Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Momos for lunch!

I've arrived in McLeod Ganj just slighlty bruised after the bus journey.
McLeod Ganj is a stange mixture of Tibetan, Western and Indian infulences. As the headquarters of the Dali Lama there is monks walking about the streets in the robes all the time. (as well as the cows, and occasional monkey!)
Monks and monkeys
Just the monkeys
Lazy streetside cows
Tibetan flags adorning a building
Sneaky cow attacks toursits photographing monkeys!
Erm.. a cow
Monkey eating

Perched above Dharmasala only proper taxis and motorbikes can get up the hills so no noisy autorickshaws in the streets here.
Views down from McLeod Ganj
Dogs take a nap
Still napping
Menancing looking monkey with kid
View back to McLeod Ganj from a walk
Hazy close-up
Goat herding
Goats everywhere!
Monkey and mini-monkey
Pensive monkey ponders future of monkeykind

There is a lot of courses about meditation and yoga here, however I opted for a quick class in dumpling making (cue dumpling jokes)! The Tibetan dumpling is known as a momo. I spent a few hours with a chef and the one other attendee, Canadian mountain biker Steve, learning how to make momos. They come in a variety of folded shapes and filling, such as cheese & spinach or even chocolate. You are supposed to fold the dough in a certain way and it looks good when the chef, Sangye, done it but mine were a bit of a mess!

Still at least they tasted okay and Sangye also cooked up a deep fried egg roll which despite the sound was quite tasty!

I've also went to the unprouncable Tsuglagkhang complex where the Dali Lama resides, unfortuantely he was out for lunch!
At least the monks were there flamyboyantly arguing with each other about Buddhism.
More arguing
And more monks in the complex

There was an excellent museum there about the Tibetan struggle to maintain their culture and identity under the threat of the Chinese. It featured stories about people escaping across the Himalayas from Tibet to here. There is quite a few beggars with severe disabilites and amputees which may be from frostbite.

Today I was awoken by an earthquake, overall I prefer alarm clocks. It was probably fairly minor but certaintly a suprise!

Close to the hotel there was a stupa which I took a walk down to.
Lots of stairs
Tibetan stupa

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