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Written on: Monday August 11th, 2008

A journal entry from: India GAP trip 2008!

Last day today which is really strange. I thought I should do one last blog to wrap things up. For the last week ive been exploring Kathmandu. Perfect way to end the trip, it's one of the best places ive been so far. Walking down through the old town past all the shrines and temples that scattered everywhere. I've done lots of day trip out to the monkey temple (buddhist temple with monkeys), Patan (ancient city with temples and palaces that shit on vienna or most old architecture ive seen), and Bodhnath (the classic buddhist stupa you always see in travel ads for nepal). Other than that I've been enjoying the massive  tourist suburb of Thamel and shopping like a fiend. There's a good number of tourists here now, being the off season. Don't know what else to say really, the whole trip has been a surreal blur i dont think i ever quite realised the full sort of reality of it. I think the thought of being 18,alone and travelling through the chaos of India was too much to fully grasp. Anyways I'll end with the highlights of the trip:

1- LADAKH- The most incredible scenery i've ever seen, beautiful people, low-key but thriving tourist scene, falling under the spell of the himalaya,  and of course the amazing trek of Stok Kangri. 

2-KIRTI- Living in a Tibetan monastery is probably one of the weirdest, unique things you can do. The town of Mcleod Ganj was also a great place to live and especially at the time i was there. Made some of the best friends I've ever had in my life and learned a lot about such a beautiful culture.  

3-RELAXING- getting catatonic in Manali, kicking back on lazy afternoons at kirti enjoying the view, carpe diem, reading far too many books, 

4-TEMPLES- The orgies in Khajuraho, the gompas in Ladakh, the Taj, Patan and Durbar Square Kathmandu- were all amazing and a lot better than I was expecting. Nothing like the bland stuff Christianity produces.

5-and lastly of course all the people i've met, Baluu, Shangchup, Ralun, Dumchu, all the crazy people at carpe diem and fellow gap volunteers, Sebastian, Yejuan, all the old dudes who sat next to me on the bus talking at me in hindi and all the stoners, hippies, weirdos and backpackers i've met along the way (israelis most deffiantly excluded, call me anti-semitic but they're an absolute pain in the arse).