Thursday, April 12, 2007

McLeod Ganj, Himayal Pradesh

McLeod Ganj is a strange mix of people. The refuge of the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan Government in exile, there is a split in population between Indians and Tibetan refugees. There are also a lot of westerners which we were not used to after Kashmir. The westerners seemed to be roughly split too, between dreadlocked neo-hippies and middle aged travellers (I fear we are closer to the later than the former, but perhaps not that fearful). Presumably both groups are seeking spiritual enlightenment here.

A cookery course with our terrific instructor Tashi. We cooked Tibetan soups and practiced our Momos. Tashi fled Tibet over 10 years ago, fleeing though the Himalaya into Nepal on foot, trekking for a month in the Everest region. He did this in winter, when the Chinese border guards are reduced, un unbelivable feat. He is a wonderfully upbeat guy considering all he has had to endure. His family are still in Tibet.

A Tibetan monk practices rhetoric (I think). Each point is made with a forceful, martial arts like gesture.

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