5.18.2008

Glass Half Full

I just passed the halfway point on my trip yesterday. We were lucky enough to make friends with a very sweet Tibetan lady and she invited us to a Tibetan wedding. My friends had been to a Hindu wedding, but this was (according to them) very different. We drank "salty" chai and never ever want to again. They took four tasty things: tea, milk, salt, and butter and made something [shudder] not so tasty with them. It's a cultural thing, of course, and we did at least *try* it.
We just got back from visiting a Buddhist monastary (in Thiksey) and walking 3 or 4 miles to a ruined palace (in Shey). Tomorrow we will go on an overnight trek. It's something we set up with the cousin of the woman who invited us to the wedding. *Much* cheaper that way.
We've also arranged for a shared Jeep (taxi) to Menali, over one of the highest and most spectacular highways in the world. I'm told motorcyclists travel here to drive over it. It's not officially open yet, so I'll probably post a message saying "ok, we're leaving" and a confirming "ok, we've arrived" so you all can raise hell if something happens to us in between (as we will be travelling at our own risk).

This has been a very interesting experience so far, and I'm very fortunate in my travelling companions. I wish I could post pictures, but I think it would be too complicated and expensive (as I am paying 1.5 rupees for every minute I'm online). So, you'll just have to wait.

Until next time!
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Oh, I meant to post something additional:
I've borrowed a friend's GPS receiver and have been wanting to give coordinates and link to an online map, but have yet to find an online resource that uses coordinates (like I think Google Earth does).
Here they are anyway (I'll transcribe them as exactly as I can, but I'm not sure why the E coordinate has a 0 or an O in front of it):
Glacier View Hotel (Leh, India):
N 34deg 10.096'
E077deg 35.007'
Elev. 11574 ft.
(accurate up to 21 feet)
If any of you has any helpful links, post it in the comments. Thanks!

9 comments:

brenda013 said...

Right! After the "ok, we are leaving," I will wait with bated breath until the "ok, we have arrived."
Arrrgh!

Rebekah said...

Anne,
Glad you're having a blast. My mom is envious of you. She would love to see elephants in their natural habitat and wants to ride one. Hope you get a picture that I can share with her.

Tania said...

Here's a link to where Anne is, if anyone wants to stalk her...

Anne's Hotel in Leh

The Grabill Family said...

Thanks for the link, Tania! Wow! That's a bit far for stalking, I'm a lazy stalker and will wait until she returns to the US. :-)

brenda013 said...

Thanks, Tania! I went to the link but couldn't find Anne. However, I did forget my binoculars and magnifying glass, so I dare say I can try again. Interesting place.

brenda013 said...

Gosh, I went back to the link and did the "terrain", "satellite", and "picture" bits. It is very impressive and very arid and rugged terrain. Love the pictures.

belsum said...

Thanks so much for that link! It was incredible zooming out and seeing the mountains come into focus. You're so close to Srinagar in Jammu-Kashmir! That's on my list of places to visit.

John Cutrell said...

This is awesome, Anne. I'm suddenly got very jealous when I saw the terrain and proximity to Nepal. This is quite different from what I imagined... the sweaty slums of Calcutta... :-)

Anne C. said...

Thanks so much, Tania! That was perfect (eerily perfect, since the arrow was pointing at the rooftop where I got my reading). You're wonderful.
Yes, I am up in the mountains. It's very much like Colorado, in fact, except a little more arid and there is less vegetation. Ladakh, the region in which I am staying (technically part of Jammu-Kashmir, but they are trying to become an independent union state) is also called "Little Tibet" because a) it used to be part of Tibet and b) because so many Tibetans live here. I have seen quite a few beautiful Buddhist monastaries.

Rebekah, I have only seen one elephant so far, and was unable to get very close to it. It was in Agra and we were on the way to catch a bus, but I snapped one from afar. It was cooling itself off by throwing dust on itself.