So, the road to Leh opened the day before we set off to the mountains. However, we’d done some hard thinking in Delhi and despite the fact it was the main reason we had returned to India there realistically wasn’t going to be enough time to get out of it what we wanted. Therefore plan B; we would head up to Shimla, across to Manali, further across to Dharmshala and then finish off at Amritsar before training it back for one last session at Delhi. 

This worked quite well in the end, we had a mad couple of days in Shimla as school holidays kicked off in India and everyone flocked to the cool. This was only improved by Dominoes.

Manali was equally busy but thankfully the old town was chilled and out of the way so we had a really relaxing couple of days there. We wandered up to the Solang Valley one day to watch the hang gliders and  zorbers bounce around under the snow capped mountains. 

We spent the most time in Mcleod Ganj, the home of the Tibetan Government in exile. We signed our asses up to a yoga course and got to the relaxing. The population attitude was really relaxed, unfortunately traffic was allowed the whole way through town which kind of took the atmosphere and vommed on it. In spite of this we had quite a good time. The yoga was intense and we both noticed the difference in just the 5days with our slightly mad, hyper instructor. The Tibetan side of things was a real eye opener, having not being born when the invasion took place and it not really hitting the news except for during the 2008 Olympics it was interesting to see things from a purely Tibetan point of view. We visited the museums and went to a talk from a guy who had been a political prisoner in China. It was strange because I came out of there thinking, its not that bad, the problem being its all been done before, especially by the British. But the Chinese are systematically destroying an entire culture, which seriously is bad.  So think about that next time you’re buying Chinese products. 

Last stop was Amritsar, home of the Golden Temple, and another Dominoes. The town itself is nothing special but the Golden Temple was amazing. As much for the building as the atmosphere. Theres a food hall there which feeds about 80,000 people a day; free of charge. Thats generosity for you. It was incredible the way they just got batch after batch of people through. The temple itself was also incredible. The huge fresh water lake around it, built in marble and then the temple with hundreds of people filing through. It was a really deep experience. And I dont say that lightly. 

By now we were both shattered and so it was almost time to be heading home. One last train to go and we would be on the last stage!  


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