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Brad’s Travel Diary

Thursday, 06 Oct 2005

Location: McLeod Ganj, India

MapFor those of you who have been wondering where I've been the last week or two, the reason why I havn't been updating the website is because I've been pretty sedantry and don't really have anything of specatular interest to write about!

I had a pretty terrible time in Lahore, was really sick for about a week with a weird virus (I suspected malaria...) and even passed out in the hostel and ended up in a Pakistani hospital! Not good...Lahore was pretty cool nonetheless with a huge old fort and one of the biggest mosques in the world. I just managed to get up on me feet and see these the day before my visa finished.

I crossed the border into India on the 21st of September, five months after arriving in Istanbul and the day my Paksitan visa ran out. I decided to leave a bit early just to be careful, and it was a good thing I did because I only just made it across the border - it closes at 3pm! Me and another Japanese backpacker were the last ones across the border, we had to bolt across no-mans-land before they shut the gates! Not the best thing to be doing with backpacks when you're still crook as hell.

My first stop in India was Amritsar, home to the Golden Temple and the largest population of Sikhs in India. I met a cool Sikh guy at the temple, he showed me around and took me for a free meal which is doled out to the thousands of pilgrims that visit the temple each day. The temple itself is huge, a massive courtyard with a huge pool in the centre, with the golden temple itself floating in the middle of the pool. Inside there are loads of people, some playing music and reading from the Sikh holy book.

After Amritsar I headed north to McLeod Ganj, home of the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan Government in Exile...and I've been here ever since. It's a really cool little town, packed with tourists, but thats actually a nice change. I've been doing some of the various courses run in the town for tourists, including how to cook delicious Indian and Tibetan food, yoga (ouch) and even reiki. I've also been delving into Buddhist philosophy thanks to the Tibetan library, which is very interesting. I even got to see the Dalai Lama himself the other day, as he flashed passed in a car on his way back from America.

So, no more adventures for a little while, I'm taking a holiday from my travels. I've rented a nice hotel room, eating great food (Japanese, Indian, Korean, Tibetan, Italian, you name it, and never pay more than $3 a meal!), seeing lots of movies and just genrally chilling out...