Thursday, November 19, 2015

Last week:  MCLEOD GANJ

I spent my last week in India visiting with friends in Mcleod Ganj.  I arrived was greeted with love by Wangchuk, Phillippa and Rigsel.   Unfortunately after two days, they had emergency medical and had to rush off to Delhi.  So there I was with a five days to spare before my flight out.  What to do? 
Rigsel, Wangchuk, and Phillippa
I spent a lot of time photographing the town and surrounding area. I went to Dharamkot, a small village up the mountain about a mile from Mcleod Ganj.  During previously visits I had never visited this village. Mainly because I enjoy walking to these little villages, and in the past, I had often been told I might meet a pack of rabid dogs on the way.  But this trip I decided to take an auto rickshaw up the mountain to Dharamkot and I am glad I did.   
 I also spent some time with my friend, who with her husband owns the Pema Thang hotel located on a quiet hill directly above the HH Dalai Lama’s Temple. She is also a famous Tibetan Opera singer, who until recently preformed in concerts throughout the world.  Daily I also chatted with my friend who owns the local Book Store, located on the same hill as the Pema Thang.  All in all, it was a wonderful week.

    Because you have already read about Mcleod Ganj in previous blog entries, below you will find photos of the area I have not previously shown, and get a bit of commentary about the new activities I have experienced. Enjoy.

 Mcleod Ganj street scenes: 
Two nuns on their way back to their Nunnery.

The Man on the street who repairs my shoes.

Lunching on the street.

Two locals taking a walk

Tibetan ladies dressed in traditional Tibetan clothes chatting outside
their shop.

Out for their daily walk

Street crowd

The man in his shop, who wraps parcels for mailing.
My wrapped package ready for mailing

A great salon

Typical Mcleod Ganj traffic jam. 

An afternoon in Dharamkott:

Viewing Dharamkot from the hillside

Main Street Dharamkot

Signs on the fence in Dharamkot.  Most of the visitors to this village are young people who are former  Isreally soldiers.
It's a village that caters to youth.  It also has it's own rabbi.

Some photos of Pema Thang Hotel and the view from my favorite room.

My favorite Pema Thang Room with its own baloncy and a view of the hillside.

The His Holliness the Dalai Lama's temple as well as housing for many monks.

A little bird that greeted me every morning

The hillside home of the His Holliness the Dalai Lama, who lives there with
his cat.


Thursday, November 5, 2015

Back to Delhi

               DELHI: TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS (the dentist) AUGUST 2015

It’s the monsoon season, rain is supposed to be coming down in droves.  But wait, I was in Delhi for five days taking care of business, and except for one really nasty late afternoon deluge, during my whole visit, there was only an occasional short burst of afternoon or evening rain daily.  But it was still HOT!        
Over the entry to the hotel 

I decided after my last visit to the Cottage Yes Please that it was becoming too shabby, and I needed a different abode to rest my weary bones.  As I have always enjoyed good service at CYP, I decided to try their new hotel, the NATRAJ, which is located at the opposite end of the same street.  The new hotel is very pleasant, priced right, clean and tidy with the same kind of staff.  I had a lovely room with a window and other then prayer time it was much quieter (note: If you want a room with a window, which I do, you must request it in you reservation).
Front office to Natraj Hotel

This hotel has room service just like the CYP and also a breakfast room.  Unfortunately, they do not have a breakfast service or a morning menu to my taste. 
Although it is not directly across from the Malhotra Restaurant where I have enjoyed many cheap, yet very good Indian meals, I sacrificed myself to walk the few yards down the block to get my morning ‘fix’. It’s still one of the best meal deals in all of Paharganj and Delhi. 
NATRAJ’S location my not be right across from the Malhotra restaurant, but it is situated far enough down the street to make the walk to the metro shorter and less congested. The NATRAJ is now my new home away from home during my next visits to Delhi.
Paharganj street scene

It is time for another visit to Max Private Specialty Hospital, this time to have my ears checked, my teeth cleaned and as usual, to pick up some medications.  After my visit to Max’s dentist, who felt I needed at least two fillings replaced (although she did not want to do the work). I was still concerned about at least one tooth.  Ajee, my friend and favorite auto rickshaw driver took me to a splendid dentist down the block and around the corner from my hotel.  Dr. (Major) Vikrant Walia, EX-Army Dental Surgeon, whose rather primitive office, with equipment left over from e 1930s.  He had acquired the practice of the now deceased, Dr. Chang whose office ads and address are still on the Internet.  Not only did Dr. Walia do a thorough examination of my teeth he also took an x-ray, which cost only 400 Rupees (63 to 65 rupees to a US dollar).  Would I go back again of course.  He really seemed to know his dentistry. But I’ll wait till I get home for a full exam by my wonderful dentist Dr. Terry Max in Boca Raton, Florida.

I also treated my self to a visit to the Infinity Salon, where three delightful young men divided the jobs of a shampoo and hair styling, a pedicure and manicure, all of which together cost a whopping $25 dollars and a $5 tip. My ‘bank’ was still in tact and boy did I feel wonderful. 
the fabulous staff at INFINITY SALON

Now that I had my ‘meds;’ the real reason for this Delhi stop (prescriptions are much cheaper than in the “States” even with drug insurance), I was really to go Mcleod Ganj for a last visit with my friends Phillippa, Wangchuk and little Rigsel before heading off to England.
Inside a shopping center near Max Hospital

Members of the political Gandi family surrounding the image of "Gandi the father of modern India" who is no relation to this family of the same name.

1)    When I go to Delhi I use the Metro, which I find a good transportation option.  Instead of buying a tourist card or cuing for single tickets, I go to the kiosk and buy a ‘TRAVEL CARD.  The initial cost is 200 rupees and I can get at least three days of Metro travel for my money with little none of the hassle or expense of the other two options.
2)    Three great shopping venues:  THE SHOP, 10 Regal Building, Parliament Street Connaught Place, Delhi; FABINDIA and INOKI both at Kahn Market.  All sell great clothes, linens, and sundry other items, which can be great gifts.  All shops also have other locations around the city and the country.
3)    Ajay (Aji) wonderful auto rickshaw driver.  Phone number 07836827612 or in front of the Cottage Yes Please, generally after 10 AM.