2011

As is common on this trip my morning didn't quite go as planned. I got up later than intended (actually not a bad thing though as i found out the temples don't allow non-residents in till after 11am). I headed down to breakfast and ran into Caitlyn, a woman from Richikesh who had arrived shortly before i left. She had met a few other guys called Steve and Kenen and i ended up spending most of the day with them. I also moved hotels to the one right next door to Green Hotel, i figured its half the price and it only takes an extra 5 seconds to get to the Green hotels internet and restaurant. We went around town for a while, looking though a lot of the Tibetan jewelry shops before we got to ... read more

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