Stuck again. . .sort of. .

Trip Start Feb 19, 2006
Trip End Oct 01, 2006

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Flag of India  ,
Saturday, June 17, 2006

Relaxation is good for reflection. I have been relaxed here in this shanti town, but I go off to the high mountains tomorrow. It is as my good friend George said,"you find the good places, and stay a while. " This is one of those good places, the days are temperate, the nights cool, the people, both native and tourist tend to be really good, and discussion of some depth takes place everywhere.
Rocinante calls, though, and I must get the wind in my hair once again. One man, the open road, and the thunder of a Royal Enfield under me like an extension of my own body. Itchy feet again. Another place that will be hard to leave, but the lingering whispers of attachment are soon blown away by the dusty wind of the indian roadways. Perhaps a return sometime. Life is long, the world is large, and anything is possible.
Part of my time has been spent in preparation, part in partying, but most of the original "crew" has left, so this is always the cue to hit the trail.
Mcleodganj is a comfortable place, green with vegetation, and with frequent rain (and hail, and sometimes snow) at this time of the year. It has been partially due to the weather that I have become slightly delayed, as it has been raining fairly steadily for a few days. Today, however, good old Surya showed her face again, my laundry is drying on the rooftop, and everything is in place. Sometimes the heart must determine the time of departure, that is, if one can quiet the mind and listen to it.

There are many Koreans here, Japanese, a fair share of Americans and English, a couple of Irish, and a boatload of scandinavians. Also familiar on the narrow streets are the bearded and turbaned Sikhs, with their families, enjoying the cool weather up in the high lands. In this section of Dharamshala there seems to be about an equal split of Indians and Tibetans among the permanent residents.
Buddhist monks play snooker and pool in the pool halls, carry cell phones, and wear shoes. There is some discussion as to whether the monks are getting lured in by the call of western materialism, and there is truth in that, though renunciation has never been my bag, the students of the Buddha are supposed to do without such desires. Materially as well as spiritually. I must admit it is strange to play snooker with a monk, and for him to have a call on his cell phone, delaying the game. . .

The air is clean, though, and the sleeping is good. The atmosphere is conducive to reflection and intro/extrospection (of course I draw no line there), and I have had a welcome relaxation from the hard-core adventuring for a short time. On the one hand it will be hard to leave, on the other it will be easy. .

So, up in the morning with Surya, (hindi for "sun," not some russian girl, by the way") and off down the mountain back to the NH 22, reaching Manali on a sunday, the easiest day to find lodging.
I will try to check in from there, but after that I will be up in disputed Kashmir on what is said to be the most beautiful road in the world. There will be a bit of rice and Dal in my future, perhaps supplemented by fish, or whatever other food I can find or catch as I make my way from Leh to Srinagar.
Hopefully the Indian and Pakistani armies are not lobbing shells across the road at each other, as they are sometimes wont to do. . Either way, I go with no fear, what is is what is, and it is not our place to worry about what might or could be.
Stay tuned, there will be lots of pictures from there.
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