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My newfound friends in the fellow pilgrims left on July 5th, at 5 am. Therefore, I woke up, but it was chilly and I was in my PJs, so I waved goodbye to them wrapped in a blanket.
A bit of context, as I mention in a previous post, my kidneys / adrenals were really on over-drive on this pilgrimage. Anytime I leave my comfort zone this is a pattern I have noticed, but it was also being sick nearly every third day. Thankfully not really sick – it may have been a form of purification as we were visiting monastery after monastery. Plus for the first half of the pilgrimage I was having a difficult time laying my hands on meat which my system needs (all you vegetarians out there don’t respond please because I have a health issue which requires that I eat meat, at least for now). So, long story short, I was feeling chilly and fearful at times and I did not expect a huge out pouring of generosity, but then again, maybe I should have.
It was my plan to stay in Ladakh for an extra week, even though I had no formal plans and I had used up most of my spending money buying items for friends back home plus thangkas for myself. Therefore I did not want to get too far away from Leh, with visiting distant monasteries or the like. However, I did visit one that we had driven by on several occasions previously and the following day I went with Tamding and his brother to the celebration of H. H. the Dalai Lama’s birthday. This was basically like a visit to a monastery.
Namgyal laa, the trip guide / travel company owner who lived in Ladakh called the guest house on this day to see if I wanted to join an English couple to take a trip to Phyang Monastery. On hindsight, I probably should have said yes considering I had not taken many photos where we were there previously. As it was though, I was feeling pretty exhausted and declined, which at least allowed me to read, do a little practice and wander around Leh some more. Plus I ate some delicious momos.
I was surprised by the cut rate the Guest House gave me. It makes sense when you consider how much they had probably just made on having all of us stay there, and it was a very pleasant house. Plus breakfast came with the stay! Yummy! I sat out in the beautiful gardens around the Guest House some too, very comfortable and perfect for my pace. I think that the owners were a little concerned about me – they tried to urge me to go out more. But I had just had a full dose of Ladakh for 21 days straight.
Oh and check out these photos of their gardens – the Ladakhis only have three or four months to have really productive gardens but they definitely make the most of them! Their gardens were well irrigated and producing many greens.