#12 – Freezing in Daramasala (Gaye)

We land in Daramasala and catch a glimpse of the Himalayas clad in snow.

Our temperature change is about 28 degrees, from Delhi.

Daramasala is nestled in the Himalayan foothills. We are greeted by Vikas, our guide. He ushers us into vehicles and we travel on a winding vertical road for 20 minutes to MCleod Gang where we enter our hotel. Here it is markedly colder. Our room is frigid. The doors and windows don't fit and there is one small heater which you can only feel when you stand directly in front of it. Outside it snows.

The streets are rough and cobblestoned. We walk slowly up the hill to the plaza at the top. Along the way shopkeepers invite us in.

The people primarily come from Tibet. This is the community that formed after the Dali Lama escaped Tibet 58 years ago. Yearly more and more Tibetans brave the trek over the mountains to McLeod or Daramasala. The shopkeepers are gentle and polite - very willing to tell their harrowing stories. It is difficult to believe we are still in India.

We climb into bed, too frozen to contemplate a shower. A timid knock at the door rouses us out of bed. A shy girl hands over two hot water bottles - our gratitude cannot be measured. We cosy up to them and sleep.

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