I went to Dharamshala over the weekend. It is where the Dalai Lama lives and has his temple (of course we went to the temple). Located at the foothills of the Himalayas, it was quite cold in the 50s, but very beautiful with snow capped Mountains as a backdrop. It felt like we were in Tibet. It is one of the largest sites for Tibetans refugees. Everything was Tibetan – made me want to visit Tibet now.
It is obviously a tourist center, so has a lot of shopping, hotels and restaurants. The food is again marvelous (had the best curry of my life here) and you can find dishes from around the world. It is a very busy but peaceful place. There are many foreigners there to learn yoga and massage therapy etc from the Masters. It offers many outdoor activities, treks, mountain hikes, boats etc, as well as, spa treatments, meditation and yoga opportunities. Everything is very reasonably priced some may even say cheap, in comparison to the cost in The States. Thus, it makes extended stays for things like yoga courses very practical.
We planned on staying one night there but few buses return to Dehradun from there per day and to our surprise, they fill up quickly. So, we bought tickets for the next day’s departure and were excited to stay another day. The last night in Dharamshala we switched hotels from the former for 3000 rupees to one for 1000 rupees. The more expensive one was more comfortable of course but they were both a great value for the price.
I slept on the floor at the first more expensive hotel, on a mattress with clean sheets, because there was only one queen sized bed and there were three of us. We could have all fit on the bed but somehow they got lice while in India so I was happy on the floor. It was actually quite comfortable and probably my best night of sleep yet because I had my own heater (200 rupees extra) while they had an electric blanket to share. I got a bed in the hotel we switched to which also offered a heater with a surcharge, however the comforters were a little more questionable and with no electric blanket it had a great distance to heat. The problem is, the heaters where warmed coiled wire that radiated heat to a limited square footage. Needless to say, it was cold. I did not sleep at all, that combined with the incessant cold weather and perpetual cloudy sky, constant buzzing of the town, no sense of personal space, constant fear of my toes being run over by moving vehicles and anxiety about spending too much money put me in a funk. It was time to go. Patti would prove to be a much needed escape. Bye Dharamshala until next time, you are beautiful and I will be back.
Got word that the other student who was supposed to join me is not coming this month. So I will be continuing this journey alone. Pray for me!
Ahh, beautiful, busy, pleasantly peaceful Dharamshala, until next time, Namaste…