McLeod Ganj, India
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McLeod Ganj had some good internet options, and we used this place (right) several times. Geek details: it's four Windows 95 PC's in a peer-to-peer network, with a single 28.8KB modem shared by all, running an unregistered copy of WinProxy. The young Indian man who works there was very sharp, but he probably won't be doing this forever -- he was studying some type of med-school exams on a spare PC while customers used the ones shown here.
We've taken some long walks around the area outside McLeod Ganj (the ridge above Dharamsala where we're staying), and it's been a nice break. The weather is very cool, and once you get a hundred yards outside McLeod Ganj in any direction there are no more hawkers of souvenirs or beggars.
This morning, I walked back down the road toward Dharamsala to a cemetery we passed on the way into town yesterday. It was the first cemetery I had seen in India -- the standard practice of cremation doesn't lend itself to that sort of thing, of course. Turns out it was a British cemetery from the 1860's through 1880's. Many stone crosses, and a lot of tiny infant-size tombs, in a clearing on the steep hillside below the road. The walk back and forth was a little harrowing, though -- the buses and taxis bringing tourists to and from the ridge go very fast, and I swear they deliberately come very close to pedestrians just for fun.
Later this afternoon, we both took a walk up to the top of the ridge opposite the hotel. We went about two miles on paved road (but no traffic to speak of up there), and then another mile or so up a steep rocky trail. It was great to get away from the crowds (there was nobody within sight of us most of the time), and we had a good view back down across the valley to our hotel from the top of the ridge. We thought we were going to walk to Dal Lake (not the famous one up in Kashmir, but a little namesake down here), but the maps are unreliable and none are to scale. So what we thought would be 2-3 kilometers turned out to be about 13 kilometers (according to a British girl we met on the trail), so we turned around and came back.
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