FYI: We added pictures to the last couple of posts so check it out (and Chloe you can ID our monkey)!

Well, for the last few days Claire and I have been living easy! We went on a trek just outside of Chamba and were waited on hand and foot for 5 days and 5 nights! On our first day in Chamba we talked to a trekking agency and were convinced to blow our budget for a few days and get out of the hustle, bustle and litter of the Indian cities.

We started the trek at a charming lodge called the Orchard Hut and after Claire got her measurements taken by a local seamstress in the small village (for her “lady suit”) we were off on the first day of our adventure. For the benefit of those who have not “trekked” before it is more akin to hiking than anything else.

Our porter and guide loaded up their 1980’s, cheap Jansport backpacks with 5 days of food, four sleeping bags, our tent and everything they needed (which was nothing), donned their casual shoes (guide) and rubber slippers (porter) and we headed off up the steep 1100m climb to our first night’s destination.
Things started out a bit rough, our guide came down with the flu on day one (typical, eh) and was taking frequent forays into the forest and returning looking feverish and distant. Still, with the mind set of a pack animal, he hefted his rucksack and gritted through the day without one complaint! The people here have the most incredible work ethic, it must get done, and whining will not be tolerated!

That evening we stayed the night at a hut owned by the company. A couple of important things happened here, for one, we discovered what it is like to be rich! Within minutes of arriving our bed was made and we were relaxing to the view with hot tea and the sounds of dinner preparation coming from the kitchen! The other was that we gained a companion…later named Jackie, a farm dog came out of nowhere and decided that we were far better companions than any of the animals in the area. He was with us everyday (even though we threw sicks and stones to ward him off) until we eventually had to abandoned him two days walk from his home when we caught the bus at the end of the ride :(

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The next few days were spent hiking and being pampered. The days were spent enjoying the high meadows and grazing lands of the area. Sitting in fields, listening to shepherd boys play the flute, and hiking to temples built by hand surrounded cliffs, all the while carrying only our clothes and a sleeping mat. Every night we were served a minimum 2 course meal, with home made bread!

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Once the trek was finished we spent one more night at the Orchard Hut and arranged to bus to Dharamshala the next day. Leaving at 9am we rode 4 public buses for a total of 9 hours, getting to our destination in the dark.

Dharamshala is the home of the Dali Lama and pretty much every Westerner in India! We had more of them around us last night in our restaurant than we have seen in the entire first two weeks of our trip… But more on that later.

6 Responses to “”

  1. Jen says:

    Hey Seth and Claire,

    Man, it’s been a while since I’ve talked to you two!! Sorry for my abscence of e-mailing, I seriously owe both of you e-mails! I just read your blog, it’s awesome, sounds like you’re having an amazing time and that you’re being put face to face with aspects of humanity that you don’t normally see in the comforts of home. I’m happy to hear you guys are so excited about everything you’re doing. And hey, maybe I’ll be seeing you two some time soon!


  2. Amanda says:

    I know I’ve been communicating via email but thought I’d write to say it sounds like you’re having an amazing time.

    I miss you!

    Slap a goat’s ass for me.

  3. Beth says:

    This sounds like an amazing experience! You are totally making me jealous!

  4. Chloe Phelan says:

    Hey guys!
    Well i am pretty sure that is some kind of macaque, pronounced makak. Possibly a rhesus macaque/monkey, they seem to be very abundant in northen india, the locals may call them bandar…. oh and my dad said that particular one is called arthur. Stay safe and keep up the great stories!!
    Chloe x x

  5. Hermione says:

    Ahhh man, sounds like you are having one special trip. I would say I’m super duper jealous, but jealousy is bad, unatractive and evil, and naturally I could never sypathise with such a sentiment. No, never.

    (remember Im English and us brits love our sarcasm…)

    Well, I’m having a pretty damn good time here, insanely hectic, but I can’t complain. I’ve ditched the crutches finally and am finally getting back into shape. Vancouver is on my mind continually, I miss you all so bad. But Edinburgh rocks too…

    I hope the rest of your adventures go super well, you deserve to have an amazing time, as you are super amazing people. cheesy, but true.

    H xx

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