Taj Mahal

Joe and I had an amazing day in Agra visiting the Taj Mahal. The day started off sketchy when our taxi driver did not show up, but it turned out he could not find our amazing hotel.

We shared the tropical with a German,  Frédéric,  and he made for a great traveling companion. The Taj is a good 3 hour drive from Vdelhi, and our driver was very aggressive to say the least.

In Agra we had a tour guide who showed us around, and allowed us to bypass the huge line ups. I would definitely recommend a guided tour. We had a good lunch and then another interesting drive back.

We finished off the evening with Good food and beer in the bizarre area.  Pictures to follow.

Golden Temple
Bizarre

Back in Delhi

A lot has happened since the last post, and I will update when I have time. A brief idea is that we took a taxi from Dharamsala to Amritsar. This is a major religious city for the Sikh community. We spent 2 nights in Hotel Fairway, even though we had booked Hotel Oyo rooms. It turned out that hotel Oyo rooms does not exist even though I was able to book it on hotels.com .

We visited the golden temple and it was quite a site. 100,000 people a day visiting it. As white people at the temple we were also a tourist attraction.

We left Amritsar this morning on the 5am train to Delhi. Once in Delhi we go a room at the Hotel Sterlington Inn, another high class spot, after which we walked to Connaught Place and checked things out.

Tomorrow we are going to visit the Taj Mahal in Agra.

Joe is back

Pat and I hike up to the Bagsu waterfall yesterday. It was touted as a place to go and relax, either st had waterfall or the temple. What they forgot to mention was that it is a very popular spot for Indian tourists.  There were hundreds of people at both locations. Definitely not a spot to relax. I went back to Nick’s cafe to relax. However, watching the people was fun.

Later we went out for lasagna. As with everything,  it was not quite what we were used to. The noodle was definitely lasagna noodle like, however there were 2 noodles, each plate size with filling in between. The apple pie and ice cream was good. The ice cream is like British ice cream, very rich and creamy. The pie filling was good,  although the crust was a bit tough. They have definitely got the Cappacino down Pat though.

We arrived back at the hotel half expecting to see Joe waiting outside the door. However he was not there.  He did show up about 9pm. He had climbed within 100m on the top of the peak, but was turned back due to ice conditions. He was a tired and hungry puppy.

This morning, Joe and I went to yoga while Pat stayed in bed. He has been in bed all day, not feeling too well. Joe and I hiked around the Dalai Lamas temple and then purchased a couple of beers.

We have now booked a hotel for Amristar in the Punjab region for tomorrow, and will be traveling there by taxi. It is a 4 hour drive for 4300 rupees  ($86). Joe is presently off on a hike to St John in the wilderness church before supper. Pat is still in bed. I am enjoying a Thunderbird beer, brewed by Molson. 

Dal lake

Today Joe could not stand the easy pace of life in McLeod Gurg, and he has gone off on a trek. He chose a 43km, 4 day trek that sounded very inviting until he decided that he wanted to do it in 2 days. I opted to stay and do day hikes instead.

Pat and I had a leisurely breakfast of fresh fruit and curds, along with a couple of coffees, at which point we embarked on a hike up to a man made lake, Dal lake. The trail up was along a main road, passing a major army base along the way.

We also found a nice old church, St John’s in the wilderness.

We also saw some friends along the way

The lake turned out to be most underwhelming, as it was more of a mud flat. I am assuming we are here in the dry season, and that it might be more impressive at other times.

We take a different route down through a nice forested road

We had a nice view back into town

Pat is now having a snooze before we head out for the evening

Dharamsala

This morning Joe and Pat went for a morning yoga session just after breakfast. I stayed and finished off the book I was reading.  We then headed out for a cappacino and chocolate brownie before walking down to the town of Dharamsala.

Looking down the valle

We found a trail that wound down through a Buddhist temple, and then past a meditation center, before eventually reaching the town. It turned out to be just another crowded, busy town, with nothing worth visiting. Joe enjoyed walking alongside the road being narrowly missed by cars, buses and cows. “Would you rather be sitting reading a book?” he asked. Why yes I would, while sipping a cappacino thank you.

It’s a dog’s life

We stopped for lunch at a local restaurant, and as with all the places we have eaten, the food was good. Not too spicy, but enough to clear out the sinuses, and both cheap and tasty. We then hailed a taxi that brought us back to McLeod Gurg. 200 rupees ($4)  for the taxi back, about 10 kms.

Local wiring
Local home