Post from Gracy- a report of a Solo Traveler

Namaste lovely Chalo! Travels friends,

I’ve been in India for five weeks now and I can report a lot. I have experienced many things and have gone through ups and downs.

In India, holidays are until July and this is particularly noticeable on the roads in the mountains. The beautiful landscape with the relatively cool temperatures understandably attract countless Indians from the warm areas. I, too, took refuge in Manali during this hot season. Manali is a hip city with many Western restaurants, bars and boutiques. A nightout and shopping paradise. But I especially enjoyed the landscapes. There are countless possibilities for day or multi-day tours. I walked through forests and many orchards. Here, apples are mainly harvested in the later summer months. Sometimes I felt more like being in Bavaria with the green fruit trees and with the hilly panorama, than in the Indian Himalayas. But there are also enough other sports activities. Rafting is a good way to get in the rushing river or paragliding. I have tried the latter and can definitely recommend it to you. There is no better and more energetic start to the day, than from a bird’s-eye view.

After that I wanted to explore McLeod Ganj. I knew this spiritual place with the very special flair from my guided journey with Sarah. At that time I had fallen in love with this pretty city. The Dalai Lama has his exile here and I had the very special opportunity to participate in his three-day teaching. For hundreds of participants, this event was very inspiring. It was nice to make this event special with so many different Buddhist visitors.

Luckily, I moved into a nearby ashram and took part in the life of the family. I played with the family board games with slightly changed rules, helped the kids with their homework, meditated and practiced yoga twice a day, ate tasty vegetarian food from the garden and sipped hot chai overlooking the valley.  It became too much for me with the many Indian tourists in the mountains and the crazy road traffic. But India offers enough options to recharge your batteries. Another option is the wonderful nature. Two years ago I did the Triund Trek with Sarah. This is a very challenging tour on hot days, as it only goes uphill. But the panoramic view of the 4000s makes up for it all. I was happy to be back here and walked even further to a camp to enjoy the scenery in secluded silence. Also in India it is possible to find a quiet place during the holiday season. After the tent was built up, fresh dinner was cooked and ginger lemon tea served. It can’t be better. It was one of the most beautiful evenings in recent weeks. Magnificent mountains – peaceful and great to look at.

I have been in Rishikesh for a week now and am preparing for my Yoga Teacher Course with daily exercises. From a cool 3200 m and 20 degrees, I went to the city with 40 degrees and 60 percent humidity. But the city knows how to help itself and the inexperienced tourists: many refreshments with delicious healthy smoothies, lassis and sodas – ice-cooled, of course. Rishikesh is a kind of Mecca for yogis and those who want to become it or are just curious. In recent years, countless yoga schools and hotels have emerged between all the ashrams, shopping and temples. The town is located in front of the mountains directly on the holy Ganges, which until recently was used for rafting. You have to get used to this holiday culture of the Indians. While the German likes to let it go quietly, the Indian gives 100 percent. If you want to go on holiday in India during this special time fom April to May, you don’t have to be scared. It’s a challenge and a unique experience to grow on. And there are always several options to enjoy your vacation in peace. Be it in the mountains, in a sweet ashram or simply on the roof terrace of a hotel. I am very excited about what India has to offer.

If you are, then inquire about the great tours Sarah has made. She knows every quiet corner well and knows how and where the Western tourist can live out. If you don’t dare, you won’t win anything. By the way, this is Sarah and my motto for July. While I am completing my training as a yoga teacher, Sarah goes to Germany in July for a mountain bike race. But she prefers to tell you that herself. 😉

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