Saturday, January 26, 2008
India - Pragpur, Mcleod Ganj, Haridwar
How do I describe the last few days here in India? We left Delhi and drove up to the first Heritage village in India called Pragpur. On the way we experienced our first night driving. This means that all of the crazy things that exist during the day - the dogs, the people walking with great bundles on their heads, the sheep, the goats, the bicycles with 1 or 2 or 3 people on them and even the motorcycles with complete families are still there but now are invisible in the dark!! I'm not sure how Lal our trusty driver did it what with the oncoming traffic flashing their brights constantly as they got to within 25 metres to tell him to go back onto his side of the road!! The road by the way was like some backwoods thing you've never seen before!
Our destination the first night was Kikar Lodge and we turned off the main goat track and onto a smaller goat track and we had no idea what to expect and neither did Lal. Finally we reached Kikar and it was dark so we went to our little cottages. It was very cold and they brought us hot water bottles for our beds!!
In the morning we awoke to frost but a beautiful landscape with 20 cottages on the hillside and 2 pools (cold). We had our first Ayurvedic massages and were covered with oil and tried to keep warm in the cold rooms. They were good, but the quadding that we did through the 1500 acre park after was the best!! Lunch was Moussaka and Chicken a la King with Garlic toast which was superb.
We then headed back on the road to Pragpur. We stayed at an old Judge's residence that they had converted into a hotel and his old court was the restaurant. There were 2 cute little puppies there that the kids really enjoyed. One looked just like Tipper Di!
The next day we watched the sunrise over the Himalayas and then headed up to Mcleod Ganj which has been the exiled home of the Dalai Lama since 1960. He was actually there which is rare! We think we saw him on his terrace as we sat and ate our lunch in the sunshine across from him compound. The plight of the Tibetan people is very sad and the Chinese Government is now putting political pressure on the Indian govt to kick him out of India! There was a very Tibetan feel to the place and we 3 girls bought ourselves wool shawls that we have lived in ever since. It is the coldest here in 60 years which means near freezing at night and 15 or so during the day.
Af ter one more night in Pragpur we returned via plane from Chandigargh to Delhi. This cut out 5 hours of the driving, but we missed doing McDonalds and Big Maharajah chicken burgers again!! There is of course no beef anywhere here and the meat is mutton or chicken.
We are now in Hardiwar which is a Hindu holy city North of Delhi. It is a strictly vegetarian place with no alchohol!! Our terrace of our hotel looks out on the Ganges which is as wide as the Bow at its widest and very fast flowing. We watched them bathing in the Ganges the other night and putting lit offerings to float down the river.
We have had great Ayurvedic massages here and it is a bit warmer. The people are amzing and the rickshaw rides are really fun. In fact, we were picked up from the trai station in a rickshaw.
Back to Delhi tonight and then we fly south.
Posted by Gunn Family at 11:03 PM