Monday, November 5, 2007

Sikkim, small but beautiful

This is just one of the many slogans you can find along the sikkimese roads. India's 22nd state, shares borders with Nepal, Bhutan and Tibet. We also found thank you signs randomly along trails and roads and others:

"Be kind to my curves"

"Drive like hell and you will be there"

"Speed has 5 letters, just like death. Slow has 4 letters, just like life".

Sikkim is a bit less touristy than other destinations in India and its different ethnic compostion gives it a completely distinct character.

People are from the Lepcha and Bhutia groups, and there is also many nepalis and some bengalis. The children could not be cutest, the landscape is beautiful and the people are extremely kind and humble. Tibetan bhuddism is widely practiced so there are many many monasteries.

There are also great hikes through the clud forest hills with waterfalls, streams, rivers, ferns, flowers, lots of moss and lots of leeches (you can see our wounded feet in the pic). Sadly I remembered I am not the greatest hiker (I walk slow, I'm way to careful going downhill and want to pee and/or take a picture every 5 minutes). I nevertheless make it (slowly but surely), we hiked around and walked to another town (yuksam) and back.

At Yuksam's grocery store you can find anything from biscuits to hiking boots.

We were lucky to get a tip that led us to a wonderful place above Kacheperi Lake. A small, simple, magical village with the kindest hosts and the lovliest children, who we had loads of fun teaching english to. They are the kind of children that are really fun to play with but also know when to leave you alone and can be easily entertained by climbing a tree, playing with a machete, hiting each other, teasing the cows, etc. Very different from city kids with playstation and TV.

There we met Pala, a former chef for the Dalai Lama and just a very cool old man. He can speak little english and yet he manages to win the hearts of all of his guests. He has 11 children, of which 4 live in the village.

After a 10 day stay, we taught one last lesson to the children and their last words (as instructed by Pala) were: "Next time coming miss".


Harry Papaley said...

Excelente post!!! muy informativo e interesante. Que mal lo de las saguijuelas, auch... y que maravillosas fotos!

Sheli said...

dahlia, looking at your photos was like looking at long-lost relatives, the children a little bigger...pala exactly the same. we are wistful. thanks for taking us back.

Vivi said...

Gracias por seguir conpartiendo las fotos en las buenas y en las sanguijuelas... Como van? Que tal el frio? Manden fotos tambien de ustedes, y un fuerte abrazo desde la Artez