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

Dalai Lama temple

After a Good snooze in our luxurious hotel, we headed out for an explore. It is interesting that the hotel I checked out and decided was too far and scuzy, was the one that Joe decided was ideal.

We walked up to McLeod Gurg with is the main focus of the traffic, and then headed down to check out the home of the Dalai Llama.  He is presently out of town, but it was good to visit his home in exile.

We wandered around the temple and museum.  Unfortunately, most of it is devoted to the political situation in Tibet and what is being done to the people rather than the actual Tibetan culture.

We then walked back to our hotel as it started to rain.  The streets here are very narrow,  and the whole town is built on a steep hillside. You will certainly get fit if you live here. As with everything in India, it is busy, noisy and crowded.

Hotel balcony in Dharamsala
View from balcony

Ddharamshala

We left Manali on the 7 pm bus. Our bus was the worst looking one in the lot, it was missing a mirror, grill, a few lights, and it lived up to everything it promised.

The ride was rough and needless to say I did not get much sleep.

We arrived at 4am and we’re dropped off in the middle of no where. Luckily there was a taxi that took us up into the hills to a town that was fast asleep.

We hung around for a few hours until we managed to get a room to stay in. It costs 500 rupees  ($10) per night, and it is worth every penny, just be careful where you touch.

We just finished lunch at Cafe Tibet, and are planning the days agenda.