My last week in India was a wonderfully easy-going ride in the north. I took a noisy bus to McLeod Ganj (Upper Dharamasala) in Himachal Pradesh, where it was nice to have a breather after several days of fast-paced sight-seeing. I met a great group of people in the chilly little village bordering the Himalayas, and spent the whole week working on revisions in the very cozy Cafe Arabica, battling Delhi Belly while trying to continue inhaling as many delicious momos as humanly possible, and puzzling out the mysteries of the universe (no, really...) on rooftops beneath the stars.
I also managed to time it right for seeing the Dalai Lama speak--pretty incredible to witness, as he's just decided to step down as a political leader, though I couldn't understand a word, as it was all in Tibetan--as well as observing Holy Day for the Hindus--essentially, a big party where everyone throws paint at one another.
I made cursory attempts at yoga (my stomach rebelled both times) and meditation (where, thinking I had succeeded in my intense focus on the third eye, I suddenly realized I had been worrying about my taxes for several minutes...), and did some light walking around the beautiful scenery. Then I headed to Delhi, where I spent approximately one and a half hours before heading to the airport and Nepal. In the airport a man farted on me, loudly and deliberately. Farewell, India.
I've been in Kathmandu now for a few days, getting last minute stuff together for my trek to Everest Base Camp. Hooohah! I'm so freaking excited for this thing. I met my group of five (plus me) today, and what a bunch of awesome, interesting people they are! We've got a Romanian ex-pat who has repeatedly circled the globe, a Bostonian bad-ass who used to run for Nike and is now a master of Haiku, an English ex-pat who has already run several marathons this year and has hiked everything from Rainier to Aconcagua, and a Californian couple (IT guy and former professional ballerina) who went to Botswana on their honeymoon. All are definitely (as REI requests) "infused with a sense of adventure."
Oh, man. This is going to be amazing. I'll be "going dark" for two weeks, obviously, so stay tuned for an update when I've returned from thin air...