3 August 2008

Day 76 ~Friday 27 June

Pangong Lake.

This lake lies between India and Tibet (China) and the military presence is quite high. We had to obtain special passes to be in this area. I've never been anywhere so remote! The lake changed colour depending on what time of day it was.

Day 75 ~Thursday 26 June

Went to morning puja at Thiksy monastery before driving to Pangong Lake.

We were surprised to find that the majority of monks are just boys.

Day 74 ~Wednesday 25 June

Driving back from the Nubra Valley.

Day 73 ~Tuesday 24 June

Drove through the world's highest motorable pass, Khardung La today en route to the Nubra Valley. It's at 18,380ft and the lack of oxygen makes you feel slightly drunk.

We stopped for tea, picked up a traveling monk and delivered him to his monastery, where I took this photo.

We also saw/rode bactrian (2 humped) camels, and hiked up to a deserted monastery.

Being limited to one pic a day is frustrating sometimes. :)

Day 72 ~ Monday 23 June

Spent the morning white water rafting on the Indus River, and most of the afternoon trekking.

This is the Shanti Stupa in Leh.

Day 71 ~Sunday 22 June

Lord Buddha, Thiksey Monastery. He is 40 feet tall! :)

Day 70 ~Saturday 21 June

After a harrowing night time drive back to Delhi, and 3 hours of sleep, we flew to Leh, Ladakh.

We were given the traditional white scarf upon arrival at the hotel and about 10 minutes after I took this pic I was fast asleep. Now in the "Cradle of Buddhism" in the Himalayas, we are at an elevation of 11,483 ft. and visitors are advised to spend a day acclimatizing to the elevation to avoid headaches.

29 July 2008

Day 69 ~ Friday 20 June

Midway through our strange journey, we took a 28 hour break at Ananda. Meaning "bliss", it is one of the top spas in the world. This was the only point in the trip where we brushed our teeth with tap water, and ate fresh fruit/salad without worrying.

This is Robin modeling the kurta that we were each assigned to wear around the resort.


Ahhh! :)

Day 68 ~Thursday 19 June

Sadhu at the banks of the Ganges. (Rishikesh)

Day 67 ~Wednesday 18 June

Everyone uses the same bridge. :)


26 July 2008

Day 66 ~Tuesday 17 June

Today we drove northeast from Delhi to Haridwar, which is a very holy city on the banks of the Ganges. We arrived during a full moon festival and it was wall to wall pilgrims. There was a fab festival atmosphere and since our hotel was inaccessible by vehicle, we got to trek through a narrow maze of streets filled with vendors selling everything under the sun.

We attended an Aarti (light)ceremony on the riverbank, which is what the pic is. I stuck my foot in the Ganges but held back from the full body plunge that most Hindus go for. :)

Day 65 ~Monday 16 June

Baha'i Lotus Temple, Delhi.

We spent the day touring old and new Delhi. It's hugely crowded and feels somewhat like most large international cities.

We visited Humayaun's Tomb, (which was the inspiration for the Taj Mahal), Qutub Minar (tallest minaret in the world), the Baha'i temple, Ghandi's house, Chandi Chowk (main bazaar), our guide's Hindu temple, Nizzamuddin's shrine (Muslim), and Delhi's largest mosque.

That night we found a restaurant called Piccadelhi which was London Underground themed. A bit of an eye roll as it had half of an old Routemaster bus inside along with red phone boxes and other Londonesque decor, but it was heaving with families and the food was quite nice.

Day 63 ~Saturday 14 June

The famous Taj Mahal!

It was hot, crowded and amazingly beautiful!!

It was my turn to be ill, although not nearly as bad as Robin and silly me forgot to take my sunglasses. The white marble was blinding even though it was overcast.

I'm not sure if it was the way I was feeling, and even though it's really cool, the Taj Mahal simply was not the highlight of the trip for me. Still, I can cross it off my list of things to see. :)

Day 62 ~Friday 13 June

Taken from the backseat, this is a flooded intersection we drove through.

We were originally scheduled to drive from Jaipur straight through to Agra (usually a 4.5 hour drive), but that road was closed due to Gudjurat terrorist activity. Instead , we were routed back through Delhi, but the flooding caused roads to be closed and we were diverted twice.

To make it even more interesting, the air conditioning stopped working, we had to change cars/drivers and Robin developed Delhi Belly. At one point, we were stuck in a traffic jam and a random guy jumped into our car to move it out of the way of a truck since our driver had wandered off to see what the holdup was.

12 hours after we left Jaipur, we arrived in Agra. Robin was running a low grade fever, popping Immodium, and moaning a lot. It was all very dramatic but done in the spirit of making light of his illness. Luckily he was better by morning.