"Within infinite myths lies an eternal truth. Who sees it all, Varuna has but a thousand eyes Indra, a hundred You and I, only two. "

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Women on Wanderlust

.. or WOW is a Bangalore based ..woman traveller phenomenon .. a travel club that organizes all-women trips the world over. It is the perfect solution for women who want to travel, but do not like the idea of travelling alone.

Neways .. the women on wanderlust in my scenario are Poorni and me. The last two weeks we have been wandering in the hills, mountains and valleys of Himachal Pradesh. The initial plan was to go with the YHAI group to Dalhousie for the six day "NATIONAL HIMALAYAN NATURE STUDY CUM TREKKING EXPEDITION-2011". However when we met in Delhi, we decided to go to McLeod Ganj instead.
Mcleodganj, is a suburb of Dharamshala in Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh, India. It has an average elevation of 2,082 metres (6,831 feet). Situated on the Dhauladhar Range,it is known as "Little Lhasa" or "Dhasa" due to its large population of Tibetan refugees. The Tibetan government-in-exile is head quartered in McLeod Ganj...(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McLeod_Ganj).

We stayed two days in Delhi with Cheryl (Major Francis) and her adorable son Abhimanyu. It is amazing to see the transformation of Cheryl from a sweet, soft-spoken girl with long curly hair.. to the strong, commanding short-haired Major Francis :). Time just flies so fast...last that I saw her was in June 2001... a decade later we meet and though we all have gone in radically different directions ...it seems like we parted ways yesterday.:) Oh I miss the 'Dattaa Leela" days ..

After a bit of shopping frenzy at Delhi's Janpath Road, we left for hills. Waise let me add... our mode of transportation was my Altis and who else but Gopal driving us. :) Sigh my adventures would be incomplete without him :). Neways we drove for 12hrs continuously to reach the Kangra valley and stayed over for the night. The next day, we covered the remaining 30 km odd to Mcleod Ganj...only to find dearth of accommodation... we had forgotten that it was the long weekend (Good Friday) and so practically everybody from Delhi was in McLeodGanj.
Oh boy! the very, very narrow streets of McleodGanj were littered with vehicles ... not to mention the horns, noise n the pollution. The place was like an overcrowded market in Goa. I had pictured it to be a serene, calm n quaint town in the hills with sounds of Tibetan chants in the air and monks strolling in the lanes. The first night we did find accommodation about 1.5 km uphill from the town centre at a place called Dev Cottages. Hence begins the adventures :) ... on the way back we figured that the town centre ..was actually the centre for everything and staying far away would mean leaving a well lighted area to trek 1.5 km in almost pitch darkness... not to mention how freezing cold it was in the night ..brrrrrr... :) The place is all but 10km form a base of snow capped mountains.. though they are lovely to gaze ... they do make the night so cold .. oh so cold. :)

The second day .. we had scrumptious breakfast at a place called Nicky's and decided to change our residence to the rooms available there. Oh btw Nicky's has awesome food... we had delicious lemon cheesecake... fantastic Ravioli....steamed momos.. wonderful assortment of teas... mint.. ginger lemon honey... everything was finger licking :). Then we went to visit the Temple Complex and the sites.
... to be continued with pictures and more adventures... Kahani abhi bakki hai :D