Strange, surreal days at Rishikesh: the yoga capital of the world, close encounters with wild elephants and tigers, Swami Ji – the guru who eats three times a year

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Sunset over Ganga River

14 – 24.09

We stay one more night at the Gurdwara and then we relocate at the area where the ashrams and the temples are and where many pilgrims live. First we find a small ashram where they told us we can stay for free, but on the next day when we go there again, this time with our rucksacks, the superintendent says it is not possible. The foreigners here usually pay a room at the bigger, more commercial ashrams or are not let to sleep inside. We start to wonder what to do and think of sleeping under the trees as the Sadhu people do here when we see an old building that looks like an ashram. We go inside and ask whether we can stay. In the small room there are few Sadhu and a foreigner. Continue reading

India with manners, how we couldn’t pass 50 km. with a truck for 7 hours, apples and pears – the luxury fruits

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Road in the Himalayas

06.09

Nako is the last village on the road with Tibetan architecture. We start hitchhiking in the afternoon, but there are almost no cars passing by. After walking for 40 minutes on a steep, bending road a jeep takes us. It is for only 15 minutes of driving, but here this is serious distance for us. After that we start waiting and waiting and an hour and a half later the first empty car comes our way. Luckily they take us for quite a long distance. Continue reading

Last Himalayan trek and walking through the fearsome canyon, the monastery with the 1000 years old wall writings and the mummy nobody knew about

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Parang River

26.08

Last day of rest before the final seven days of the trek. We spend the whole day at the beach, enjoying the sand, reading books, bathing in the nearby lagoon where the water is warmer. I know bathing is supposed to be something mundane, but we couldn’t take a normal bath in the last ten days. The only thing we could do was to wash one selves rapidly here and there. It is known that Tibetans don’t bathe for months, but now I totally understand them. It is just impossible – even in August, which is the warmest month here, it is still tricky to do it. Continue reading

The soft gold of Kashmir, crazy weather in the mountains, meeting the Changpa nomads and their herds and the magical Tso Moriri Lake

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Somewhere in the Himalayas

16.08

In the morning the owner of the property sees us and our tent, but miraculously just smiles and says nothing. We walk around Leh buying provisions all day long and manage to go out of town at 5 p.m. with a minibus. Continue reading

Venice of India, Kashmiri eccentricities, the lucky coincidence with the White Mosque and witnessing the climate changes in Ladakh firsthand

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Boat trip

07.08

We take off early with the same truck and we still have to cross the last pass Zonji La. The road is terrible and on one side of it there is a dangerous looking abyss. It takes us a lot of time to reach the pass. After it is the Kashmir Valley. The scenery here changes dramatically. There are pine trees everywhere around us now and all is green with many fruit tree gardens. We stop at a small snack bar for the truck drivers. There are many people bathing at the backyard. We eat omelet with Kashmiri bread and tea. Continue reading

The long truck ride in the mountains of Kashmir, the good nun and the transition from Tibetan Buddhism to Islam

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01.08

It is really hard for us, but we manage to walk for three whole hours and reach the Phugtal monastery. In total we have walked for 12 hours, but it is totally worth it. Right before the monastery there are wine red cliffs and the region is very beautiful. The monastery itself is built in the cliffs and the temple complex is in a giant cave. It belongs to the “Yellow hats” sect – Gelugpa and is really impressive. Dates back to 14-th century. Continue reading

The crazy, surreal wedding celebration that we witnessed, the old man who told us how people lived in this harsh places in the winter: Om mani padme hum

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Phugtal Monastery

27.07

Today we can barely walk, but we cook all the food food we had left and we head to Karsha Village. Two hours and a half later we reach it. There is only one shop in it and it is open which makes us really happy. We buy some lentils and pasta and find a place with no people where we can cook. The old man from the shop hasn’t obviously seen this kind of travelers  ever and is quite shocked that we go behind the shop to cook. Continue reading