Goodbye McLoed

McLeod Ganj Travel Blog

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Dinner wtih Vipassana crew at Kana Karma.

Returning to McLeod, a 10 minute walk, was a harsh contrast to the silence of the removed Vipassana Meditation Center.  Horns, cars, motorcycles and auto-rickshaws raced through the narrow shop-lined avenues.  I hung tight to the gutters, a bit shaken from re-entry.  Traveling with Aman and Anupam, we grabbed a R100 ($2.50) room at a small monastery.  1 1/2 days quickly passed as I reunited with Melinda, sick with a stomach bug, and Dan, returning from Tushita.  The Vipassana group gathered for dinner, ironically at the same location as the Tushita group, at "Carpe Diem", so we all headed there together.  I ate with the Vipassana group, and Dan with Tushita.  After a meal, we went to a guest house and watched while Simon and Camille played Americana songs on banjo.

Banjo and Americana in India. Simon and Camille.
  It was a sweet taste of home in the chilly evening that concluded with "House of the Rising Sun."  I slept well that night, only to be rattled out of bed at 5:30 a.m. by the monastery's wake-up gong that persisted long enough to ensure I could not go back to sleep.  So I sat up and meditated for an hour.  The rest of the morning was slow and lazy as I tried to meet for breakfast at 9:00.  By 11:00 a.m., after packing, talking to an Irish couple, playing with a puppy, and chilling with a deadlocked Spaniard and his special gift, I began wandering towards Dan's direction.

 

The following morning, 5 of us set off for Triun, a 9 km hike from Dharmkot to a bluff overlooking McLeod Ganj and the distant Himalayas.  It was fantastic at the top, laying in the burber mountain grass, sipping sweet tea from the mountaintop tea shop, and finishing our meal of cookies.

Stopping for supplies (cookies and water) before hiking Triun. Debbie found friends.
  Debbie was astonished to find that the moment her back was turned, crows scavenged 1 bag of cookies, 1 bag of nuts, and 2 bags of tissue from within her backpack.  Aman and Anupam spent the night on Triun, while the 3 of us returned to McLeod for dinner with Melinda.  I finally slept in at the Yellow Guest House - no morning bell...

 

After a last minute dash for souvenir's and a post office stop, I said goodbye to Aman and Anupam, jumped on a Pathankot bound bus, and was off.  It was 1:20 p.m. when we left, and we hoped to catch a transfer to Amritsar though we were told we would be too late.  Upon arrival, we discovered an Amritsar bound bus leaving in 20 minutes.

Tea shop on the way to Triun
  We grabbed bagfuls of cookies, bananas, and a hot tea, climbed aboard, and unashamedly congratulated ourselves on our good fortune and successful bus ride. 

 

Behind us sat 3 young men, staring.  Then the questions began.  We were sudden celebrities and we talked about San Francisco, California, and our experiences.  They shared theirs, and we tried to communicate in broken English.  For approximately an hour we talked with this crowd, until their bus stop.  Without any hesitation, the one who did the most talking, whipped two wood-bead bracelets from his arm, and handed them to us.  "For you, thank you," he said as he disappeared down the bus stairs.

 

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Dinner wtih Vipassana crew at Kana…
Dinner wtih Vipassana crew at Kan…
Banjo and Americana in India.  Sim…
Banjo and Americana in India. Si…
Stopping for supplies (cookies and…
Stopping for supplies (cookies an…
Tea shop on the way to Triun
Tea shop on the way to Triun
Photo opp on way to top.
Photo opp on way to top.
At the top of the world (almost).
At the top of the world (almost).
Dan and I
Dan and I
Pondering the meaning of life.
Pondering the meaning of life.
Deep in esoteric conversations
Deep in esoteric conversations
Aman at Triun
Aman at Triun
Melinda and Dan at Peace Cafe.
Melinda and Dan at Peace Cafe.
I missed the GQ memo - we bought m…
I missed the GQ memo - we bought …
Sheep in passing.
Sheep in passing.
Taking a break before breakfast.
Taking a break before breakfast.
Breakfast at Nicks on the terrace.
Breakfast at Nick's on the terrace.
Carpet makers at Tibetan Handicraf…
Carpet makers at Tibetan Handicra…
McLeod with our weird-ass host at …
McLeod with our weird-ass host at…
Harrison and Melinda.
Harrison and Melinda.
Dan and Melinda in the Grocery Sto…
Dan and Melinda in the Grocery St…
Debbie at Triun.
Debbie at Triun.
At the top.
At the top.
As we tried to leave McLeod, our b…
As we tried to leave McLeod, our …
McLeod Ganj
photo by: Stevie_Wes