Monday, September 25, 2006

The Blog Must Go On

And so must the Intrepid Dr. Root, even if going on must be done alone and with one hand. The mountains are no place for prissy little girls anyway. They have forsaken the spirit and beauty of the Himalayas for the safety of Darahmsala. I saw them off just a short while ago.

Tonight at 2am I squeeze into a jeep with seven others to make the dangerous passage to Ladakh. The journey means going over the second highest mountain pass in the world, nearly 19000 feet. I'll make Nori sorry she didn't come with me. Ohh yes. I have just the trick. Just kidding Nori (half kidding :P) But for now it's time to get you all up to speed. Steve, didn't you ask me if I was going to go Zorbing in India? I'm pretty sure I thought that was an assinine question at the time. As some of you know, I went Zorbing in New Zealand. Well, when I came to India I wasn't exactly expecting to go Zorbing. I mean, it's not like it exactly crossed my mind ya know? Afterall, it's not like you *can* go zorbing in India... can you? I mean, this is India we're talking about, right? Well, it's the first year Minali has had Zorbing. I was pretty shocked to say the least.

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I brought the cam inside the ball and shot a video of the zorb from inside.... Unlike in NZ, two people are harnessed in facing each other: me and one of the outfit operators. I gave the camera to the operator to shoot the video for me. Might upload the video on Youtube when I get back from Leh.

Just imagine me tumbling down the hill

We also went horseback riding and you could tell the operators got their kicks terrorizing unsuspecting tourists *ahem* I mean travelers by getting the horses fired up into a gallop. Unfortunately no pictures of us holding on for our lives.

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Yesterday we did a nice day hike where we passed Mt. Doom and a field of 'pipe weed' growing in the wild.

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Life in the mountains.
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Gnome huts on the river bank.
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At one point we had to fjord the river. After scanning the bank and finding no safe crossing we were forced to make two dangerous leaps over the frothy rapids.
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It was shortly after that I fell and hurt my thumb and was overwhelmed by sympathy and concern by the girls who insisted I be helicoptered to safety immediately. Ahh, yes, one of the perks of hiking with girls. As tempted as I was to put my insurance to use, I dug deep and resisted the easy way out and holding my wounded thumb in my other hand, gritted my teeth and trucked on through to the end.

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yet another gratuitous picture of mountains.

Unwinding after the arduous hike.
Pixagogo direct photo link Clearly we still have a long ways to go to overcome camera shyness. Rachel is like "Get over it already Nora. Like, it's not that big a deal!"

Nori and I did a nature walk today in Fangorn forest-- really, LOTR could have just as well been filmed in India. Look, there's even a little gnome popping out of a tree.

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We crawled through a narrow hole in the fence to see the billy goats graze in safe distance from the troll. Luckily we didn't see the troll, but we saw a few monkeys.

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Nora playing with a shoe shiner on the street earlier today.
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Farewell Manali.
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7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Jake, you are valiant. Muchas muchas gracias. The blog is fab. Too bad the girls chickened out on Ladakh. Looking at those photos, I can't imagine ever leaving the mountains. have a wonderful time and keep us posted. Are you going to hook up with Nora and rachel later? Hope it's not the end of the traveling trio. The Shire is pretty beautiful now, too. Soft Fall days, warm and dreamy and most of the trees still in leaf against a bright blue sky.

John G Root Jr said...

When you get to Ladakh ask for Helena Norberg Hodge. She is one of those wonderful people who try to adapt the local wisdom to the new realities so the old ways and sense of community are not lost.

tom thumb said...

whoop,
nice shots. loved the 'gnome in t he tree' shot especially. sorry about yer thumb.

flaming loaves here down souf. taking an early phlight back home tomorrow to recouperate.

meeting any nice girls out there?
cheers,
ben

Anonymous said...

It is so beautiful. I love how no matter what part of the earth we are on there are so many similarities. The mts. remind me of the Rockies or the Alps only twice as big. Just Amazing. You will have more extrordinary stories to tell when you come back. Take your time.
Illona

Anonymous said...

In our defense: We're not prissy; it wasn't that we chickened out. It was all a matter of logistics. We must be in Benares soon to begin our studies and productivity. We are only being responsible and mature.

Dharmasala is beautiously picturesque, nesteled in the mountains with steep, winding paths leading to the homes. We took breakfast on a rooftop and were eye to eye with the circling hawks. The main drag seems a bit commercial, lots of shops and sevices catering to the large tourist population. Today we'll take it easy, walk, maybe check out a museum dedicated to providing knowledge on the Chinese occupation of Tibet.

Hope the trip went well, Jake. Looking forward to hearing all about it.
Namaste jis

Anonymous said...

Julay Jake!
How went it? We are getting a bit worried. Check in.

Jan Willers said...

Hey Jason, wow, such wonderfull pictures you took...! Very interesting to see all the things you going through ! Hope to hear from you soon ! Take care, Jan