This will be a mammoth post as this is the longest period of time I’ve spent in one place in 5 months outside of Rishikesh.
Mcleod Ganj is absolutely fantastic. I’m so glad I made the journey up here.
The mountains are beautiful and the weather is much cooler. So much so that it was possible to trek up to Triund, 2900m above sea level and return on the same day.
We had an absolute blast, a gang of four of us from the teacher training course, so we giggled all the way. There was an abundance of goats. One of which was repeatedly trying to kiss my mouth whilst we had a chai break! We made it back down within a split second of the thunderstorm starting. We’re so lucky because it poured intensely and I never appreciate slip and slides back down.
We had a big discussion along the way about our hiking technique, noting our use of a dominant leg. This is the result of that the following morning. Luckily I am fortuitous enough to have moved in with the amazing Sabrina who was able to work her physio therapist magic. Once upon a time this level of hiking would’ve had me knocked out for days but thanks to the yoga my body bounces back quite well.
I had a great day horse riding in the mountains up to the holy Dal Lake and the Tibetan children’s village. My horse was so responsive to even the slightest command which was useful when you have sheer drops mms to your left throughout!
I prepared for the talks from the Dalai Lama by going to another Buddhist teaching from Gen Gyatso at the Tushita Temple. It gave me a nice introduction to catch me up to speed. His mobile phone rang whilst he was talking and he was profusely apologising whilst cracking up with laughter retelling a story of how he said to a monk long ago that one day this would happen because he still doesn’t know how to use it. Priceless!
Sabrina and I made it to the talks. Its wonderful seeing his holiness in the flesh. Sadly the translator has been translating into English in segments rather than concurrently so we have been missing out on big chunks of material. There was some really interesting concepts on the need for secular ethics but we didn’t receive the full translation. It is a great shame as I’m sure I would’ve found this fascinating so I’ll have to grab his book entitled beyond religion for my impending flights.
I’ll also have to do some further research into the Free Tibet movement. I caught a great documentary at the Tibet museum next to the temple complex but I don’t feel knowledgeable enough having seen the one exhibition. So more reading on the cards once I get home.
I really don’t feel ready to leave here yet but my flight awaits me tomorrow in Delhi so I have the first night bus in 3 months on the cards. A takeaway sandwich from next door should soften the blow mind.
As I’ve said before the hardest part is always the goodbyes. Sabrina has been incredible. We’ve become quite the elderly lady duo. I will miss her dearly but look forward to a RYP gathering in Berlin. I also have to leave behind my faithful hound.
He’s the most handsome puppy and he is rather reluctant to let me leave. He keeps profusely biting my trousers everytime I walk away. I can’t quite believe we’ve gotten this attached. If there was any chance of shipping him to England I would do it for sure.
From one set of mountains to another. Just one more sleep (hopefully I’ll get some on the bus) until Nepal and only 2 more weeks until the big flight home.