Saturday, January 19, 2019

A Photo Journal: Around Dharamsala

Below are my favorite photos from my time in and around Dharamsala.

McLeod Ganj, a suburb of Dharamsala, is in the Himachal Pradesh state of India.
At 6800 ft, the hill city is surrounded by a dense coniferous forest of Deodar cedars.

The colorful buildings are stacked one on top of the other.
Navigating the steep terrain requires a good set of lungs. 

An up-close view; it's all in the details.

I was fascinated by the entryways, many which are inscribed
with the occupant's name, house number, and case number.

This building was being constructed next door to the building where I rented a room.
It was fascinating to watch the construction;
it made me wonder how the buildings would fare in an earthquake.

The Main Square is alive with constant hustle & bustle.
If you stopped and watched for awhile, you noticed a rhythm to the chaos.
Crossing the street was like momentarily walking
through a massive group dancing The Macarena.

The streets are narrow, which makes traffic an exercise in exactitude.
The drivers are incessantly polite honkers.
and well-skilled in navigating the svelte streets;
the automobiles show few scars from passing battle wounds.

I am glad I did not bring my bicycle on this trip to India.
It was complicated enough navigating
amongst the wheeled and foot traffic on my own two feet.
I did take to a lot of the two-wheeled motorized vehicles, though.
The Royal Enfields, of which there were many, are gorgeous.

This image of a tuk-tuk next to the Shiva billboard is classic.

Food trucks are popular in the Pacific Northwest, where I live.
So I chuckled when I saw this food truck.

Not all street food was as appealing.
This man was trying to keep his momos from getting soggy.

I loved the name of this road-side cafe.
I asked the proprietor why he chose to name his shop "Cafe by Mistake."
In his broken English, he replied that he liked the sound of it.

Of all the possible franchises,
I was surprised to see a Pizza Hut in McLeod Ganj.
These men sure were enjoying themselves outside the pizza joint...

...while around the corner, this Tibetan woman rested
on the step of another establishment.

I loved seeing the Tibetans and Indians
co-existing together in harmony.

Those requesting alms were congregated outside
the Dalai Lama's temple.

The people-watching was fantastic.
Oh, the hair!

My friend, Ron, (of Bajaroad trip, and Warm Shower fame)
and I had a few days of overlap together in Dharamsala,
as Ron traveled to India to take the yoga course after mine.
It was fun to hang out with a familiar face.
Here Ron does his best to dress like a local.

On occasion, I donned the local headwear as well.

Traveling has a wonderful way of providing for lifelong friendships.
This is me and Lisa.
Though our paths crossed for only a few days, we were besties for all those days.

This map shows all the best hikes and treks in the nearby mountains.

I loved the way this doggie looked at me.
It was hard to tell if his head was cocked,
or whether the dog's head was straight and the sidewalk was cocked.

These street dogs have definitely found their space --
on a comfy pile of roadside sand.

This structure shares little resemblance to the Hard Rock Cafes back home.

I love this wine shop,
whose inventory consisted of beverages...

...and toilet paper.
There's no better combo than wine'n'TP.

Golly gee wilikers, is that a Little Free Library?
Be still my beating heart, why yes it is!

Look at all the treatments -- specific and non-specific alike!
I'll take a #5 and a #9, please.

Rows'n'rows of roadside-can't-live-without trinkets were available for purchase.

I passed this lovely family dozens of times.
That sat on the side of the road, day-in and day-out, earning their pay.
Dad played the music, mom sang, and the children beamed their ear-to-ear grins.

The playgrounds weren't the most appetizing...

...nor were the dumpsters.

This dumpster, up the road from the Common Ground Cafe,
provided a dependable source of entertainment;
there was always a troop of monkeys picking through the smokey rubble.

I loved this mural... well as this wall, where no bills had been stuck.

Not all painted messages were observed...

...but that doesn't mean all hope has been lost.

Here are two other photo journals from my trip to India:

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