« Conclusion | Main | Picture Perfect »

Mcleod Ganj a.k.a. Upper Dharamsala

After a weary 14 hour over-night bus ride I finally made it to this refugee town in the clouds. I woke an hour before arriving and was captivated by the veiw from the bus window as the sun rose and illuminated the valley growing every more distant below us and the white-capped mountains we were slowly approaching. The chill in the air was palpable, making us all look like smokers as our exhales were visible. There is no snow, and I am sure the temperatures are well above freezing but it takes a bit to get used to.

After my five hour nap I felt ready to get adjust, following a late lunch of course. Exploring the town, I discovered what I already suspected (that there are lots of Tibetans here) and the unexpected - this place is huge! It isn't large in the sense of Delhi, where it goes on forever, but rather in the sense that things aren't close together and the windy mountain roads make it easy to get lost despite my excellent map reading skills. I was looking for the library, which turned out to be a 45 minute hike away (in the mountains there are no walks, just hikes) and then took a wrong turn on the way back getting me thoroughly and delightfully lost. A sweet elderly Tibetan nun found me and directed me back into town - at her pace. I was glad of the practice I had walking with my grandmother. It was easy to switch from my vigorous gait to her leisurely stroll. She was accompanied by a young monk, dressed in dark robes (not the crimson ones I am used to seeing) and they were talking animatedly about something the whole back, pausing only to banter with the fruit seller and collect meat scraps to feed the stray dogs. Neither of them spoke any English so I can't say what they were talking about.

Bryan found his way here safely, full of light from the Golden Temple, already with friends he made along the way. He is also now full of the idea to stay longer, perhaps long enough to see His Holiness the Dalai Lama give teachings in early March.

I am not sure what I want to do but this town is beautiful so I will wait a few days to see how things pan out. Best of all there is plenty of time and places for hiking and contemplation, something I missed while living in the big cities of India.

Post a comment

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)