Hi guys! This is long sorry....
India is soooo weird and crazy and interesting and confronting all at once.
I liked Delhi - it was like a crazy market where we were staying - i didnt like every 2nd guy asking if we needed an 'auto' (taxi) though. We landed about 9.30pm at night, and the airport was funny as. The roof is kinda caving in and theres this odd smell.
(I got to practice my hindi -"kripya ek panee" 2 waters please).
Then you get outside, and there is hundreds of people crowding around the barrier, calling out people's names. Theres a kind of kerosene haze in the muggy air and its totally overwhelming. We were accompanying a friends mum back to India, so her nephews got us a pre-paid taxi to where we were staying. Only saw 3 cows on the drive though.
We get in the hotel, and there is this tiny room and plank beds (hard as). Which was soooo welcoming after the long flight.
The next day we go up onto the roof area for breakfast, and low and behold, another knitter! Her name was Melinda, and she was from the US. They did the BEST nutella pancakes BTW.
She told us how to catch the metro train to Connaught Place (only 8 rps or 27 cents) so we could get some clothes.
The whole time there is these 'friendly' guys AKA touts, trying to start up conversations, take us to their uncles shop etc etc. Every one told us that no shops were open. Dont believe them, they dont open til 10am.
Got some cool indian clothes (i look silly) so was all set.
Went out for dinner and had a great meal (food so far was great). On the way back, Fin and I stopped to check out a wedding procession and Fin got dragged into the middle of it to dance!
The next day. Sick day. Ate a dodgy veg-cutlet (vege patty) on the train and chucked it back up a few hours later. Couldnt hold food down for the next 4 days.
Caught a little train up the mountains to Shimla, like a little England in India. Its about 2,000m above sea level and really pleasant up there. The place is crawling with monkeys.
Fin tries to kill me by making me walk to the Jakku temple, about 45min walk up a steep incline. I was sick as a dog, so couldnt even make it to the top. You have to rent a stick to fend off the monkeys as well! A monkey ran past me a stole a girl's shawl and ran away with it!
I finally saw the Himalayas in Shimla - this faint, snow capped mountain range really far away....
Then on to Mandi for one night, before finally meeting Joy and her wives in Rewalser.
And guess what Mandi has? Yarn shops!! All acrylic though, in these giant hanks. Once I can find a computer with USB port i'll be able to put up pictures.
I'm still feeling awful at this point, and not eating - i've lost a kilo or two. The drive to Rewalser Lake is really relaxing, and when you finally turn the corner you see this huge 15m high statue of Guru Rimpoche (a Buddhist dude). Its great!
Joy (and Lena's and Nyondo's) place is right behind the statue's head on the mountain side. Was really nice to get to meet someone you've only known online, and the energy in their house is really lovely.
Lena is a doctor, and was able to get me some meds to make me feel better (and eat something) which was awesome. They really took care of me and made all the difference in me getting better i'm sure. They are awesome cooks too!
There is a big sacred lake in the middle of Rewalser, and a lovely blend of Sikh, Tibetan Buddhists and Hindus who all feel this place is holy. There are wild mountain cave nuns up the hill a bit further, and Fin and I went and spent some time with them. They are hysterical!!! They all love having their photos taken (Chewwy Llama said the photos of us 2 were beautiful cos we were beautiful hehehe). Chewwy took us on a tour of the sacred caves up there, and we made offerings and she said some prayers for us. We have so many great photos!
Today we got up early and caught the bus to Mandi, then the bus to Chandigarh. After a slight hitch (i.e. a truck clipped our bus on the tiny mountain road and we had to sit there for an hour) we finally got here. Chandigarh isnt that exciting - although we found a supermarket and bought cheese slices and bread! yay! - and i'll be glad to leave tomorro to go to Haridwar for a couple of days.
The tummy is still tender, and Fin has been fine except for a slight cold. He sends his love
Catch you later, and hopefully my next post will make more sense (trying to cram in a week is impossible!)