Home of the Dalai Lama

I’m on a train! I’m not sure why I find it so cool, but it is my first train ride so I’m allowed to be a dork! I’m behind on stories, it was hectic getting through the mountains. But here’s my journey from Srinagar, home of the houseboat con artist, down to Dharamasla a.k.a. Macleod Gonj. 
Of course, the journey wouldn’t be complete without a hectic drive. Taking a jeep down to Jammu, where I needed to hope on a bus, was a really cool way to see the country side. There is a good chance the highway is on some ‘Dangerous Roads Around the World’ list. Not only are you winding through mountain ranges amongst tons of construction and transportation trucks, but your on roads we could call single lane/one way back home. Than you add in the crazy drivers here passing people on blind corners, thinking honking will make it all okay. If I wasn’t so obsessed with the mountains I am sure I would have freaked out, but there was no time for that, too much beauty to soak up. Oh, and the laughs over the road signs (although I was laughing to myself, the locals I was with didn’t understand the humour I found in them): “After whisky, driving risky”, “This is not a runway, don’t take off”, and “Life is a journey, complete it”. 
Part two of this journey had a lot less humour, and lot more confusion. How a bus reaches your destination at 2am when you were told 6am, and that destination being a different town name than you were expecting, I will never know. I supposes I am lucky the bus man woke me up. I am thankful for the kind people that are out there, and my good travel vibes that got me to my hotel room in once peace. And to Ms. Katie Klein for talking me off the ledge when I was having a “I’m booking a flight out of India” moment. 
Everything looks different after sleep though. Waking up in Macleod Gonj was very pleasant. The little town is tucked up in the mountains, and filled with spiritual vibes. After all, the Dahli Lama did decide to call this place home. I spent 3 days wandering narrow windy streets filled with market shopping, coffee shops and street food; Mediating and gaining a larger interest in Buddhism; afternoon hikes with a lovely Monk whom I met at breakfast one morning; and evenings filled with food, drinks and new people. I also learnt to eat with my hands, rice and paneer, not finger food in my eyes ;). It’s been told to me a few times now that the majority of India hold this custom still. It felt awkward and funny, but the food was still spicy and delicious. 



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