Was woken up early by all the noises outside but decided to look on the bright side and think that gave me extra time to enjoy the day. Had a pretty ordinary breakfast at the hotel and then hit the streets of dharamashala. Kim and I fell in love immediately with this place there are gorgeous little shops everywhere selling everything from jewellry to backpacks to prayer bowls. You could go crazy but I managed to restrain myself and bought a necklace and did my first barter session which was loads of fun and managed to save 150 rupees :-)
We found a great little cafe with this very cool Tibetan girl and we ordered some tea and something to eat kim ordered banana pancakes and I ordered chocolate cheesecake and they were both delicious, we then wondered down to the local Buddhist temple which had the most peaceful vibe..interesting side note there was a security check to go into the temple where they searched our bags for knives and lighters. The temple was beautiful with gorgeous altars, thankas, and offerings. There were lots of Tibetan people, tourists and monks doing their thing. We all had a go at spinning the prayer wheel to generate good karma and then moved to the Tibet museum. This was very moving and incredibly sad as we read stories about torture and the decimation of the culture of the Tibetan people.
We then went back to the hotel to meet up with the group and they said we were to meet them back at the temple for a teachingg. We decided to find a massage place and have some lunch. After searching down streets and alleyways we foundnthe massage place that had been recommended to us I cant even begin to tell you how tricky it was to get there but I had to face my fear of heights to get there and when we got there he was closed! So we went and had lunch at the same cafe we had been to this morning we ordered the quiche but it was pretty ordinary the cool Tibetan girl told us she hoped we would come again so we are making friends in town!
We then went for some Buddhist teachings in the temple and that was lovely and just what I needed and was kind of cool to be instructed by a Buddhist nun in the same place his holiness the dalhi lama teaches :-)
After the teachings kim, Julie and I spotted a massage place and went into enquire, we met this lovely Indian lady who didnt speak much English who told us the different types of massage available and said she was free so kim went in to get her massage while Julie and I went to a cafe. I went back and had my massage and it was wonderful although it was a big cold and very different to western massages as she also massaged my boobs which was kinda confronting lol. Afterwards she was trying to talk to me about cricket I didn't have the heart to tell her I don't follow cricket but I did mention Shane warne and she thought that was great.She then tried to teach me some Hindi which was lots of fun and had them in hysterics with my bad pronunciation although they were impressed I knew how to count to ten and knew how to say 100. I love this country! I then came back to the hotel did a blog entry from yesterday, had a shower and we headed out to dinner.
We found this cool restaurant and were seated next to an Indian family that were completley fascinated by us we tried to talk to them but the language was a bit of a barrier but had fun trying, they taught me how to say thank you properly after laughing at my attempts which was good by the time I leave I might have a bit of handle on how to speak Hindi. It was a lovely way to end a terrific day.
I am very excited about tomorrow as we are meeting Tenzin Palmo who is a British nun who spent 12 years in a cave. I read her book about 3 years ago and was so impressed by her story I cant believe I am going to meet her.Cave in the Snow
Oh and we saw monkeys today and kim and I had a very weird experience with dogs today, when we went to the cafe earlier a dog just came up to me and tried to nuzzle and the went to kim, later at the teachings a different dog came up to me again and then went to kim! Have no idea what that was about :-)