Retroblog – Dharamsala

Revisiting an epic trip.

One of the most epic trips of our year in India involved our travels from Delhi to the remote village of Dharamsala in the foothills of the Himalaya, where we met up with old friends for a few days around New Years’ Eve. The travel itself was the most challenging – but the time in Dharamsala, with its visit to a school for Tibetan refugee children, and the headquarters-in-exile of the Dalai Lama, was entrancing. A hike up to snowy Triund Pass on a sunny New Year’s Day offered incredible views. Check out the story of the round-trip journey, of Dharamsala itself, and our hike on New Year’s Day, for the full story. It’s worth a visit!

We stop at a tea stall, while hiking with the Hookes to Triund pass in Dharamsala.

New Year’s day

Hiking to Triund pass above Dharamsala.

Following our 25-year tradition, I spent New Year’s day hiking with my Dartmouth friends David and Kathy. This year, we have our families along, including Benjamin (age 4).   Read on and check out the photo gallery.

Chubbers in the Himalaya! David with Kathy and David in the Triund pass above Dharamsala, India, on New Year’s day.
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Three days in Dharamsala over the New Year’s holiday.

Dharamsala [location] is about as close to being in Tibet you can get and still be in India. Strictly speaking, we visited McLeod Ganj, sometimes known as upper Dharamsala. This quaint little town clings to the hillside, with narrow streets and buildings packed closely together.  It is a major tourist destination, because it is the home of the Tibetan government in exile, and a beautiful place with friendly people. Read on and check out the photos.

Dharamsala sunset.
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To and from Dharamsala

An arduous journey – both ways!

It’s 2am and time to stop for a tea break.  The sleepy roadside teawallah, bundled up against the damp chill, fires up his two-burner stove and puts the tea on. Platters of fried snacks beckon, but I’m not sure how long they’ve been there. In any case, greasy food is not advisable: in a few minutes we’ll be back on the dark road, barreling at high speed up twisty narrow mountain roads in dense fog, Bollywood music cranked to the max, swerving around heavy trucks coming downhill. Read on, and hang on: this is a rough ride…

It was cold and dark, but the roadside teawallah took off his outer wrap for this photo.
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