The Himalayas again 

Arrived in Rishikesh & felt instantaneously like home. After one hard month in Mumbai I found my smile again 😁

But what else can you do when you’re surrounded by mama Ganga ji., the Himalayas, vegan choco balls, & of course friends? 

Met Mirenchu & Baba Fadi again who did the 200h yoga teacher training with me last year here. Was really nice to meet both of them again. & also the temperatures were good, maybe a little bit warm +40℃ 

Enjoyed the food, Ganga dips, yoga, everything there & got some new items for myself (literally ; D ) 

After a few days went back up to Mc Leod Ganj to do the 10 days course of introduction into Tibetan Buddhism at Tushita. Normally my ego taught I wouldn’t need that course but I’m really glad I did it. Thx to all the people who kept their silence during the 10 days, our teacher Ven. Drolma la & the whole Tushita stuff. It was amazing. After a couple of days rest I started my first Buddhist retreat – Nyung Nye. It’s a fasting practise where you don’t eat after noon on the 1. day & on the 2. day no eating or drinking at all! And than it starts again – 2 days = 1 practice. Each day you’ve 3 sessions of 3 hours puja inclusive prostrations. 4am, 8.30am, 3.30pm. As result you will purify a lot of bad karma accumulated in all your past life’s. 

I completed 3 practices (6 days) & enjoying now a little bit of rest in McLeod… 

With wonderful scenery & sometimes taking a nap… 

At the beginning of June I’ll be able to attend 3 days of teachings of H.H. 14. Dalai Lama at his monastery. I’m so happy & looking forward to be in the presence of this unbelievable being again. I’m really, really honored to have the chance to meet him again with all of the rest of McLeod. 

Probably after the teachings heading north into the „real“ Himalayas but I’ll see. The future is not fixed yet, otherwise we would call it past ; D

Until than dear followers, family, friends around the globe stay amazing & don’t waste your precious human life! 

The yoga institute – Santa cruz / Mumbai 

Again another yoga teacher training, this time in one of India’s oldest yoga institutions. Unfortunately the yoga institute is now situated next to the international airport of Mumbai or they build the airport next to the institute 


60 people for one month – any questions left? 

Too many people & because of the qci standard (quality council of India – new Indian standard for yoga teachers) the yoga institute lost it’s soul. They had to change there original concept to adjust it to qci standard & that turned out not so good. At least that’s my impression. I wouldn’t do it again there. Of course I learnt what I had to learn there but the one I did in Rishikesh was in another dimension. Not comparable!!! (But also 2x expensive but worth it!) 

At least a nice view from the roof top, just a little bit noisy if plains crossing all the time : D

After the graduation ceremony – pic with the director Hansaji – I had some problems with the tatkal ticket. In the end I had to stay 1 night longer & went without ticket to the train station. Bought a general ticket & went in 40h from Mumbai to Rishikesh 

Back in India – now the south 

Spending my last day in Sri Lanka with organizing my new Indian visa, jumping on the last bus from Kandy to the international airport & being until 6am the next morning at the airport because we are advised to be there 5h before departure. Thx that there’s WiFi. So with out sleep, nearly missing my flight because I missed or they don’t show the opening of the check in counter I made it. Flight is short, nearly as long as the flight I had waited for the luggage. 

Arriving in Chennai, a nice Italian couple drops me at the bus stand to Pondicherry. Hoping of at Auroville. Auroville is a utopian city founded in the 1960s, just check it out online www. auroville.org (separate article in the future including sadhana forest

Took a Tuktuk to the visitor centre because I had no clue about anything. Took Tuktuk back to hostel outside Auroville. Organised myself the next day this wonderful vehicle… 

 
Because Auroville is normally really small but without volunteering there (what costs money) it’s too expensive to live inside, so stayed in the „enlarged area of Auroville“ & you need a thing to transport yourself (it’s a little bit too far & too hot for walking, some brave ones had bicycles ; D ) It’s really hard to get a good vibe of Auroville when you’re not living inside the community. So spend a couple of days there but to really get to know Auroville I have to come back. On my last day wanted to meditate in the Metamandir but no luck; at least a nice pic 

Left with the intention to come back – I guess? Took a night sleeper bus to Bangalore, spend the whole day in a nearby park & another night sleeper bus to Hampi. Night buses are common for the South of India, you have around 10 single & 10 double bets – a little bit like Harry Potter part 3. 

In Hampi just had some difficulties to cross the sea/river but it was worth it. In Goan corner I could sleep at the roof & the surrounding was breath taking. So many natural formed boulders just waited to be climbed… 

Still breathing??? 

What did I do there? Rented shoes, a crash matt & climbed boulders every morning & evening when the temperatures were bearable together with great people 

Had an amazing time with everyone but for the last days of the month I wanted to see the sea again. So over night to Goa. Via local bus to Anjuna & relaxing in the „lazy llama“ until I’ll have to go to Mumbai. Had a good time, great people again & not too bad beaches 

But everything changes constantly, so goodbye Goa & another night semi sleeper bus to Mumbai for my 2. yoga teacher training

A little bit of Sri Lanka – my last week 

At the beginning of March it was time to finally move on. Went by 7h train ride from Weligama via Colombo to Kandy to get a new Indian visa – there it’s normally quite sure to get 6 month visa, multiple entry, in a couple of days. So I went to the visa office (quite outside the city) the next day, online application in shop next door took 1h & up to the visa office. Okay they need 5 working days, concluding I’ll get my visa after 7 days. Normally thought I’ll get it next day : (

But now 1 week more so do some plans & on I go. Spend the rest of the day discovering the city & Kandy is no city for me. 1 day was already enough.

Asked in my guest house if somebody wanted to join me to climb Adam’s peak the next day & that’s how I found Monique, a lovely girl from Holland. Next day by train & bus to Dalhousie – the view from the train was amazing, bus not so mugged because it was raining. Arrived, room, eat, sleep because we went up to see the sunrise the next morning at 2.45am. Around 5000 steps so it takes a while – every here & there a little shop for refreshments. After 2.5h I reached the top, Monique a little bit later. Luckily we brought some warm cloths because the wind was cold. Waited 30 min until the first sun rays touched the top & it was unbelievable. I felt quite cold but my eyes were overwhelmed with the magic of nature & in the background the monks in the temple did a little puja to welcome the day. It got better & better – the fog went away, the sun touched the nearby hills but see for yourself… 

The way down took a little longer because we took our time & enjoyed our surrounding 

And of course after climbing Adam’s peak you need a souvenir but really these things? 

Quick lunch & then we had to hurry to catch our bus because the last train to Ella leaves around 1pm but we made it – train ride between Nurwaya Eliya to Ella is advertised as one of the most wonderful train rides in the world. It’s a really nice ride including view but one of the most wonderful? But have a look… 


And my head is still were it belongs : D

Took a Tuktuk in Ella to Tomorrowland, outside of the city but a hostel one of a kind. You sleep on futons outside in tents or for free after the party ends on futons inside the hall. And the view in the morning – without words

Stayed a couple of days – went to swim in a waterfall (nearly broke my legs because it was not deep enough to jump in but all okay – never listen to locals, they’re crazy!!!) Not this waterfall, further up… 


– visited a tea factory, really interesting glad we did it & not so easy to produce good quality

– went on a safari, were we still able to see a lot of animals but the jeep doesn’t drive so close that it would disturb them 


– climbed/walked Ella rock – not a bad view ; ) 


So finally time to say goodbye. It was the first time I traveled with somebody & Monique made it really easy for me to enjoy this time. All the best to you; lots of love & a big, big hug. 

I went back via train to Kandy & via bus to a hostel between Dambulla & Siguriya – „jungle vista“. Again an amazing place with even more amazing people around. Just for one night & in the morning run up (metaphorically speaking) to cheap hill. I already saw a lot of views but that was something else. Run up in fog; than slowly the fog goes, comes again, goes, comes & finally the sun arises out of it’s sleep 


On the way up – one of the biggest sleeping Buddha’s (symbolizing Buddha Gautama’s entry into paranirvana) WONDERFUL 🙂 

With the last bus back to Kandy because the next day I would get my visa & also my flight to India. But it took a long time to get away from the great people at jungle vista. 

Just killed time on my last day in Kandy but I had to witness this – a lot humans are horrible 

It made me cry, my heart was hurting, my soul was shattered. But what can I do? I can’t just destroy their chains to let them free? I felled helpless & I’m still when a recall this memory

Please humanity – interact with your surrounding (people, animals, environment,…) like you would be treated by your best friend with pure, unconditional love 💜

Finally Sri Lanka – beginning 2017

After a while – I’m still alive ; D

Times were adventures, busy, sunny, cloudy,… so now a short update. I’ll just write a little, some pics, & when I’m back in the west with the right equipment I’ll give my blog a makeover – I’m so, so, so sorry for the format (sorry 😦 ) 
After last horrible days in India (around new year ’s eve 2016 + first days of 2017) including food poisoning, headaches, fever, colds, annoying Indians, 19h train delay & missing my flight – I finally made it out off India 🙂 

Sri Lanka is just what I needed – nice people, disciplined people!, clean environment, fresh fish!!!, did I mentioned nice, friendly people : D

Just arrived & a bro (from Palestine – not that his nationality would be important) helped me out – showed me the way to my hotel, also booked in & invited my to dinner & we went to the beach (yeah in Colombo you have a beach). I was sooooooo happy, a friendly face & after an eternity I’m finally able to breath the ocean again… 
So that was the night before my birthday, the actual day was quite unspectacular – cleaning cloths, internet, little bit of walking, RELAXING. But I found some really good dark chocolate in my dorm that somebody forgot – thank you karma 🙂 

The next day I went to Weligama via an  incredible bus drive (bus drivers here are insane), where I stayed for 2 whole months – finally holidays! Just left one day to renew my visa 



Beach 5 min from my place – I step out of the house & smell already the salty air, a nice room, next door place to eat, crazy nice people around, non touristic, 10 min along the beach surfing – can I ask for more? 

My first surf lesson, I felt like that was my destiny. After some times more on the board, I was wrong ; D but it’s still quite fun

Sometimes you have to challenge your fears just to see that there is nothing to be afraid of – but I’m still scared of heights… I’ll have to face it again & again, what to do : D

New way of recycling : D but looks good soooo 

Get a Scotti, get a board & follow the waves

Back home I’ll probably don’t eat fruits anymore!  because here – they just taste so, so much better. Each day I ate at least 2 mangos… 

Wonderful, traditional art but my backpack is already at its limit 

Sunrise – on our tour to visit blue whales (biggest living mammals on our planet). Here near the South-west coast of Sri Lanka is the only place in the world where they stay for a couple of weeks but how long? Each year less & less whales are coming because of the whale watching. I know it’s not nice to them but ???

 I don’t know, I did it & it was fascinating. I felt like captain Ahab on the search of his white whale but with a crew armed with moderne weapons – cameras 

After 1.5 years of traveling I really enjoyed the stop, the break, the nothingness… 

Okay now a new visa, some traveling inside the country & back to India (next post…) 

books, movies,… 

books

buddhism:

  • Bikkhu Bodhi „In the words of buddha“
  • Ram Dass „Be here now“
  • Soygal Rinpoche „Tibetian book about living and dying“
  • Thubten Gyatso „The world and ourselves“
  • Kate Atkinson „Life after Life“
  • Brian L. Weiss „Many lives, many masters“
  • Kathleen Mc Donald „How to meditate“
  • Lama Zopa Rinpoche „Ultimate healing The power of compassion“
  • Thubten Chondron „Taming the monkey mind“
  • Vicki MacKenzie „Reincarnation The spansich boy whose destiny was to be a tibetan lama“
  • Kopan Monastery, Kathmandu „The world and our selves – Buddhist  pychology“
  • Kopan Monastery, Kathmandu „Extended Lam-Rin outlines“
  • Kopan Monastery, Kathmandu „Beginner’s meditation guide“
  • Lama Yeshe „Becoming our own therapist“
  • Dalai Lama „Ancient wisdom, modern world“
  • Francesco Verala „Tree of knowledge“
  • Francesco Verala „ambodied mind“
  • Stephan Kulle „40 Tage im Kloster des Dalai Lama“ !!! (GERMAN language)

novels:

  • Khaled Hosseini „A thousand splendid suns“
  • Paulo Coelho „The Alchemist“ , „Veronica decides to die“
  • Herman Melville „Moby Dick“

movies

  • Waking life
  • Everest
  • Partical fever
  • Connected universe – nassim haraneim
  • Stomach second brain
  • Into the wild
  • Wild – with  Reese Whiterspoon
  • Point break – with Keanu Reeves & Patrick Swayze

YouTube

  • Deepen Chopra
  • Eckardt Tolle
  • Tara Brach
  • Jack Kornfield
  • Pema Chödrön
  • Osho

blogs

  • lauzis-ontheroad.tumblr.com (a friend of mine who traveled from London to Shanghai by bike, really amazing )
  • nuestra-america.de (a german couple that 1. hitchhiked for 2 years in South America & than hitchhiked from Germany to India – but written in GERMAN language)

 

 

money, money, money… November 2016

The prime minister of India wanted to do something against the black money – the money without taxes inside the system. 6 months ago you could put all your money inside your own account & pay 30% tax of all the black money, without any further legal questioning. But nobody did it, so…

Since the beginning of November 2016 Indian government banished all 500, 1.000 rupee notes over night! Foreigners could change max. 5.000 rupees per week and Indians are allowed to put just 250.000 rupees (3.700$) in their accounts. If  you want to put more money, there will be a lot of questioning (where is the money from? ,…);  so…

After the middle of November foreigners could not even change their old notes in the banks. At the Yoga Ashram in Rishikesh they told us that a lot of people burned their money or killed themselves because of that money situation. Also the Ashram lost quite a bit of money because of the situation but they were saying „we already donate money each year, so this year it will  be just a bit more.“ Got attitude, the yoga attitude ; )

The Indian government did that to do something against the black money in the system & also want to change from cash to more and more electronically payments, of course because easy to follow, so easy to get your tax. It was maybe a good idea but the situation went totally chaotic. People waited for hours in front of the bank or their ATMs to put their money inside their accounts or change their money. Economy (GDP) broke down by about 7%.

15.12.2016 The Indian government says their is now enough new 2.000 rupee notes in the system that they are started printing new 500 rupee notes (The Indian Times)

But why the fuck note print a start reserves of new rupee notes to bring inside the system after banishing the old notes – to avoid the crush of the system?

I had 3x 1.000 notes and 1x 500 note. Get rid of the 500 note was easy. 1x 1.000 note one Indian gentlemen change me, thank you Sir. 1x  1.000 note the most awesome music store in Laxeman Jhula / Rishikesh took when I bought myself my Christmas presents and 1 I have to still get rid of. BECAUSE after 31.12.2016 the old notes are just coloured paper. You can not do anything with it anymore. So wish me luck for my last old note.

During my stay in Jaipur at the beginning of last week, the hostel owner told me, that normally his hostel is booked out during this season but because of the money situation it is have empty. Also a lot of small shops closed already because no money. Restaurants, Hotels – all don’t have money to pay their stuff,…

Me with the old notes 

Queueing for new money. After getting 8x 2.000 notes I got kicked out of the ATM

Situation could be worse but well we will hang in it… 
Try to update this topic when I receive more information

 Update 2.1.2017:

Withdrawal limit 4.500 rupees, weekly limit 24.000 rupees 

200 hour yoga teacher training Rishikesh 

After it got a little bit to chilly in McLeod Ganj it was time to move to Rishikesh for Yoga. So I booked a over night bus to Rishikesh & after my last momos I had to leave but will be back next May for some courses at Tushita…

The bus ride was… next time I will get a thick blanket because it was quite cold, arrived quite early in the morning. Able to share a tuktuk o Jaxman Jhula, where all the tourists are, yoga schools, … Had to pay each 100 repuees, normally at day time for a shared tuktuk 10 rupees, well. Had some breakfast & went than with a guy from Poland to a cheap Ashram for the night – DIWALI. After a nap with started discovering…

some sand, finally MAMA GANGA in its true, pure natural colour – just beautiful

another shot…

the last shot, I love you MAMA GANGA ji.

Diwali – the Hindu Christmas & New Year in one. We had high hopes but the Indians celebrate it mostly in family, so : ( but we met a girl earlier, it was her birthday and she invited us to here party for a special laxmi puja (Hindu goddess – mother earth). My companion did not really liked it, but despite my cold I really liked it a lot

the next guy, we had to separate and I checked in into my new home for 1 month…

view outside of my window – do you believe there is enough space for a monkey to climp through into my room? I did not think so either but during my second week in the room my nuts were gone, food containers were crushed open and some monkey footprint were all over the place. So that how it went probably 

1 more day & it finally started, my 200 hour yoga teacher training. We started the 1st day with a fire puja to prepare use for the next 4 weeks

At the beginning I felt like back in school, all these groups where forming and where to belong to? First days were quite hard but than we had to practise our asanas for ashtanga during our breaks (our group could just practise after lunch because after the breakfast there was not enough time for digestion & practise) and the whole group situation opened quite easily. So the time went by and flexibility increased..

3. step of the Setu Bandhasana (in the final one, you are with the crown of the head on the ground; but I’m still beginner, I believe it’s quite okay for me)

on our 2nd Sunday the whole yoga ashram went for a trip to a nearby holy cave for meditation, a ganga dip – finally water after 15 months of travelling and some asana practise,  the crow (nearly perfect, or?)

poster of all of us near the ganga for pranayama exercise in our open dining hall

after 4 weeks of cleansing, pranayama, asanas, meditation, studying, sweeting, learning, struggling, … and final exams a little well done present to myself – vegan choco trueffle cake

everybody of my group just happy to finally receive the certificate of 200 hour hatha yoga teacher and able to finally go to dinner after a long, long certificate ceremony.

I screamed, cried, laughed,.. with all of you guys. I did thinks with you, I never would do with my buddys at home, THANK YOU so, so, so, so much for that. It was a just once in a lifetime experience, WILL always remember you and from now one travel with you in my heart, love you all – so, so much. I’m quite sad by writing these lines, hope you are all fine and wish you all the best from the deepest of my heart and even deeper from my ultimate soul

1st breakfast after the course. This time milk, mixed fruits porridge with a chai

Slowly, slowly we had to separate ways but I was still stuck in Rishikesh with an ear infection incl. surgery for 3 weeks. 1 week before Christmas I was finally healthy enough to start travelling again. I was really time because it went quite cold in here.

Learning Tibetan language in Nepal 

tashidelek

Tibetan: Tashi delek, English: Hello, how are you?

Yeah, I tought what to do for the next 4 months? It will be monsoon season in India, Nepal,… so have a place to stay for a longer time and try to do something useful – so why not learn Tibetan language? Would be nice to understand the monks at „my monastery in Pokhara“ and if you meet with other monks, Lamas, Rinpoches,… maybe with His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama it would be nice to speak a few sentences in their mother tongue.

So I booked a place for a Tibetan language program in the Azom Drodul Gompa, Dollu, near Kathmandu/Nepal.

At the beginning of May I crossed the land border in Silguri/India without any problems but some min to wait. For leaving India I needed 1x passportsize photo (for India different size!!!), 1x passport copy and for entering Nepal the Visa fee (in Nepali/Indian rupee or US$) just 1x passportsize copy. Normally I passed the afternoon bus to Kathmandu (1x morning, 1x afternoon) but the bus didn’t left Karkabhitta (border city of Nepal) no long ago, so the tourist agency called the bus driver, they would wait for me. So bought a ticket, paid a motorbike driver some money to get me to the bus, who was just 1km ahead. And so started my welcome back trip to Nepal. Normally the journey should just take ~12h but through traffic jam (we waited at the hill to enter Kathmandu at least 2h :(( ) we arrived after ~24h, yeah.

my room

my attached bathroom

When I arrived at the „guesthouse“ of the monastery I was really impressed from the standard of the accommodation provided for us students. Compared to the place were I stayed the few nights before in Boudha-Kathmandu it was just overwhelming ;D

Then the course started… (picture shows the Tibetan alphabet)

Tibetan is a phonic language so a lot of letters are pronounced for the untrained ear similar, so it was and still is really hard to produce the right pronunciation. But I still trying ;D Normally our teacher should be Glen Mingyur Rinpoche, a very experienced Tibetan language teacher, how has years of experience teaching Tibetan to Westerners. But he good sick some weeks before the course should start. We got another teacher who probably didn’t have any experience in teaching Westerners, so it was quite chaotic (typical for Nepal in my experience) but yeah what to do.

(http://www.azomcollege.net/en/show.aspx?info_lb=14&flag=14&info_id=74) On this webpage you find the course details from last year. This year there was just the language program and the course program was nearly the same – no meditation class at all.

We celebrated the birthday of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama with a big puja and some traditional Tibetan performances. Therefore there was no morning class

The construction works on the boudanath stupa, biggest stupa in the entire world are progressing. Just the top of the stupa was destroyed during the 2 big earthquakes that hit Nepal last year. All the construction works are going very slowly because the Nepali government, well, didn’t spend us much money as they should by now for these repairing projects. But it really takes too long and therefore the UNESCO gave Nepal 1 more year to fix their world heritage sights otherwise these sights would loss the title world heritage sight.

During the monsoon, when the sewer tunnels are full this will happen. Get wet feet or wait until the water is gone (that could take a while).

Vegetarian burger, french fries and salat

Tomato soup & spinach-cheese momos ;))

Falafel

I was always so happy to be back in the city to be able to eat some different food because after a while you get really, really sick of ti-momo, different curries, and Thentuk.

After the first few days we complained about the food because it was too spicy, too much oil and not really healthy. It improved a little bit but yeah our woman were really fed up with the food situation that they nearly never showed up for breakfast. We weren’t really happy with it but it was a good situation to practise compassion and get out of your comfort zone.

If I had to do it again, I would say clearly: NO!

For the last month of the course I also got sick again – influenza and twisted my ankle 3x on a walk around. We also had to cancel the 1 week break after 2 months because of the teacher change we started 1 week later and I was really fed up with the food situation, the teaching style. So I lost of language knowledge because of missing practise…

It probably sounds like I blame everything else but myself but this is my point of view, if you like it of not.

After the end of the program I just went back to Kathmandu and restored my power to go on the road again. I needed nearly 3 weeks to do so but unfortunately through this I missed the 10-days course „Introduction into Tibetan Medicine“ at the Men-Tsee-Khang, McLeod Ganj/India :((

Finally, I’m able to read Tibetan scripture and have a basic knowledge of the language. I just need to put daily afford into memorizing more and more words. But until my language skills reached a really good level it will take quite a while. But it’s definitely a difficult language and the translator program for example in McLeod Ganj/India takes 2 years, so I’m looking forward to my language course 🙂

 

Kolkata & the escape to Sikkim 

After around 1.5 months in Bodhgaya I had to move on to Calcutta where I wanted to volunteer at Mother Theresa’s. As 1 of the 4 most populated cities in India it was quite a shocking experience after the little Bodhgaya. I arrived with typical 3h train delay and my mood was quite, yeah happy! And it was so hot & humid. Had to find a bus to get from the Howrath train station  into the city. After I found the right bus, I was soaked.

Normally I wanted to volunteer there for 2 whole weeks at one of the Mother Teresa’s institutions. But because of my first food poisoning, thanks Calcutta as well as the situation at Kalighat, the place where I volunteered I just could show up 2-3 times and then had really enough. My biggest respect for everyone how is able to work there for 1 week , 1 month or longer. My advice to anyone who wants to volunteer at Kalighat, get your own sterile gloves because they don’t have enough for everyone. I wonder were all the donations are going to, definitely not in the volunteers safety. One of my friends who also volunteered there informed me that one of the residents had been diagnosed with HIV and at least some people took care of him without enough safety protection. Also one of the volunteers got some skin disease from there. So be careful what you re doing!

During a little walk with Emil (stayed at the same place as me), who showed me around the city we got to one of the few quite spots in the city, a Sikh temple. Perfect for relaxation and meditation 😉

May I introduce, the Ganga (the holy river after being polluted the whole way down the mountains until Calcutta) and the huts/slum alongside.

Calcutta is famous for its sculptures. Here on of them, showing Shiva near the river.

The Victoria Memorial. Because foreigners have to pay 10x more than locals to enter, I said „No, thank you.“

Public urinal – any questions???

We had quite fun celebrating HOLI. But we were mostly foreigners, so the atmosphere was not as expected. But pay attention! The colors are harmful, so don’t get them into your eyes. A friend had to go to hospital because of that. Also cover yourself in any kind of oil from bottom to top, otherwise you will be colorful for quite some time.

With on of the many cabs I started my escape from the brutal heat. But before I had to bargain hard for the fair fare. So I started my journey in Calcutta (~35*C, 80% humidity), than switched in New Jalpaiguri from train to jeep and arrived in Gangtok (~18*C, 20% humidity). It was cloudy, cold, not what I aspected. Normally Indians escape the head and go up into the hill stations where it’s cooler, but screw that it’s freezing at the beginning of April over there. In Darjeeling it snowed the night before. So don’t forget your warm cloths when you are approaching the hills.

I stayed in Gangtok (capital of Sikkim) for a few days and then went to Yuksom in the West for my first trekking in the Himalayas of North-east India. After the for Sikkim busy Gangtok I arrived in Yuksom and was just happy. Little village, some tourists and a beautiful, awesome landscape. We (+ Ben, my trekking partner) arrived around noon so enough time to do some wandering around before our guide should arrive at the evening. I gotten later, later but no guide. We finally went to bed and would see what would happened the next day.  But he arrived after all, so we could start our 4-days trek as planned.

The entrance on our way to Dzongri, our final destination for this trek with an astonishing view to the Khangchendzonga.

We went 2 weeks to early after these 2 weeks we would see the rhododendron completely bloomed. Well the nature was still beautiful!!!

Get up at 4am, nearly freezing to death but this view – just whoooooooooo. All 7 hills that the sun pleased with the first rays of light are called „Khangchendzonga“.

After finishing my 2. trekking on this journey I visited some other places, extended my Sikkim visa and finally arrived at Khecheopalri Lake where I just wanted to stay for 2 nights but ended up a lot longer – you’ll see why.

beautiful nature – please don’t ask for the name of this flower.

the lake (represents the footprint of GREEN TARA) –

A lot of cardamom plants are here. The plants will be harvested in December and you find it really everywhere because you got a really good price per kg!!!

flagstones with buddhist mantras in Tibetan language are the surroundings for the buddhist monastery in Tashiding.

For the last week I stayed outside the Rumtek monastery, near Gangtok. I found finally some time for practise and get finally 100% fit again. Thanks to Shelly who was so kind with helping me in many ways. Hope to see you soon.

Rumtek – normally the residence of the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa but right now „empty“ because there are 2 people how are seen as the reincarnation of the 16th Karmapa (but just one is recognised by the 14th Dalai Lama and the other isn’t. A lot of politics is in the game that I didn’t expect, but what to do?)

What are your plans big brother China after first invading Tibet in 1950 and the escape of 17th Gyalwang Karmapa – Ogyen Trinley Dorje in 2000 ???