McLeod Ganj Travel Blog› entry 6 of 37 › view all entries
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.
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.
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.
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.