To the Mountains! (and the land of monkeys!)

Well the rest of Amritsar was fun but smoggy and loud! Luckily on day 3 we got a terrific deluge of rain that flooded the streets and cleaned the air. We found a smaller temple (Durgiana) to shelter us from the rain, and spent the day learning Hindi from random schoolboys and doing the ‘chai crawl’ (stopping frequently to try new foods and hot beverages). We also met another traveller and all went together to the changing of the guard at the Pakistan border (lots of boot stomping and yelling, and an Indian crowd of thousands chanting ‘HINDUSTAN’)

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Needless to say, after a few days we had had ENOUGH city time and headed straight to the foothills of the Himalayas, ending in a small town called Dalhousie. The 2nd class train ride (non A/C) and bus ride were our first tastes of authentic Indian travel. Crowded, hard seats, smell of urine, and some crazy driving near very high cliffs! Fun!

We arrived in time to check into our $3/night hotel with a deck looking over the mountains and sunrise, and then watched the Divali celebrations from there. It was magical – lights and fireworks and sounds of joy. Like Hallowe’en but way more firecrackers and no costumes. This small town, with houses and tea stalls hugging the hillsides, green terraced gardens all around, is exactly what we were hoping to find here. There are even monkeys here – big ones! We aren’t really sure if they are orangotangs or what, but they are noisy and rambunctious and about two feet tall sitting down.

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We are planning to stay here a few days, and then explore nearby villages and maybe do some trekking and horseback riding. We aren’t sure if we will have constant internet access but we plan to get a cell phone when we arrive in Dharamshala in a week or two, and will post the number and pics from there.

4 Responses to “To the Mountains! (and the land of monkeys!)”

  1. Jenn says:

    I’m so glad to hear you’ve made it and that you’re enjoying yourselves. It definitely leaves me with a bizarre jumble of feelings as I count down the days to my departure. I hope your trip continues to intrigue and excite you and I can’t wait to see more pics!!Love you!

  2. Chloe Phelan says:

    Hey seth,
    Take a picture of the monkeys and i will use my zoological skills to identify!! your trip is looking great so far, loving the pics. i will be in thailand in march, maybe our paths will cross…
    take care
    chloe x x

  3. mike gavin says:

    hey there…dan told me u guys were in india….so i had to check out the site….and so far it looks great…
    i was in inida last may or so….it was awesome….lots of neverending ramdom crazyness..
    when u are in dharmshala, make sure u head up to McLoud Ganj. its pretty cool. and if u want a good day hike, do a hike up the “Triund”. its a great day hike from MG and u can even stay the night up on the top if u want.

    anyway, take it easy…hope u dont get sick i like i did..
    mike gavin

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