Meeting the Lama

Trip Start Aug 23, 1996
Trip End Ongoing

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Monday, November 7, 2005

Once on the bus, we were taken straight to the station. Bags on our backs, the train was waiting for us. There was only one class. Third class, hard wooden seats. We found two that were facing each other, and we sat. Then the train filled up, but then it just kept on filling up. Then the people were falling out of the carriage, and then back onto the platform. Finally, we were full and the train left !!! Now recently, since the first time we were in Rawalpindi, I have had a cold which I can't get rid off, so I was feeling like shit. Personally, I think I have the bird flu, but I wasn't telling any of the Indians as I was sneezing on them !!! Because of this, I slept and did not see any of the trip. I do remember Lucy shaking me awake as we arrived at Pathencot. Packs on, we were mobbed by rickshaw drivers who were quoting a ridiculous amount, just to take us to the station. Ignoring them, ten minutes later, we were at the bus station. 30 minutes later, we were on the bus gong to Dharamsala

The bus was a shitbox, or maybe it was luxury compared to other buses in India, but we made it there in one piece. We then needed another bus to take us to McLeod Ganj. We were then told that the same bus we had been on was going, so we sat back and went for the ride. And then we were in the hills, arriving at McLeod Ganj. We tried to get into Hotel Om, as they say this is the best, but it was full, so we settled for some other shitter. This was ok, as we had satellite TV, and Australia are playing the West Indies at present, so I knew it was going to be hard to get out of bed !!! We changed, and then went to dinner. As it had taken us around 12 hours to get there, we were staving. It was also freezing cold. We both pulled our boots out of the bags. It was the first time they had seen the light in a long time, well, since Pakistan.

I arose early. Lucy was fucked off because I had awoken her. I did the only sane thing. I turned on the cricket. After about three hours of watching, she made me have a shower and then we went off to the Tsuglagkhang Complex. Home of the Dalai Lama. We needed to register if we wanted to meet him personally. Good enough for Micheal Palin, good enough for me. Once up there, we then found out that he had flown to a warmer country !!! Understandably so. Even though the sun was out, it was still quite cool. We walked around the complex, having a look in the temple and spinning the prayer wheels, then the Monks came out to debate. One sits, while the other one paces back and forth speaking, and when they have put their point across, they slap one hand into the other. There is a load of passion put into this. But you do get bored, so we moved onto the museum. In we went, and it is quite horrifying seeing/reading what the Chinese have been doing to the Tibetans. Personally, they should not be allowed the Olympics. We walked around to talk to some Tibetans in the shops. We asked if they were born there, but they all said that they had run away for safety reasons. They explained that it was a long hard cold trek over the mountains, done in the nighttime so that they would not be caught. Very sad. The sun came down, we ate, we retired for some movies. What a life

Following morning, same routine. Cricket. Is there more to life !!! Today, we decided to go for a walk to Bhagsu. We followed the road around and we ended up at a little Hindu temple. It was quite small, and had a little cow statue. We left and went and walked further around the valley. At the end, was a waterfall. It was not very big as we are in Autumn, but judging by the size, it would be huge in spring. We went up the top, it was ok, but the wrong season. According to the LP, you can walk on to Dharamkot, and then onto McLeod Ganj. Sounded interesting, so we set off. It was a really nice climb up a valley to get there, and not long after, we were there. Good views, so we moved onto McLeod Ganj. We asked a few people, but they pointed one way. Down. So we went down a different track, hoping that it would take us in the correct direction, but it only ended up taking us back to the road that the trip had begun. So we accepted our fate, and followed the road back to town. We had dinner, and after, whilst walking around, we ran into Peter and Debbie, a couple of Dutchies who had cooked us dinner, way back in Yazd. We had some tea, and agreed to meet up the following day.

As this was our last day, we checked out and chucked our bags into the Dutchies room. We walked back down to the monastery as they wanted to see the Monks debating. Whilst waiting, we had some tea and cake. During this, I asked a Monk if it would be taking place, but he said no. Disappointed, we traipsed off, and went to see Dip Tse-Chok Ling Gompa. Another monastery. It was really nice, so we walked around spinning all the prayer wheels. Eventually, we arrived at the last. It was a huge mother fucker of one. It had been funded by the Swiss, so we gave it a last spin. Saying my prayers, I knew we were leaving very shortly, so I do hope we can come back here. It is so nice and quiet. We loved it.

We grabbed our bags from the Dutchies, and made a small meeting place of Nepal. Hopefully we will see them. They will ride their pushies, while Lucy and I are now catching a night bus to Delhi
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