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Entry from: Vashisht, nr M****i, Himachal Pradesh state, India
Entry Title: "Deeper into the Himalayas"
"Took the overnight bus, which got us through some twisty road passes to M****i, arriving at 5.30 am ahead of schedule. Not too easy to get anyone with spare accommodation at that hour of day, as most guest houses allow people to stay until noon before checking out. However one cafe was just opening so was a good chance to get breakfast. I joined 4 travellers who had been on the same bus, a Danish couple, and an English guy and Swedish guy who had met up and began travelling together and share rooms. I found someone in attendance where I wanted to stay, so agreed to take the room, without seeing it, that would become free later, and left my bags in her office. I spent a lot of the day checking out the many cafes and resaurants, in part to find Pete, who is a friend I met in Goa two Novembers ago. He is very infrequent at checking his email, and although he replied to say he was in this village, did not say where he could be found; so I left him a message of where I would be. I ended up in a cafe that had a guitar I could borrow; and made my cups of tea last a very long time; was also figuring since Pete was a guitar player, he may find his way to this place sooner or later. Met the group of 4, English Jonathon and his Swedish friend, and had dinner at the same rooftop restaurant - we were joined later by the Danish couple, who had eaten elsewhere as they were celebrating the girl's birthday. The following day, I walked the 5 km or so into M****i, which is more of a small town than a village like the place I am staying. Checked out various transport options - getting south to Chandigargh, also going north over the second highest motor vehicle-accessible pass in the world (over 5,000 metres above sea level); found this can be done, but only by jeep at this time of year; prices seemed not unreasonable. Finally on Monday midday, (still no email reply from him), I found Pete hanging out enjoying the balcony view from one of the upper-storey restaurants deeper into the centre of the village. We spent a lot of time catching up on each other's travel tales, and wound up at one of Pete's preferred cafes where he can play his favourite game of backgammon. I managed to take a couple of the games, but felt very rusty at the rules, let alone forming a decent strategy, but it was fun, and thats what matters, right?"
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Photos from this trip:
1. "Distant waterfall view"
2. "Donkeys being led in early morning."
3. "Lively market"
4. "Mountain scene 1"
5. "Mountainside and temple"
6. "Nearby snow peaks"
7. "Newly built temple in Vashisht"
8. "Once made in Britain, still going strong in India"
9. "Pete stops to sniff a flower"
10. "Rooftop view"
11. "School's not finished, but lets have assembly !"
12. "Temple in Old M****i"
13. "The village (Vashisht) where I stayed"
14. "The way home from school"
15. "Traditional Himalayan farm building"
17. "Trees 2"
18. "Very large pine tree (with Pete)"
19. "Village and mountain view"
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