Retreating to the Mountains

By Emily Radek

Our travel day(s) to McLeod Ganj was a long and odd one. We left at 4 am, took a 5 hour train ride, spent 7 hours in Delhi till our 12 hour overnight bus ride to Dharamsala. We got to our cute hostel in the beautiful towering mountains of McLeod Ganj, and we all passed out in the lounge on the roof– cute group cuddle puddle, as Charlotte would say. We spent the next 4 days in the Tibetan town, exploring the different vibe and culture of this region. McLeod Ganj is the place where the Dalai Llama resides, and I think we were all hoping to casually run into him… We walked around his temple, went to a Tibetan film festival, hiked to a waterfall, and soaked in the sights of the unpolluted, mountainous, and cold climate of the area (quite different from what we have experienced so far in this country).

The majority of our time has been spent petting street dogs that follow us around (KD, our favorite doggo), eating more Bhagsu cake than we would like to admit, and shopping at the Tibetan stands on the street… Lots of shopping. We have all taken on the look of hobo hippy traveler. This look is defined by over sized, mix-matched patterns, and odd clothing items. I am rocking a yak wool poncho, some big baggy pants, and socks and sandals. Katie has her new coats and knitted mittens, Kelly with her scranket (scarf- blanket) and poncho, Paige with her “diaper” pants and toe socks, and Charlotte with her clashing hippy patterns and big coat. We are all loving the new looks…

We leave for Dharmalaya tomorrow to spend 9 days on a Permaculture farm, living and learning the sustainable way. We will learn about compassion, yoga, meditation, veganism, and living with no waste. It should be very rewarding. We head outside of Bir for a 5 day trek afterward. This will mean no internet for 2 ish weeks, so don’t worry too much when you don’t hear from us.

Ta ta for now!