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Back in rainy Manali

Manali, India

Namaste, Joolay and Hello,

Yes, we are back in rainy Manali after a month in sunny Ladakh. The internet connection was so slow in Leh that we didn't bother with anymore blogging there but now we are back !!

We had a great time in Leh, although we didn't really do a great deal, saw the sights (Leh Palace, numerous gompas, the Shanti Stupa...) and did a bit of exploring around the local area on a scooter we hired (note: must remember to always add oil to a 2-stroke engine) and generally did quite a bit of relaxing. Nik attended a 2-day course on Buddhist Meditation but my guts prevented me from attending although the Amchi (traditional Tibetan doctor) sorted me out with a five day course of rabbit shit looking pellets.

Whilst we were in Leh on the day after Dad Walton's 60th birthday (HAPPY BIRTHDAY Dad !!!) we had some great news off Lucy and Luke, yes a text to inform us of the birth of our new nephew Rory George Humphries !!! He arrived on 17th July, a bonny 7lb 8oz.
So a HUUUUUUGE congratulations to all, spoke to Lucy last night and everyone is doing great (maybe a bit more sleep needed.......)

We had what seemed a never ending mission to get to the Nubra Valley, but after 20 nights at the Oriental guesthouse and numerous trips to Leh bus station (one BIG toilet) we finally made it to Hunder, effectively the end of the line in India with Tibet (not China) the next stop. The Nubra Valley is an absolutely stunning place, there's nowt to do there, just reading in hammocks and walking and walking and walking and taking it all in. We saw wild Bactrian camels whilst having fun jumping off the Sahara-like sand dunes. On the way back from Hunder the jeep driver stopped at Khardung La, the world's highest road at 5,602m.

So we had a few more days in Leh on our return in the biggest room in the world (ever)then took a minibus for a 17 hour journey back to Manali. The driver must have been some retired minibus rally driver or something because he certainly wasn't hanging around. I mean it took over 30 hours to get there in the bus but he caned it back in only 17 ! It was a bit hair-raising at times (Kev, you know what we mean) but you've just gotta trust the man behind the wheel...

So here we are again and it's lashing down outside as it did most of yesterday, I guess that's the monsoon for you, as we're sure you all know about - the rain in England even made the front page of the Times of India. We're not going to stay too long here again this time as there's so much more of India (and Nepal) we want to see. Our next stop will be Dharamsala, home of HH The Dalai Lama.

Hope you are all well and enjoying yourselves,

Adios amigos,

Jon & Nik

permalink written by  jonnik on August 3, 2007 from Manali, India
from the travel blog: Jon & Kenty's Grrrrrand Tour
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Hi Nik and Jon,
At last I have got round to reading through all your news (or is it blog?) You sound to be having an amazing time. We keep hearing on the TV about all the rain and the terrible floods, so I hope they are not too near you. Thousands of people have died and we made a big fuss over here when a couple died in our floods. The weather has improved recently, so we retired folks can get in a few rounds of golf.
Love you both
Janet xx

permalink written by  Janet Gill on August 8, 2007

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