Sunday, 22 April 2012

Bhagsu training

Want to get fit super fast? Come to Bhagsu (India) and stay in a hotel at the top of the hill, near Singh Corner. Whatever you do, shopping, eating, even just wandering around, you have to walk up the extremely steep hill at least a couple times each day. The thin mountain air makes breathing just that little more difficult. 10 steps and your chest'll be heaving. By the time you leave you'll be fit enough to run a marathon.

Raining in Bhagsu

It's raining in Bhagsu, Dharumsala. The rain is beautiful, even more beautiful now we're back at our hotel, sitting propped in bed with the windows open, leggings, socks, pants, t-shirt, jumper, 2 scarves and blankets. Still cold but warming up.

I've my book and I understand a cup of hot chai is on it's way...made the local way and hand delivered by my mate bed (thanks C!).

The rain is getting heavier and heavier and I'm glad I'm rugged up at the hotel.

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Mama Momo's momos

Mama Momo's momos in Mcleod (near Dharumsala, India) come highly recommended, at least by me, my cousin J and my mate, C.

A momo is similar to a dumpling, but is momo (more) delicious.

Mama Momo presides over her Tibetan kitchen cafe in Mcleod, comfortable with certain knowledge her cafe is one of the best. Beating off annoying travellers.

Not impressed by requests for garlic sauce on the side, and extra tofu on top. Menus snatched from the travellers and slapped on top of the fridge.

Not impressed by an arrogant smoker, smoking inside the cafe, "be careful if police come they will fine you, and be careful of me too!"

Our momos came out. Steamed vege momo with sweet soy sauce. Steamed spinach momo with sweet soy sauce - the freshest green food we've eaten since arriving. Scurvy worries (at least mine) resolved. Fried cheese, which is really fried vege momo with a little cheese. Not as fat-bomb as we initially thought.

Halfway through we realise our mistake. So many momo's, will send us into a momocoma. Leaving for momonap.

Mama Momo even has change for a 500 rupee note. We love Mama Momo.

Sunday, 15 April 2012


To imagine India: tis not difficult.

Close your eyes and imagine polluted air with the smell of incense and spices and poo. Picture crumbling buildings and extremes in opposite nature, beautiful architecture and utter disrepair. Add a generous number of cows wandering around, and also plenty of dogs and goats. Groups of Indian men staring at you, uninterupted and unashamedly. People bugging you at every corner offering goods, services, rides, food or asking for money. Cars, bikes, trucks, tractors, rickshaws, vehicles of all kinds swarm the streets swerving for the smallest of gaps. Imagine beeping and honking, constantly. Constantly. Beep beeeeep beep beeeeeep beep. The road rules here are easy: beep, wave (with your hand), flash your lights, and pray for good luck. We've seen 5 car accidents in the past 3 days. It is so noisy here.

Men who run the shops will strike conversation with any westerner. "Hello madam ji, you are good?...where are you from?...would you like to see my shop?..." It is always the same.

There are places here though that somehow feel so peaceful. When you stand in these places it all just stops and the beeping ceases and it's just you in the quiet.

We're exploring Jaipur tomorrow: the pink city. I'm so excited - we only arrived here a few hours ago but already this place is incredible. I can hear beeping from my hotel room but it's a fair way off and it is lovely up here in our beautiful room.