Friday, June 7, 2013

Finally in Mcleod Ganj!

Hey everyone!

So much has happened since I last blogged. I was able to scratch yet another thing off my bucket list; white water river rafting! It was so much fun and my guide was hilarious. It was an experience I would not trade for anything else in the world. The water felt amazing and the sight of the rapids got my adrenaline pumping. Rishikesh was a beautiful town along the Ganges. The hotel that we stayed at had an amazing staff of Nepalese men who were friendly and constantly helpful. Made me feel right at home. It was a great time.

We left this morning for Dharamsala in a bunch of Jeeps. The ride took about 12 hours total. We drove through the beautiful Punjab region of India and though the Himalayas. I never knew I could learn so much about India in just one car ride. I initially realized that we were in the Punjabi region when I began to see Sikh temple after Sikh temple. These temples are easy to spot because they are normally white buildings with short turrets and domes that are lined with gold. They really are magnificent buildings. I also began to notice all the Sikh men. You can easily pick out a Sikh because he will be wearing a turban which wraps his uncut hair and will have a full beard. I also noticed a difference in stature among these men from many previous Indians I have encountered. I know this is an odd thing to notice, but I had a lot of time on my hands! Initially, I was unsure if my mind was playing tricks on me. Maybe there was no difference. Dr. Maher eventually explained that he would agree that there is a size difference. He believes this is because the Punjab region is very lush and has rich, fertile ground. They produce a lot of food in this area of the country, which can explain the larger stature.

We finally arrived in Mcleod Ganj late in the afternoon, but I still had time to explore a little bit. I cannot justly describe the beauty of this town. It is situated on a very narrow ridge and part of the mountain side. It only has five main roads. Ninety-five percent of the citizens of this area are Tibetans. This is most likely due to the presence of the Dalai Lama. He currently resides in this town. This area has the cleanest roads of any place I have been in India. For once, I can walk the streets without having to watch where I step in order to avoid the minefield of cow dung and smeared garbage. I have not been hassled by a store owner once, and from what I can tell, I have been offered decent prices for the items I am interested in. I love it here already!

Till next time,


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