Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Ive been going down, down into the River baby.

Im back for a day, and today was the best.
Over the past 21 days i have been traveling around Northern India on the boarder of Tibet and China. We took a 4 day trek to get into the Spitti Valley going over the 15,000 pass The Baba Pass. The entire hike was picture perfect and once it was done we got hiked to a village named Mud and took a cab to the city of  Kaja (or Kaza) and stayed there for three days. We enjoyed a few good meals at the local restaurants and did some shopping the first few days then went to a monastery and climb above it to this pristine lake that had a huge natural spring in the middle of it. The day after that hike we actually went to go live at a monastery in Key. The Key Monastery is over 900 years old and is still thriving with Monks or "Lamas" and everyone their speaks a mix of Tibetan Hindi. We started making the bricks right away and after four days of constant brick making with rummy games in between we finished 400 and 8 bricks and left to go on a homestay trek to let the bricks dry. Over 3 days we traveled from house to house to house in different Villages along the Spitti Mountains. We went to Langza, Comic, and some village starting with a D. (i cant spell it.) Each village had tons of new things to learn about and i actually got to see how everyday life is in a rural Village. I loved learning how to make Momo's with potatoes inside, its my specialty dish now in front of Mac and Cheese. We returned to The Key Monastery and Finished the greenhouse in a couple days and on the last day the King of Spitti, King NO-NO, came to inaugurate it. The whole ceremony was more extravagant than i thought it would be because Lama's were mumbling prayers and the king cut the ribbon and we planted seeds inside the greenhouse while the little children monks clapped outside the greenhouse. It was pretty awesome. We ate dinner and returned to Kaja where we stayed a night and then at 5 in the morning we started our long trip back. The first day we drove 8 hours across little rocks and big rocks. The roads in northern India are pretty bad but it was alright because my ipod was fully charged and i let myself be taken away by the music until we made it to Manali. Manali is the coolest city ive been to in a while. The tourists are more than i like, mainly because i like being the token wight guy in india, but i couldnt help but fall in love with the city. We left Manali at 6 in the morning and traveled across two states which is about a 16 hour car ride, stopping at Mcdonalds and a vegetarian restaurant on the way back to Woodstock. The Mcdonalds here is pretty funny. There is a sign that says "No beef or pork products sold here." Kinda beats the purpose of a Mcdonalds but whatever. We finally reached the Hanifl Centre by 11 that night and i crashed hard.
This morning i got to wake up at about 8 and talk to Tori and my mom. I knew i would miss them but i didnt think it would be this bad. After about 2 hours of skyping the gap guys and i went to the Rockaby manner for an amazing, well deserved, lunch. I came back down from Landor and took a nap to make the day even better. The Kutty briefed us on our upcoming adventure. Tomorrow we leave for about 19 days to go stay at the NIM, National Institute of Mountaineering, and we will be hiking a peck of about 19 to 20000 feet. Im so ready for this my skin is crawling. This is going to be real backpacking and im so excited. I stayed on the Internet long enough to be on when Tori woke up so i talked to her a little more then went to dinner and staff night before returning back to the Hanifl Centre and talking with Ingrid and Lindsay about our trip to Spitti. Even though ive spent only a short time here i feel like Woodstock school has become a second home, especially now that i have friends here. I walked Ingrid and Lindsay back to their apartment and they gave me some butterscotch ice cream in return. Even though im Lactose intolerant i ate every bite of that ice cream because it might be the best thing ill have in while. India camp food isnt the best but i cant complain. On may way back to the Hanifl Centre an easy 25 min uphill walk a moped came up behind me and it was an employee of the Hanifl Centre that lead us on our first hike. His name is T-2 and he offered to give me a ride up the hill. I was so excited to ride on a moped and not have to walk that i basically jumped at the opportunity and we zoomed around the windings hills with me on the back laughing hysterically with how much fun i was having. Now that ive given you the run down ill tell you guys that i wont be able to post again for almost another 3 weeks so dont bother checking until October 16. Wish me luck.

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