Trip to Dharamsala January 2006


Thai makes his traditional attempt to go with us


The trip out on the Jammu Mail train overnight

waiting for the trainRaguraj bargains with our porters - badly

little party on the trainone of Brenda's many craaaazy faces

Brenda swears I drank more of the rum but...I don't know

Pathankot is a fairly dreary little town where the rail station is


it's a 3 hour drive from Pathankot up to Mcleod Gang in Upper Dharamsala, so beautiful in the mist and slowly rising into the sunshine and the Dhauladar range of the Himalayas


a water park, it's open toowe arrive in Mcleod Gangguest house was at the top of this street


We stayed at the Chonor Guest House, it is run by the Norbulingka group, the Dalai Lama's people.  It was very clean and the Tibetan people running the place were very friendly and helpful - the whole place is painted by the artists of the Norbulingka Institute in traditional Tibetan style, it's very beautiful

decorations in the sitting roomrestaurant

sunset on the dining room terraceearly visitor


mom, Brenda and I shared the Songtsen Suite - some of the carved furniture in this suite was incredible and the wall murals are gorgeous


breakfast on the terrace

Mike makes friends easily wherever he isthe monkeys sit on the water tanks in the warm sun


one of the most perfect and unusual sunsets I've ever seen - the illusion was that there were clouds behind the sun and that it was setting closer to me than the horizon


the hills in the mist, so beautiful, the whole place makes you glad to be alive and there


We go to the Dalai Lama's temple to spin the prayer wheels and have a look around, the most wonderful ancient old Tibetan woman in tradtional garb insisted on helping my mom up the steps though she was nearly as frail and using a cane herself, her smile was...more than you could ever imagine a smile could be.  Tibetans are welcoming friendly people and they smile instantly and genuinely when they see you.  They want nothing from you.  One little old woman stopped as we were loading to go and blessed every one of us, every window on the car and the motor.  Can't beat that really.


views from the back of the temple


we go and sightsee and look at the mountains

a little Christian graveyard


people in the streets


Alex was trying to help this poor Canadian lad who could not detach himself from this beggar


I watched this cow walk up the streets to a Hindu household where she knew she could get a morning snack, she was very patient and finally the snack was delivered. That is routine in India.  Cows know exactly which households give them treats and go from door to door and wait patiently.

hello I'm here


the children of the people working in Chonor house...and one of the dogs


mom and Mike relax for a smoke


Brenda and Alex bundled upahhhhhhh


flowers on the terrace


I don't know what these birds are, they are blue and have striped tails about a foot and a half long


the drive back to the train station is beautiful



the sleeper class waiting roomAlex had been dying to use the Indian toilet, the occupied light in our cabin tells us he is doing so