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India trip

Day 8

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October 16

Had a good nights sleep except the monkeys did visit after dark for the first time. Usually they are our morning friends. Also Glenn did get to hear whatever it is running in the space above our bed. It was a little cloudy when we woke up, a first for the trip. We are hoping it clears up for our hike up Flag hill. We ordered and ate our breakfast with the Weidmans up in our lounge area. We could sure get used to having someone fix and deliver breakfast every morning. Afterwards we got water and headed out for our hike. I can now say I hiked in the Himalaya mountains. We had to walk quite a ways just to get to our hiking spot. Flag Hill is a Tibetan holy mountain that has...you guessed it flags hanging all over up the trail and at the summit. They are Tibetan prayer flags and they made a lovely noise as the wind blew them. The hike was pretty steep at times and the trail was narrow but not a bad hike over all. When we reached the summit it was still cloudy over the snows, which are the Himalayan mountains that are perpetually covered in snow. We had hope to be able to see them but unfortunately didn't. The view was still breathtakingly beautiful. On our hike back, luckily as we were near the end, my boot felt funny and I looked down and noticed the heel was coming off my left boot. It was just part of it so I sort of hobbled the rest of the way. According to Glenn's GPS we hiked about 8.8 miles so not a bad day's hike and I figured we could pretty much eat whatever we wanted for lunch and feel we deserved it! We had momos and shaphaley. Spaphaley is fried bread stuffed with meat, ours was pork, and veggies. It is very yummy. Think of a cross between a giant eggroll and a calzone, fried. Of course we had hot tea as we have had with most meals except dinners due to caffeine intake. And of course the tea was with milk and sugar. Yum! After a bit of a rest Glenn took my boots to the bazaar to the shoemaker, sorry not elves involved, and left them to be fixed while he walked around the bazaar. I was up at Doma's reading and resting my poor little piggies. But now my boots are once again made for walking or hiking as the case may be. It cost all of 50 Ruppees which is roughly but not quite a dollar! A bargain at twice the price. We also got our laundry back, all nicely cleaned, ironed and folded! I usually don't iron my socks but hey, it's all good. We went to Tenzing's house for dinner tonight. Several of us that were there were together last night. It was a great evening of laughter and more stories. We had a wonderful Burmese dinner and lots of wine and/or other drinks. A great time was had by all! We are now home and trying to get things ready for leaving here tomorrow.

Posted by MaryDavis 09:57 Archived in India Comments (0)

India Trip

Day 7

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October 15

Glenn had a good night's sleep and I had an okay one. Something was chewing on wood above our bed during the night and it kept me awake some of the time. Not sure what it was but I could hear it walking and then chewing. This morning while waiting for breakfast the langur monkeys came out. They are much bigger than the rhesus monkeys that we have typically seen so far. They were running all over our roof and the house next to us. One of them had stolen a bag from someone that had food in it and he sat on top of the house next to us and ate it. There were about 4 different ones and they were all different sizes. Not sure if Glenn got a good pic or not. We sent our dirty clothes out to be laundered. Used to be they beat it on a rock to clean it but am hoping they have an actual machine to wash. Will probably be hung to dry as that is what we see everywhere around here. When we first got here I did see a young man washing his jeans with a bucket of water, some soap and a scrubbing brush. He laid they out on a rock wall and scrubbed them clean. I took a picture but didn't get him actually scrubbing them. They charge by the piece but can't imagine it is much. We went and visited one of the places Glenn lived as a child. It had changed a lot as so much has. He showed me where they used to play and where different stories I have heard many times occured. Then we walked on down to Woodstock, his school. We had lunch there and then took a tour of the school. It was very nice and once again things had changed. The Weidmans were with us during this time and Glenn and Tim kept reminiscing about where they had this class (now an office) and where they did went for something else (now a classroom). After the tour the Weidman's kids went to a couple classes and we headed back to the alumni office and picked out Woodstock t-shirts. We then walked back to our room for tea time and a rest. We all went to another of Glenn's classmate's house for dinner. There were 5 men (or over grown boys by the way they all talked around each other) from the class of 1980. We spent a fun and lively evening there and then got a ride back home. It was a full and fun day. We were up later than any other evening so far!

Posted by MaryDavis 08:56 Archived in India Comments (0)

India Trip

Day 6

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October 14

Woke up after a good night's sleep. We had a leisurely morning. We cleaned up in our funky shower that is just a shower head on the wall with a shower curtain behind to keep the water from hitting the other wall. The drain is just a hole in the wall behind the toilet and the water just runs down the floor to the hole. But the water was warm (after we turned the hot water heater on and waited a bit) and it felt good. We had breakfast up in our sitting area and enjoyed the cool air and the beautiful view. We had a driver come and we drove around through the mountains to some areas that were too far to really hike to. Our driver was a nice young man who has lived in Mussoorie all his life. It was very twisty and winding driving but not as crazy since less traffic. After our driving around we came back and ordered lunch and talk with Glenn's friends. It was a nice relaxing time. After a bit of a rest we hiked down to the bazaar and looked around. I did some shopping and got a few gifts. It was much nicer shopping because there was no pressure and no gimicks. The walk was very steep at times but we both did well even with the altitude. We had a good dinner back at Doma's. Each time we eat here we try something new. They have a good size menu so it has been fun to experiment. We read, did email and went to bed early again.

Posted by MaryDavis 04:13 Archived in India Comments (0)

India Trip

Day 5

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October 13

We got up early after not sleeping well due to the people staying above us making lots of clomping and furniture moving noises in the middle of the night. We got cleaned up, packed, checked out and got into our car with the same driver we had. He took us to the train station and was very nice to help us in and get all situated. We were in first class which is truly the only way to travel on a train in India. It is not as luxurious as it sounds but the other alternatives are crowded to rather primitive in the 3rd class. Our train trip was just over 5 hours long and it was very nice. We saw lots of country side and of course more of the shanty town areas too. As we approached Dehradun we began to see the foothills of the Himalaya mountains. We were met by a new driver who didn't say a word to us just motioned to follow him. We missed Ishwa but we will have him back later. Our drive up to Mussoorie was rather harrowing. There were many many hairpin turns up steep mountainside. All that with the extreme lack of driving rules. At times the road was very narrow and a straight drop down. We even saw an accident that had just happened where a car had gone off the road and was a good 300 yards down the side of the mountain. When we finally arrived at Doma's Inn, which is owned by Glenn's childhood friend, Tenzing. We have a nice room here with a great view. Glenn and his friend were busy catching up when another friend and his family arrived to stay at the inn also. Tenzing didn't know they were coming as his wife had made the reservation. Glenn was thrilled and a mini reunion is in the works for Monday evening at Tenzing's house. His friend, Tim, and family are 1 week into a 7 week travel. They are going all over with starting in Italy, doing India and going to the Philippines. Not sure where else. They arranged with their 2 kids' teachers to get their work done on line. As we were outside talking a large monkey suddenly ran by and jumped on a nearby roof an ran off. Later when we were in our room we heard several monkeys on our roof hooting and running around. Hopefully no more monkeys jumping on the roof over night! We stayed in and had dinner here which was very tasty. Glenn posted some pics on Facebook and we talked to Laura on the phone and then went on to bed. No late nights for us!

Posted by MaryDavis 04:10 Archived in India Comments (0)

India Trip

Day 4

October 12

We slept in! Our beds were very comfy and it was quiet here so we slept. When we did wake up we had a leisurely morning and took our time getting ready. We went down for our breakfast which they had a huge array of foods in a buffet. Our breakfast came with our room and we had pancakes, chicken sausage and pineapple juice. We also had a little donut and several cups of coffee and hot tea. We came back up to our room and Glenn got a few things done and I read a bit resting some more. We headed out for our day late in the morning. Glenn had decided we would walk to a shopping area he remembered as a child. We were constantly being solicited for rides, tours you name it. That is until a young man who was a student came up and Glenn asked him for directions. He showed us the way talking with Glenn and "practicing his English". He assured us he didn't want money but was just doing it so he could talk to us. He was very nice and helpful. The really nice thing was that while we were with him and talking as we walked nobody else bothered us assuming we were under his care which we were just not for compensation. When he came to his apartment he pointed us in the right direction and went his way. An older man (probably closer to our age) helped us get all the way where we were going. He also was very friendly and helpful and eager to talk in English for practice. While we were at the indoor "mall" for lack of a better word, we looked at rugs, carvings and jewelry. The people there were very anxious to make a sell but we were just looking so we didn't buy anything. It was fun but tiring too. After our good walk there we had decided to catch a ride back to our hotel. A young man approached us about a ride and we decided to go with him since he seemed a good match. We found out he is 21 years old and going to school here. He was born in Delhi so knew the city well. He using his uncle's autoscooter and drives it on the days he is not in school. He reminded us of Jonathan and we decided we could see Jonathan doing a job like this for extra money. We got back to the hotel and Glenn remembered that he had not looked for a battery charger since he had left his plugged in with his spare battery at home. So the young man drove us to the big out door mall to a camera shop but they did not have a charger to sell but did charge Glenn's one battery a good charge while we ran around a bit to see some more sites. After we got back to our hotel we rested, read and did work on our computers. For dinner we both decided that the pizza the night before was good enough to have again. We will be going to bed early as we have an early morning train to catch. More on our travels tomorrow.

Posted by MaryDavis 04:04 Archived in India Comments (0)

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