McLeod Ganj Travel Blog

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Our shared sleeper bus on the way to McLeod Ganj. We thought we had seperate beds...


The bus rattled its way through the mountains last night, finally arriving at Mcleod Ganj. The night before last, I could not sleep because I was riveted and locked into the Alchemist.  I read from 4:30 a.m. until I finished the book.  Part of setting up this trip involved distilling my intentions down to a few words.  I tried for some time to find the words.  I scribbled sentences using the word "Dharma", I wrote of purpose, but the words never encapsulated the feeling and intention I wanted.  But the words from the Alchemist, "To realize ones destiny is a person's only obligation," did.  Or as Mrs. Bhasin phrased it while we sat in her living room sipping tea, "The sole purpose of human life is to Realize your Self, the rest, everything else, is extra curricular activity."  So I have adopted these as my purpose.

Pulling into the crumbling cement fronts at Majnuka Tilla, Delhi, Dan looked at me as said, "The Deluxe bus stop was nothing like this.

Our first roadside dinner. Notice the expression of joy! (Note - bathrooms had no water to toilet paper - I held another 6 hours...)
"  Trying to be reassuring, I said, "I'm sure its fine," but was a bit concerned myself.  The sidewalk was broken, the storefront were bare, many dogs roamed past (scabbed and pussy).  Some children eagerly ran off with my 1/2 drunken bottle of Coke, and there was nothing to eat except some bags of Lays potato chips, just about to expire.  As the sun set, the mosquitoes emerged.  My repellent did nothing to help the situation.

The bus arrived and Dan  and I climbed into our sleeper booths, only to be told that we did not have our own compartment, we were to share one.  After considerable arguing with the bus serviceman, we relented, and climbed into a single compartment, laying head to toe.  The next 13 hours involved bumping and banging into each other, the window, and the metal bar preventing us from falling out of the top compartment.  Additionally we inhaled exhaust and rank sewage smells as we chugged along.  But in the end, we made it!  And I'm glad for the rough and tumble experience, although I felt as if I was still shaking the entire next day (the bus version of sea legs) .

Lunchtime at Kana Karma.

Reuniting with our dear friend Melinda in Mcleod Ganj is wonderfully welcoming.  And it is nice to have such familiarity here.  Daily ritual involves yoga, eating, and touring the area, the shops, foods, and Tibetan works at Norbulingka, including  Thangka paintings and applique.

hotcoaldance says:
way to go Jason! I'll follow you...I like where you're going...
re. the Alchemist: ok, that's a very good book. I admit it. But in case you turn into one of the zillions americans that read all the Paulo Coelho books while travelling in India (you'll's an Indian case of American literary epidemic), please investigate the phenomena for me, and let me know why the hell P Coelho gets so much attention when his only good book was The Alchemist (hey, didn't you say provocatory comments were acceptable ? ;)
happy Vipassana...enjoy the silence
Posted on: Nov 12, 2007
jocemberg says:
Jason- so wonderful to read about your experiences- beautifully captured, definitely resonates with my own. For mosquitos try odomos cream and an electric repellent- I forget what it is called but most shops should carry it. Check out my facebook page to connect with a great yoga/reiki/meditation teacher named Amit, I studied reiki with him in McLeod Ganj. Namaste!
Posted on: Oct 31, 2007
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Our shared sleeper bus on the way …
Our shared sleeper bus on the way…
Our first roadside dinner.  Notice…
Our first roadside dinner. Notic…
Lunchtime at Kana Karma.
Lunchtime at Kana Karma.
Another view from the balcony.
Another view from the balcony.
McLeod from our hotel balcony at t…
McLeod from our hotel balcony at …
McLeod Ganj
photo by: Stevie_Wes