Monthly Archives: July 2015

Dharmsala to Sri Lanka

Dharmsala to Sri Lanka (before you ask we didn’t get lost, but we didn’t make it to the Golden Temple or to Goa)

We have had an amazing week being minor celebrities and visiting more areas in India.

Dharmsala was nothing like we expected, it was definitely one of those areas where the journey to and from it was better than the destination its self.

On our way to see the Golden Temple we took a detour to see some stone carved temples which led us off course, which was fine as we thought we could do a day trip from Chandigarh.

On our way to Chandigarh we stumbled across the Anandpur Sahib also known as ‘the holy city of bliss’ which is a very prominent Sikh temple, it was very impressive but we didn’t feel the need to go to the Golden Temple especially when we learnt it would take us a further 5 hours by car.

Once In Chandigarh we caught a train to Mumbai, although the journey was 28 hours long it was really interesting watching the countryside and the way people live and much more comfortable than our over night train journeys in China, but we did miss our good friends Ian and Candy and Clive and Liz for company.

We have learnt the hard way what it is like to cycle in the south of India during the monsoon season. It is either really hot and humid, drizzly (most of the time) or throwing it down, so your constantly wet. The roads in Mumbai are in an awful condition, they flood easily and the traffic is complete chaos, there are no lanes and no rules that anyone abides by. After being in Mumbai for a couple of days and checking the weather and road conditions for Goa we have decided to head for the sun a little earlier than planned. This is a shame because we both wanted to cycle the coastal road to Goa but as the conditions are so bad we don’t think we would enjoy it, or be able to appreciate the views as it is misty most of the time – maybe we will get time before we fly home…

Instead of going to Goa we have decided to do a little detour to Sri Lanka, apparently the elephant gatherings begin during July and August and this is something we would really like to see. We have done some research and the weather and cycling conditions are suppose to be really good, so we aim to stay in Sri Lanka for a month and then head to Indonesia, from there we will fly to Vietnam. But as you can see from this blog we are very flexible and may change our plans again once we reach Sri Lanka.

Hope life is treating you well

love and kisses

Ginette and Gary
XX

Manali to Dharmsala

Day 97 to 105
Manali to Dharmsala

India so far has been colourful, noisy, full of animals, dirty and interesting

We stayed in Manali to recuperate and to re think the next stage of our trip. The monsoons have hit northern India and when it rains, boy does it rain. So we have decided we will head to Indonesia (which is dry and sunny) but before we go we want to experience as much of India as we can.

Following a recommendation we have cycled to Dharmsala (home of the Dalai Lama (and a place the Beatles apparently visited), it has taken three days and we have already seen a different side of India to that offered in Delhi and the tourist areas of Leh and Manali. The roads and towns are quieter and the locals are more welcoming although we have encountered more wildlife including wild monkeys.

Tomorrow we will head to Punjab to see the Golden Temple before heading to Chandigarh to catch a train down to Mumbai so that we can cycle the coastal road to Goa before heading to Indonesia.

hope all is well with everyone reading this

Take care

Love Ginette and Gary

Please note the photos are in reverse date order

take care

Leh to Manali – Mission aborted

Mission aborted – Leh to Manali Highway (highway to hell for us -but an ‘adventure’)

What can we say….

We fell ill in Leh and should have delayed our trip but were keen to start the next stage of our journey.

Day one we achieved 13,000 feet but suffered for it

Day two another 1,000 feet in less than 2 hours and we had to stop

Day three, climbed another 2,000 feet and hitched a lift to the highest point and cycled down to Pang one of the hardest cycling days of our lives, the conditions were hard but for us our health was the stumbling block not necessarily the road conditions.

Day four, aborted mission and hitched a lift in an oil tanker, what an experience, we’re not sure this was the easy option. Some people would pay a fortune for the thrilling, dangerous experience. Finished by spending the night with a snoring sheik in a cab at the top of a snow clad, foggy mountain and this was a relief.

Day five, arrived in Manali safe and sound but still in need of some recovery time.

Leh

Leh

A short update we have landed safety In Leh.

Internet connection and phone access is really poor up here so we’re taking this opportunity to give you a quick update.

Leh is a strange place, much bigger than we thought it would be and full of tourist, it has taken 4 days but the area has slowly growing on us

There’s lots of opportunities to do trekking, rafting, cycling and touring at altitude, we have done none of these as we have been struggling with a bit of Delhi belly and acclimatising. Hopefully we will start the Leh to Manila highway tomorrow or the next day depending on our tums.

next update in 10 days

take care

Ginette and Gary