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Tamarra’s Travel Diary

Wednesday, 11 Apr 2007

Location: Dharmsala, India

MapHello All! TAKE TWO! I am always frustrated when I have to write an email or blog a second time. It is never as passionate or well written but here we go anyway! I haven't been writing much lately because I have slowed down my pace a lot! I needed to rest a bit. But that doesn't mean that amazing things don't happen everyday! My trip to Dharmsala was a long one. 12 hours on a train, which arrived at 3:30am (ouch!!!!) never makes for a good nights sleep! Then I hired a taxi with three others and we wentthree hours up the mountain and finally arrived in the small town of McCleod Ganj. Here I look out my window and admire the snow covered peaks! It is a nice change from the 40 plus weather I was experiencing in Rajisthan. Here the days are in the mid to high 20's and the evenings around 18 degrees. The most incredible thing about Mcleod Ganj is it is the home of the Dalai Lama. Being here is like being in another country. All of the people are Tibetan. They are also Buddhist. This gives a whole different feel to the place. The people are kind and less in your face. However, there is also a saddness here that I can't explain. The Tibetans have been driven out of their own country by the Chinese. The young man who works at my guesthouse spent 45 days hiking across the Himalayas at night and hiding during the day. Two people in his group died making the journey. When he arrived in India he spoke no Tibetan and knew very little about his culture. Here he has learned his language and about his culture in free Tibetan school's. They are funded by donations and the Tibetan government. Many Tibetan's have died fighting for their cause. More people are imprisoned every year. I am once again grateful to have been born in Canada a free country where multiculturalism is embrassed. I am certain that during the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing there will be more protests, blood shed and arrests! This will be interesting to watch. What will we hear and see in the international media???
On a lighter note I have spent the last few days hiking and tomorrow I am going on a big hike up to the snow line. There I will make my first snow ball in over 12 months! FUN! I still have the Taj Mahal and the sacred city of Veranasi to see. It will be well over 40 degrees by the time I get there, but some things can't be missed! Who knows when I will get to come back next! I hope you are all well! Love, Tamarra