My utter lack of blog posts has caught up to me in the form of an email from my mom. And a Facebook message.
To breach the empty void that is my current blog page, I give to you a summary of my Indian IST (Independent Student Travel) in the form of a Facebook message I sent to my mom. If it’s a good enough summary for her, it should do fine here. Not the most fantastic writing I know, but go easy on me. Please excuse intermittent lapses of colorful language (sorry mom, they add to the story):
The weekend was really good! We stayed at IDEX Thursday night and watched a movie (Zack and Miri Make a Porno – weird name I know, but really funny. Seth Rogan and Elizabeth Banks) and ate candy. Then Friday morning we drove to Dharamshala (about 1 1/2 hours away). Our group was Jules, Julia, Sophie, Rebecca, Alea and I. We got there, had a delicious lunch at a restaurant where we sat on the floor. I had chicken fried rice and chicken tika marsala (first opportunity to have meat in a while). Also a banana lassi, really good. Don’t know how to explain what it is, but look it up. It’s yummy.
Then we went to the Dalai Lama temple – slightly underwhelming honestly. Seemed more like a school campus than a temple where the head of a religion resides, but cool experience either way. Guess I went into that with some unfair assumptions. After that we spent quite a while in the market in Dharamshala by the temple – did some cool shopping for christmas stuff maybe? Who knows, it’s a surprise. But anything I did get I had to carry up a mountain, so don’t be expecting a wardrobe of cloth or a statue of ivory. It’s a cool market though, I’ll put it that way. After that we walked about 20 minutes back to hotel for dinner. After dinner we had the idea to go to a hookah bar, so we asked around. At first we only heard about this sketchy sounding place, but then we found this really cool and respectable place. Had a great time at the hookah bar, sat there talking and smoking for about three hours. Super cool. It’s really nice to be with a group of people whose everyday conversation is deep, well thought-out, and about topics that actually matter and not just small talk bullshit. Anyway, good time there. We walked back and spent the night in the hotel.
The next morning we had breakfast and were off. The hike was about a total of 9-10 kilometers long and fucking high up, but it was amazing. The name of the place we went to is Triund, it’s worth Googling. Super beautiful, the view of the mountains is breathtaking and we were so high up. I forget how high, but try looking it up. Anyway that afternoon we just hung out with almost the whole group. We talked and read and laughed, had a great time. Then we had dinner by the fire and lay out to look at the stars. A really great time – like friends for the rest of my life kind of times. Anyway, stayed in tents (obviously). Wasn’t that bad, the sleeping bags kept us warm and the only thing making it hard to sleep was that the ground was hard as a rock. Next day we had pancakes for breakfast (I know, who would have thunk it). The other TBB group left right after breakfast down the mountain while we went on the day hike they had done the day before.
It was about a 5 kilometer hike there and back, maybe a bit more. It was up the mountain quite a bit more and around the other side, to the snow line. We saw snow!! Probably the only time we will see it this year. It was a super cool hike, but quite exhausting. Although, it’s nice, so many hikers go through these hikes that part way through (and at the top of this snow line hike) there are little shops with snacks and drinks. When I say snacks I mean candy and chips and for drinks it’s either water, gatorade or soda. Which is not the worst thing, I’ve had like four snickers over the weekend. They are a great way to boost blood sugar and keep you from feeling altitude sickness (which I didn’t, yay). Anyway, the candy and gatorade was much appreciated on the hikes.
We hiked back down and got to camp (where we slept the night before) around 12:30. Had a lunch of pasta, really good, and started our hike down. Going up took about 6 hours, a little more maybe. Going down took about 2 1/2, which goes to show how much the elevation and going up is a part of the hike. Anyway we got down and had time for a little snack – I got peanut butter toast, a milkshake, coffee, and porridge. Okay, tangent time. My eating habits have changed so much on this trip. I actually ENJOY tomatoes and bell peppers now. It started out as more of an okay, I have to eat this because if I don’t I’m gonna be fucking hungry. Now I enjoy it. Same with a bunch of other foods that I can’t call to mind right now. I’ll eat cooked onions when they’re in something. Tangent over. Oh and I’m waking up really hungry on this trip, so breakfast has been a lot bigger.
Anyway, we hopped on the bus back to Palampur, walked home, had dinner, talked and played poker with q-tips as chips for a while. I suffered to read 3 pages of LOTR and fell asleep. Okay, Dickens out (mic drop…)