The home of the Dalhi Lama
Trip Start May 11, 2005
320Trip End Ongoing
We finally dragged ourselves away from the free food of the golden palace and headed north. A week in the desert was more than enough so we fast tracked it the Himalayas for cooler temperatures and mountain treks.
Mcleod Ganj is just north of Dharmsala, the acting center of government for Tibet in refuge. Mcleod itself is home to the holiest temple of Tibetan Buddhism and the official residence of his holiness, the Dali Lama. It was a bit of an effort, but train/bus schedules seemed to work out just right, and we made it here in one day. In fact we made it in time to catch the bottle shop before it closed. We ended up getting "Cottage" of sorts and split it with a couple of girls from Iceland we met on the bus. Between the five of us, the rum didn't stand a chance, and soon enough the wigs came out and Hooper passed out.
Next morning, Ben, Hoop and I ate a lazy breakfast before deciding to trek the 8 miles to a local lookout for Himalayan views
Our third day was basically a lazy day. Some Frisbee with a few local kids, random wandering around town, and some pastries. That evening however, we ran into two couples Ben had met in other areas of India.(Roi and Liora/Israelis and an Aussie couple) We all walked to a neighboring town (with the reddest eyed man in town) for a change of scenery and to get some dinner. It was election time, so no place in mcleod was serving beer. (Something about wanting the voters to be sober...glad America has no such qualms!!) So we went to Baghsu and found a few cold beers. One of the Aussie girls over ordered and offered up the left overs of her chicken schnitzel, Ben and Dan were unfortunately vegetarian. I think I finished the rest in two bites!
Day four was filled by a visit to the holy temple, a painfully slow harvest/fire ceremony, some slapping monks, and a trip around the Dali Lama's residence. Hooper was obsessed with getting some prayer flags but had a hard time finding a shop that sold any. Ben on the other hand, just stole a prayer flag from the Dali Lama's garden. "But it was already on the ground, dude!" Yeah, tell that to karma.
(Ben here... I did not steal prayer flags!!!! If anyone has to worry about Karma it's Dave!)