Saturday, May 05, 2007

Little Tibet

I've reached a wonderful place high up in the Himalayas where Buddhist monks amble down the streets and ride on the backs of motorcycles and where healthy, vegetarian food - with real fresh vegetables and fruit juice - abounds! I love McLeod Ganj!

It was a long journey to get here, about 12 hours by car from Delhi, but it wasn't too bad. I left my crappy hotel room in Delhi and met my friend from the U.S. (a guy who grew up in my town in Connecticut but now lives in London) at the Dehli Airport. He had arranged for a car with A.C. (!) to drive us all the way from Delhi to McLeod Ganj. We chatted, napped a little, and watched as Indian life in the countryside passed by. We saw a lot of enormous cows with single bumps on their back, herds of goats, and many people living in very poor conditions. Any idealized notion I may have had about the simple beauty of living in the countryside has been effectively smashed into smithereens.

In McLeod Ganj, my friend and I are staying in, of all places, the Best Western! It wouldn't have been my first pick, however it's actually the nicest and cheapest place I've stayed in so far during my travels in India. It has hot water, clean linens, and best of all it's right next to an awesomely chill healthy, veggie restaurant that caters to travelers. This morning I had my first chocolate-banana pancake (a food that had been a staple when Wood and I traveled around Southern China) and a delicious cup of strong, slightly burned coffee. I think I'm a little high from the caffeine kick, that and the gorgeous views up here. McLeod Ganj is set against the backdrop of the Himalayan mountains rising up around the town. It's breathtaking and magnificent.

On the agenda for today is exploring McLeod Gang and Dharamsala (4 km down the mountain from McLeod Ganj), visiting the Dalai Lama's official residence, the Tibetan Refugee Center, shopping, shopping, and shopping, a monastery, and a Tibetan massage. After the 12 hour car trip my friend and I totally deserve a massage. In other news, I heard from Eduardo, the Chilean guy who came to my rescue at the train station in Delhi. He's going to be in Dharamsala tomorrow and we're all going to meet up. How fun is that? I'm so happy to be back up in the mountains!


Dirty said...

Hi there,

came across your blog while googling for info abt McLeod ganj .... and have found your travels very interesting. I am planning to visit the place in next couple of days before I get back to the corporate world. Keep sharing your experiences, they are fun to read and very informative. In case you want to email me, do so at "".

Random Magus said...

You should write a book based on your travel... seriously you have an awesome style which is gripping and so descriptive. You translate your emotions so well through your words that your reader goes along with you on your journey of discovery....

Buttercup said...

Dirty - You'll love McLeod Ganj. It's wonderful! Email me if you have any specific questions or want any tips:

RM - Thank you so much for your comment! You're too kind. :)