Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Back in the USA

Back in the USA - Wednesday 4 November 2009

Continental Flight CO 83 for 14.5 dark hours. Newark arrival, long baggage pickup, customs, re-checkin. Wait 4 hours.  Contiental 8:25 am flight to Richmond. Parking lot C, Hardee's biscuits, gas, drive back to Charlottesville.  Phone ringing as open door, meet touring Woodstock school mate Phil W and his wife Mariilyn (photo below) for lunch.  Groceries, unpacking. Rest. Making bread and supper. Back to email and TV.


Continental Flight CO 83 for 14.5 dark hours. 

Newark arrival, long baggage pickup, customs, re-checkin. 

Wait 4 hours.  

Contiental 8:25 am flight to Richmond. 

Parking lot C, Hardee's biscuits, gas, drive back to Charlottesville.  

Phone ringing as open door, meet touring Woodstock school mate Phil W and his wife Marilyn for lunch.  


Groceries, unpacking. Rest. Making bread and supper. Back to email and TV.

Last Day Cottage shopping

Last Day Cottage shopping – Tuesday 2 November 2009

[Details and more later] 


Breakfast. Packing. Tuk-tuk scamed to false Cottage Industries store.  Walk to real Central Cottage Industries Emporium. Shopping and Shopping and Café Lunch. Suitcase and shoeshines (photo below) on Janpat. Tuk Tuk back to Hotel. Relax and repack. Check out at 6. Out for Aangan dinner. Stop for beer at Spicy by Nature.  Uday ride waiting at 7:50.  To the Airport.  Checkin, but no water, and can’t take Nag Tibba staff. Waiting. Continental 14 hour flight from Delhi to Newark.

Breakfast. Still breakfast only at top restaurant – ate inside since crows swooping down on left food plates outside. Puris again cold, water not hot, eggs all cracked.

Packing.

tuk-tuk scamed to false Cottage Industries store.  

Walk to real Central Cottage Industries Emporium.

Shopping and Shopping and Café Lunch.

Suitcase and shoeshines on Janpat.






\

Tuk Tuk back to Hotel.

Relax and repack.

Check out at 6.

Out for Aangan dinner.

Stop for beer at Spicy by Nature. 

Uday ride waiting at 7:50

To the Airport.  Uday’s Kailash P.

Checkin, but no water, and can’t take Nag Tibba staff.

Waiting.

Continental 14 hour flight from Delhi to Newark.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Dilli and Kailash

Dilli Haat and Greater Kailash Market - 2 November 2009 Monday.  Guru Nanak's holiday, full moon.

[Details and more later]

Breakfast buffet again (holiday).  Taxi (same driver as yesterday) to Dilli Haat - a collection of 80 or so state and specialty Indian carft shops and 10 or so different state food restaurants - shopping.  Over to Greater Kailash and three FabIndia stores and Anokhi. Back to Grand Peepal Hotel.  Walk to Aangan veg restaurant, with another surprise - the open walking shopping mall along 5 or 6 vehicle-free roads, with street shops and stalls, crowds of strollers and many hawkers calling out their wares and prices.  Marvelous buzz of activity.  Great thali and Hyderabadi chaap.  To Peepal rooftop to view and hear fireworks in the distance celebrating Guru Nanak's day.

Khan and Lodi

Khan Market and Lodi Gardens - 1 November 2009 Sunday

[Details and more later]

Breakfast surprise - no room service, buffet on the roof. Taxi to Khan Market with lunch at Latitude, shoping and small FabIndia shop.  All bookstores closed. Lodi Gardens - lots of couples cuddling by the pond, families picinicing, girl scouts and boys playing games, badminton, sun, delightful screams. Hotel and walk to Suruchi supper with Rajasthani and Gujarati thalis.

Delhi shopping

Delhi Shopping - 31 October 2009 Saturday

[Deatils and more later]

Breakfast. Taxi to Janpat. Pizza Hut lunch. Walking up Janpat, pricing things and buying custard apples. Over to State emporiums - Gujarat, Delhi.  Search for and find FabIndia - packed and little selection. Back to Grand Peepal Hotel.  Walk to supper at Sandoz.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Bundeli sights

Bundeli sights  - Friday 30 October 2009

[Details and more later]

Spent the day seeing tourist sights around Jhansi, a center for Bundeli or Bundelkhand history. Breakfast and walk to cenotaphs and climbing them - views and birds. Down to the river. Walk to shopping and Deej's minature at Ladakh shop, on to the Flower Gardens or Phool Bagh with non-functioning fountains, Deej's wooden stamps. Back to Resort for packing, lunch.  Car trip back to Jhansi and then very rough 1 hour road trip to Datia and Vir Singh's palace or Mahal by a lake with views of his prison, justice building, guest building, and fort.  Rough road travel back to Jhansi fort and walking around it.  Tea at the Hotel Sita.  Shatabdi trip back, 6:11 pm to 11 pm, on very old coach and very jerky ride (at 80 mph most of the time) with tea, appitizer of bread stick, and veg supper.  Back to busy Delhi traffic and to Grand Peepal Hotel

Orccha

Orcha – Thursday 29 October 2009

[Details and more later]

Shatabdi to Jhansi, 6 am to 10 am, more Indian countryside. Drive to Orcha and Orcha Resort, after 1 hour traffic jam in Jhansi. Lunch, rest, and then guide Amrit Williams' tour of Orcha - the Jahangir, Raja, and Sheesh Mahals. Shopping on Orccha's main street. Evening at Orcha, soaking feet in the swimming pool, supper, Bundeli music and dance performance by the pool.

Late Express and Delhi

Late Express and DelhiWednesday 28 October 2009-10-30

[Details and more later] 

The Indian countryside because the Express is 4.5 hours late. Grand Peepal Hotel. Full treatment at the Library of Congress Delhi. Crowded Metro back. Sandoz supper.

Last minute and Dehradun

Last minute and Dehradun – Tuesday 27 October 2009-10-30

[Details and more later] 

Morning in Mussoorie – WS office for Philip and Iman tailor for Deej. Packing and paying up.  Noon ride to Dehradun. Lunch at the Hotel President. The Doon School, Survey of India maps, and FabIndia.  Lindsay and Dana to the Shatabdi.  The Forestry Research Institute. Bad Internet. Hotel President supper. Boarding the Mussooire Express.

Mall and Bandaloop

Mall and Bandaloop - Monday 26 October 2009

[Details and more later]

Morning tea with Bandaloop members. To the Mall, ATM, Cable car and snows view, women's toilet (Rs. 6 each) and Library crowd of school kists. Cycle rickshaws back to Cable and Tourist office with local maps. Buying my hat and khadi shirts. Tavern lunch. After rest, walk to Mullingar top, taxi up to the Mussoorie top at Lal Tibba and view of snows. Around the chucker past the cemetery, Kellog Church, and to Sisters Bazaar for snows map. Rush down to new Gym.  Bandaloop performance and no mention of Class59 reunion members. Tea again. Emails in the office til 6:30 - walking back on Tehri road in the dark. Iman's camera. Join others at Tavern - mean Philip.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Nag Tibba

Nag Tibba - Sunday 25 October 2009
[Sections #1 The climb, #2 Inserts, #3 Toes and Feet, #4 Poles]

To Go? Van to Srikot base. Climb up to false Nag Tibba saddle. Climb to the real Nag Tibba peak. Descent from the top.

[More later -

To Go? Got up at 5, getting ready to leave at 5:30, discussing with Lindsay and Deej about my stomach illness and whether we should risk climbing Nag Tibba.  Decided to ask the driver if he could go tomorrow.  He said No, he could not, so we went on in the small van. Leaving Himalaya Castle (elevation 6695 feet) around 5:30

Van to Srikot base. Our main driver left us at Picture Palace and we went on with a driver and guide, in the dark, passed Kempty Falls, and down to the Aglar (we spied a pair of phasants just before reaching the river), where it was light.  (Aglar bridge is at 2313 feet elevantion) Then up the right side of the Jamuna gorge to Nainbagh, where we took the side road right or eastward, and up to Pantwari (4565 feet elevation) on much narrower and sometimes rough road.  Tea at Pantwari, with both Lindsay and I separately climbing the stairs to go into a house to their bathroom.  Picked up a second guide as we went on to Srikoti.

Climb up from Srikoti (5382 feet elevation) to false Nag Tibba saddle.  around 8:40 am, first past fields, then following a stream (Bantwari?) for another third of the way crossing it 5 times, and then a switch back path straight up another third, seeing a wood cutter bird (wood pecker) near the top.  Got the the saddle (8630 feet elevation) with two Forest Department gazebos, where we ate our lunch around 12:15.

Climb up to the real Nag Tibba. But we wanted to get to the very top, which took us another tortuous climb through trees and up a ride to the top, where there was a sacred platform (take your shoes off), a pile of rocks holding a while flag.  Four flags flew at the four platform corners.

We made it! Around 2:15 pm Pictures --


Nag Tibba's height is usually listed as 10,000 feet, but our GPS said 9925 feet elevation.

Descent from the top. Then the start down, with thighs (just above the knee) hurting badly.  Stop at the saddle for some pain pills and drinking more water, having an orange, around 3 pm. The path down was fine for the first 1/3rd through rhodadenra tree forest, broad path and not steep. But the next 2/3rds we real torture my upper front thigh hurting so bad I thought it would colapse and me with it with every step along a very rocky path all the way.  One had to walk carefully with each step to try to not slip and fall. At one point we stopped to see 5 women or girls picking peas, and I took some and ate the fresh peas. We then kept passing resting groups of villagers (all woemen except one man) carrying grass, sticks of wood, peas, etc who would run ahead, then rest, then run ahead again.

[See three inserts below, which are 3 email comments about the Nag Tibba climb.
Insert #1. Guides - Rest! Go!  And Girls - Come sit with me, honey!
Insert #2.  The bhut or Ghost, watch out!
Insert #3 Still treking.]

Around 6:00 we had to start using our flashlights the last 45 minutes.  Then tea and bathrooms at Pantwari, before the dark ride home, getting to our Hotel around 9:15 pm.

Deej and Dana had gone off to Stephen Alter's party at Oak Hill and thought they had left keys with Mr Vaish.  But he was away.  The rooms were all lit up, the electricity having gone off before the Ds had left, everything was still on.  Mr Vaish came in about 20 minutes and we got into our rooms and I fell in bed.  Deej arriving about 20 minutes later and we talked some and both fell asleep soon.]




---------------------------------------------------------

[Insert #1. Guides - Rest! Go! 
Girls - Come sit with me, honey! From an email from me, 28 October 2010
.Joanne, The elevation of Nag Tiba is almost always stated as being 10,000 feet, but with the GPS device I took, it seems Nag Tiba is about 925 feet (maybe higher if you hold the GPS above your head and stand on the rock mound!)

More details are below, also Witch's hills height (the alumni office is at 6800, Sisters Bazaar at the top is around 7000).

Lindsay and my speed walking and exercising every day for about 2 months before going, helped.  But being in the lowlands we could not prepare our lungs or hemoglobin, nor reduce our age.  Still our preparedness helped a lot. My grandson, Mark, three years ago, did find and kept up with the local guides when we climbed NT then - he was 16 then. I did better this time than when I went with him 3 years ago.

The guides had three English words for Lindsay and me - Rest? Go. Move. They became less Rest? asking near the end, and much more Go! Move! - as darkness approached and we were still not down the hill all the way, and we needed to use flashlights for almost the last hour.  During that hour, 6 or 7 girls / women would run past us on the very rocky and difficult paths, carrying loads of hay or grass on their heads, and then rest after going 300 yards or so.  We kept passing each other. At one point, a resting, older woman (mother?) called out to me "buddh, aram lay jao" (Hey, old man, take a rest), while the younger girl, sweetly called out to me "ao, meri saat baito" (Why don't you come sit with me?).  Unfortunately, I had already stumbled past the seated, resting pair before I clearly heard and understood them - and I could not think of a retort soon enough either in my painful descent and delirium.  --Philip Mc

Heights --

* Nag Tibba climb on Sunday 25 October 2009
* Himalaya Castle at 6695 ft Leave at 5:30 am
* Aglar River at 2313 ft There at 6:44 am
* Pantwari at 4565 ft Tea at around 8 am
* Srikoti at 5382 ft Base to start trekking 8:32 am
* Nag Tibba “saddle” with two Forest gazebos at 8630 Lunch at 12:17 pm
* Nag Tibba peak at 9905 or 9925 ft Pictures at 2:29 pm Odometer 270
* Nag Tibba saddle at 8630 ft Rest 3:25 pm Od 271.8
* Pantwari at 4565 ft Around 6:40 tea again and depart
* HC at 6695 ft Odometer 324.66 on 25 Oct 2009 Arrive 9:45 pm

End of Insert #1 of 28Oct2010, or back to the blog]

[Insert #2.  The bhut or Ghost, watch out! From an email the 30th Oct 2010.
Edith, The main reason we had an ambition to conquer Nag Tibba was that Lindsay had a chance to do it with some girls her senior year, and she didn't accept the invitation.  I also wanted to go all the way to the top, because I had been up to the saddle which the local people call Nag Tibba, but which is about 2,000 feet below the summit, and where I and my grandson Mark had made it back in July 2007 and we also thought was the top or almost the top.  So both Lindsay and I wanted to go to the summit this year.

The younger woman did not mean it sisterly, but very, very seductively - but you must understand that the hill people around Mussoorie and back toward the snows have a fantastic sense of humor, which they greatly enjoy and practice, use all the time.  She said it partly to tease me, and partly meant it.  Our hill guides were also teasing Lindsay and me all the time - with their English words - Rest? Rest? Rest? or Move? Move? Go? Go?  They always did it with a teasing smile or smirk.  Another example? Early on Lindsay asked the guides to find her a stick or staff she could use on the climb up and the way down.  They also gave me one, but I left it at one of the Rests.  Later on the way down, I heard them in Hindi discussing, what are we going to do with that old man, he's lagging behind and we've got him to speed up to get down before dark.  I asked them for a second (actually third) stick on the way down, which they found a very good one for me about half way down in a village.  They then were laughing with each other - you know how or where we should use that stick to get that old man to hurry up?

At another point on the way down, one guide climbed up into a field by the road to join some 5-6 girls/women and one man, who were picking peas.  The second guide, climbed up on a ledge and peaked over into the field, to see what was happening and to get a handful of peas to give to Lindsay and me to eat fresh.  I decided I'd climb up on the ledge to peak at the activity.  As I appeared to the women, the same young girl (who later teased me to sit with her), warned her friends - watch out, the bhut (ghost) has appeared! - again a humorous jest.

--Philip Mc (just back in Delhi after our 2-day trip in Orcha) End of Insert #2, or go back to the blog]

[Insert #3 Still treking. 31 October 2010.
Gil, They still trek from Woodstock to Nag Tibba, going along Seokoli on Tehri road, then down to Magru and the Aglar, and then up either though Deosari or take a left fork going straight up a route to the summit.  I talked with a Casey Woodstock Office young (30 years old?) guy, who had done a lot of local trekking, first to ask about the route up Witch's hill as we looked out on it from the WS Office balcony, but then talked about Lindsay and my plan to assault Nag Tibba.  He said he took a group for 5 or 6 students on one of the holidays.  He says present day WS students are not at all interested in trekking, but these students reluctantly anyway.  They camped at the ponds below the summit which is about equal to the Saddle and Mandir (or temple).  He could not get any of the boys to go with him up to the summit, so he went up with another staff member. 

So, yes, they still do it the old way, from Woodstock, and climbing up the south face.

There's a blog at the WS alumni site you can look up which describes a 30 something attempting to do the old route walking in a day - which he did, but decided, since it was dark by the time he reached back to the Aglar, to 'cheat' and take a taxi back to the School.

Yes, its nice to know some Hindi and listen in to conversations, since most assume no USA persons knows the language.  I wish I knew it as well as Dick and other Woodstock alums.  --Philip Mc. End of Insert #3 or go back to the blog]

Modified much later after the October 2009 climb - on 17 March 2010, about 4.5 months later
Toes and feet.

Others have remarked about their experience also in climbing around Landour and Mussoorie, and especially coming down from Nag Tibba, the jarring of the toes in the shoes with each step downward.  I give photos of my feet -
the first of backened and discolored toe nails, taken about 10 days after the trek, on the 5th of November 2009 in Charlottesville.
The left foot's big toe and tall toes' nails fell off around mid-January. Other toes continue to be discolored.  The new toe nails which grew under the discolored ones on the left foot are are pretty ugly in themselves, even though whitish or yellowish.
The second photo is taken today, 17th March 2010 (4.5 months after the trek).
Enjoy, or turn away, or puke up.
Or as Iris H says "EEEeeeewwwwwww!!!!"
Sorry.

[Others = Steve W.  (Class of 1968) Nails falling off. from Facebook 16 March 2010. 
"I remember [? in the mid-1960s?] taking a good portion of a day getting to the Top of Nag Tiba from the Uglar. Mark B and I came down from there following the stream, what a mistake. I got blisters under my toe nails from jumping from rock to rock going down the mountain. We made it down in just a couple hours. We stayed down at the Uglar for a couple of days with the rest of our crew and then I had to hike back in sandals. Within a few weeks most of my toe nails fell off" End of Others insert]

Our Walking Poles. 
Early on the guides found walking poles for both of us.  Lindsay stuck with and kept her pole.  I lost or left the pole given to me twice.  But the third pole was really a great one.
How to take it home to the States, pack it? Dana decided to saw Lindsay's in half and pack it.  I thought I could carry it through with me on the plane like a ski pole.  Wrong.  The New Delhi airport or Continental people as we departed, examined the pole, took it back and seemed to have discussed it for about 45 minutes, and then went back to discuss it after they first told me no.  They came back - definitely no.  So, I lost that round.  I should have done like Dana, sawed it and packed it.  I don't know if Dana has put Lindsay's pole back together, or if they had any problem about it.

The Mall and World Wide Woodstock Day and BBQ

The Mall and World Wide Woodstock Day and BBQ - Saturday 24 October 2009

[More details later, but we went to the Mussoorie Mall around 10:30, all five of us, to go shopping.  Li eventually went off by herself, we four went to the India Bank to use the ATM to get money to pay for our Hotel boarding, then we walked on to the Cable Car, took it to the top, and viewed the snows and Nag Tiba, St George's School, etc. Coming down, we went (after Deej and Lindsay paid Rs 6 each to use a Public Toilet) to the end of the Mall at the Library where there were tons of school kids, begging for the photo.  We hired a cycle rickshaw to take us from the Library to the Cable Car, and took the lower road going in to the public Tourist office, and Lindsay and I bought a local map, big enough to roll up.

Going back up the hill to the India Bank, I finally found a hat I sort of liked. Further on I found a Khadi place and got a shirt. Lindsay, Dana, and Deej went on to order lunch the Tavern as I bought some mango jices for the NT tip, and found another Khadi place where I bought two more shirts.  Late lunch at the Tavern with beers. Rest and getting reading for the night and BBQ at Judy Criders. 

Then it hit - my diarreah! Dam.  Took medicine right away.  Walked to the Criders at Pennington - a very nice affair celebrating Worldwide Woodstock Day with BBQ chicken, meeting the Criders, David Smith, seeing Beth, and meeting the pastor at the Union Church (for the last 33 years) who has a daughter in Waynesboro! 

And he offered to give a ride home, but could only take 3 so Deej, Dana, and Li went rode, while Lindsay and I started out walking back to the Hotel  They passed us just before the Landour Hospital. Since Iman's was still open around 8, we stopped there and Lindsay settled on a purple sharwar kamize outfit for Rs 1000. Back to the Hotel and some more runs. But started to get ready for tomorrow's trek and go to sleep]

Witch's Hill

Witch's Hill - Friday 23 October 2009

[Here I will write about our going to the Woodstock Alumni office, about 11:30 heading down through Eastwood Estate, and then down a very difficult, rocky, overgrown landside path to Dhobi Ghat, then up the west side paved road, past a mine tunnel, to the small path going up the ridge to the top of Witch's Hill; and then down that path to Dhobi Ghat and up the road to Hanson Field.  Lindsay and I went on to Hanson Field - as Deej and Dana went up the road above Hanson Field.  Lindsay and I climbed the stairs up and up to Ridgewood and we looked into the large dinning room at Alter Ridge. The over to view the new construction at the Hostel and the large unfinished swimming pool which is in the south west corner of the play ground.  Then up the steep path to Tehri Road and on to have our second afternoon tea with staff - this time cheese sticks with tea. And back to our Hotel. More details and photos later]

Friday, October 23, 2009

Tibetan Happy Valley and Flag Hill

Tibetan Happy Valley and Flag Hill- 22 October 2009 Thursday

1.Arise. 2. Happy Valley Tibetan community with the Director, Tour of the School and its Library, Music, Class clapping, Painting, Thangkas, Sewing and Design, Dorms, Lunch, and Temple. 3. Flag Hill with its climb, the flags, the snows, and aborted walk to the Haunted House.  4. Supper at the Four Seasons.

Tibetan day for us – going to western Mussoorie’s Tibetan communities Happy Valley for the morning and afternoon, and then a drive out east to Jabarket and beyond to Flag Hill, where Tibetan prayer flags fly.

1.Arise.  We arose as usually around 8, after a somewhat sleepless morning from about 3 am on.  I took a little video of our night watchman whistling his way around the Himalaya Castle terrance, shining his flashlight and checking out some the bushes. Lindsay came out of her room about the same time (3 am) and commented on the owl, but I think she mistakenly thought the watchman’s periodic and reigular whistling was the owl.  There was a real owl or two hooting, hoot-hoot, then hoot-hoot, which you could hear over the distant dogs barking.  Breakfast was on the terrace again – Deej had thought it quite cold and windy at first, but the sun soon warmed us up as we shared an omelet, and scarfed down our warm buttered chapatis and two cups each of tea.  I helped Dana order two easy over eggs on toast, the key word being ‘soft’ fried eggs.  They came fine, except the toast and runny eggs were separate.

2. Happy Valley Tibetan community with the Director  Our taxi was to came at 9:45, but actually came early around 9:30, so we scambled to get in the taxi a few minutes after 9:30, with Dana riding shot-gun or suicide seat? We had some unsolved confusion of how much we were going to pay him, but he indicated Raj – who was the Woodstock taxi man arranging rides, so we left it for later.  The drive took us down below the Mall road, with us getting petrol or gas at the King Craig pump.  I had never been to Happy Valley, but it was around the road on the north side of the Library, heading toward Kempty Falls, but vering off after about 5 minutes to left or mountain side, and then another 5 minutes keeping to the left, with the bright white buildings of the Indian Administration Institute to our right, including their tennis courts and horse riding flat grounds.  We arrived at the office, and one greeter hesitantly figured to usher us in and up to the Director’s office. We had about half an hour just with him, asking questions about Tibetans coming to India, and mentioning we had seen the Dalai Lama when he first came to Mussoorie in 1959. We had filed past him during that public audience, each receiving a special knotted colored cloth.  Lindsay and I had lost ours long ago, but some of the Class of 59 still treasured theirs.

What we were waiting on was for another Woodstock group to arrive, which they did around 10:30, a UK family of 5, Chris Anderson’s sisters family.  The Director then went into a description of the Tibetans, their refugee history and their trails and difficulties; the founding of Happy Valley, and the setting up of this special school for around 500 Tibetan refugee children, which was established in the early 1960s before the Dalai Lama moved with most of the Indian refugee community to Dharahmsala.  The two UK kids asked some interesting and pointed questions. 

Tour of the School and its Library   Around 11:45 the Director finished his presentation and we thanked him and went off with a guide to see the school.  First there was an open courtyard with girls doing the homework, evenly spread out sitting on the ground.  Up the steps was the media center and library.  The library had some current magazines on racks, various chairs and tables, and stacks in the back.  There were photos of the Ruskin Bond’s 75th birthday celebration at the school.  One of the 10 or so racks of books was Tibetan language materials and the rest was a very mixed bag of English books, such as fiction about G.I. Joe

Music.  Through some more corridors and courtyards was the music room, where one boy was playing a Tibetan style bass guitar and a seated girl was strumming on a sort of zither.  There were drums, horns, flutes and other instruments around.

Class clapping  On our way to the painting class rooms, a class of 8 year old boys and girls sang the English song “Clap your hands” – with much glee.

Painting. One classroom had students oil painting variety of subjects, and they were in a 4-year program at different levels.

Thangkas.  The same was true (4-year program, different levels students) for next classes of students, the first one had students sketching and painting Thangkas.

Sewing and Design.  The next room had students sewing shirts, blouses, and coats, running the sewing machines by foot.  Finally there was a design room, where students were cutting cloth based on different models of traditional and non-traditional Tibetan clothes – and of different sizes.   All these class were very interesting and the students did not seem to be fazed by our presence, wandering around and looking at them working.

Dorms

Lunch

Temple.

3. Flag Hill

The climb

the flags

the snows

aborted walk to the Haunted House. 

4. Supper at the Four Seasons.

Back to School

Back to School - 21 October 2009

Breakfast on the patio with views of the snows. Going to the tailors and shoeman. Walking to school.  The Gate, the office, the Internet. School Lunch. Mumby Gym. Library. Tea. Organic Garden. Supper at the Golden.

Breakfast on the patio with views of the snows. Waking about 8:10 after a good nights sleep, we joined Li, Lindsay, and Dana on the patio, with the snow covered peaks far away in the background, clear and sunny.  I had gotten up between 2-4 am after sleeping at 9:40 pm, and copied off photos from previous days. Then back to sleep.  Deej had slept well also, getting up to see the starlight from the back window; and much later seeing the sun rise. For breakfast we had chaptis, shared an omelet, and had two 2-cup (barely) plastic pots of chai.  Lindsay with Deej searched through the bird book – remembering yellow and red martinets they had seen on their Sesquintenial trip back in 2004 from the Shiva Hotel, The warm sun in the crisp morning and friendly conversation – a perfect way to start the day.  After toiletries, we headed out. 

Going to the tailors and shoeman.
Around 9:15 Li lead us walking to the Iman tailors at the bottom of the Mullingar hill.  But Iman was away in Dehradun, so no measuring and ordering today – but they looked at the bolts of cloth in the shop, but were not happy by what was available.  Next to the shoeman or mochi, halfway up the hill on the left – Deej right away found some sandals that fit her for Rs. 300.  Lindsay could not convince to customize a pair of sandals with a small heel and without the toe strap, so did not order any.  I found a nice pair, but too small, had my foot traced, and left an advance of Rs. 100 (of 300) for him to make a larger pair to be picked up on Friday. 

Walking to school.  Then up to the top of Mullingar hill, on to Tehri road a walk to the School. Took some pictures of a barber and trash managers (scavengers?) before going past under Landour Community Hospital.  We saw some of Gil’s dahlias on the way, Spring View (the Hortons) now residence of a popular doctor, Edgehill Villa (Knox’s place), around the corners with the big mirrors to see oncoming traffic, and views of the Ridge and College (Midland) dorms and of the Organic Garden down below.

The Gate, the office, the Internet.

Arrived at the gate, and the guard called to see if we were legit, and Li answered, yes, we were. Photos at the Gate, working in past offices (used to be the Cells), and through the Quad, and up to the Alumni and other offices.  Greeted others there – Anne, Dan, Monica, Principal David, Chris S., Stephen A, etc.  And then started our slow WiFi to check on email over the past days – told Lila we were planning to be at LC offices on Wed the 28th, replied to Claire that really she could take her books to LC for shipping, and 234 other messages. Until

School Lunch. Down to the dinning room, first to the Gents toilet, and then a wonderful lunch of noodles, mamo, lentils, filtered water (filled up plastic bottles), and chai.  Meeting a few other faculty.  Back up for some more reading of emails. And to talk with Casey, an experienced trekker, who worked in the offices – to learn how best to get to and climb Witches Hill – also talked some of his treks to Nag Tibba from the south side after over night at the ponds – his students also were not interested in going with him to the top. Monica also arranged for our trip to Happy Valley (Tibetan community tomorrow)

Mumby Gym and Library. Anne took our little group on a tour of the new Mumby Gym and the Library.  Up the covered passageways with loitering kids, also headed to the gym.  What an amazing new million dollar Win Mumby Gym, which had been completed and dedicated about a month before in ceremonies and evening dance.  A full sized basket ball court with bleachers, overhead large computerized screens, locker rooms for home and visitor teams, offices, badminton court, two-story climbing wall, two ping pong tables, large exercise room with modern equipment (duty free for a minority, Christian, institute), and squash court. Really wonderful – but it was sitting on top of and replaced my wonderful upper playground were we spent hours roller skating on around the concrete square, no more May pole in the middle, no more place where my Cub Scouts met.  Lots of new things replacing some of the old.

To the Library – modern, sunny, named after Miss Marley, and a good section of Ruskin Bond, newspaper racks, and a computer room with about 20 computers. Up to Parker Hall, looking around.  Then Anne, Lindsay, and Dana left us to meet with the librarian – after we waited looking at the Peace sculpture and the bank of purple flowers.  We had a very pleasant and informative exchange with Sue the librarian – she had put in a new library system, doubled the lighting and much else.

Tea. Down for more Internet, finishing up reading and responding to emails. Downstairs to the tea and cake at the back terrace near the Lyre tree.  All sorts of staff and friends were in conversation on the sunny terrace.

Organic Garden.  Next, Li lead us down the steep stairs to the lower Tehri road and around it to the Organic Garden.  Whoops, a very steep, small loose-rocky path down to the Garden.  Deej slipped once, and was scared (along with the rest of us) of the steep khud or hills on each side of the ridge.  The gardener with his wife and daughter live in a small pakka house there – to guard (against langur monkeys and others), tend, pick, and water the plants on the terraces – peas, lettuce, broccoli, etc.  Li had lots of ideas and instructions for the gardener, to improve everything.  The views of the Hostel under construction, the Ridges, and the College, from below and across the near ridge were a new perspective.  Then the steep, steep climb back up to Tehri road and learning from the gardener the not-steep path back up to Landour.  We went around lower Tehri road and then up the concrete path, which was mostly quite steep.  Panting we eventually arrived at Landour – coming on to the road very near where we had been in the morning, the bottom of Mullingar hill near Iman the tailor’s shop, as Sikhs were in a community chant at their center that juncture.  A leisurely walk past the clock tower and to Himalaya Castle, getting there about 6, and we all rested in our rooms for about an hour.

Supper at the Golden. Li led us off, about 7 pm, to the Golden restaurant next to the Clock Tower and we had a pleasant and nice meal – tomato and chicken soups, chicken palao, mutton, dal, alo paneer, chicken mughlai, plain and buttered chapattis and naan.  Dana and Deej went in search of beer and finally figured out to go 2 blocks to the English Wine shop.  Wonderful tastes.  Back to the hotel and falling into bed around 9, as Deej read on into her book of the Q&A (Slumdog Millionaire)

Landour Again

Landour Again - 20091020 Tuesday

Arrival. Settling in. Landour and Mussoorie. Classmates gather and investigate. Golden restaurant supper.

Glorious Gambles


20091018 Sunday through 20091020 Tuesday

Two gambles – 1) traveling, especially going to the other side of the world, and 2) planning, such as our 50th Class reunion at our Woodstock School in India

First 2) Planning for a 50th Class reunion at our Woodstock School in India.  About two years ago our class started thinking about and planning our 50th Class reunion, the class being those who had been in the Woodstock School class who graduated in 1959.  Our most success with this gamble was planning, organizing, and some 18 classmates (with 10 or so spouses) gathering together in mid-July 2009 at the Hotel in Newport Or for 3 days before the general WOSA reunion in Eugene. We also planned for a reunion at Woodstock School in India – several voiced interest in that reunion, but some decided to take a trip down the Rhine, or a India tour after the School reunion failed to materialize, or some did not have the time money, or they had already been back to India and the School and didn’t want to go again, or never wanted to go back to India, or such kinds of reasons.  Ended up, that three of us decided to celebrate our 50th at the School – Li, Lindsay with her husband Dana, and me with Deej.  If the gamble to get 20 or so at our reunion in India – that failed.  Our the gamble succeeded in getting three classmates at our India reunion.

2) traveling, especially going to the other side of the world

Of Nag Tibba Pasts

[I will fill in this post with information of past climbs up Nag Tibba - especially my experience in July 2007]

Monday, September 28, 2009

Heading for India Oct 2009

We are heading for India, a two week trip, from the 18th of October and returning on the 4th of November 2009.  We will be in Mussoorie and at Woodstock to join other Class of 1959 classmates for a week, and then back down to Delhi and on to the Orcha palaces and gardens (beyond Jhansi) for a day and night, and back to Delhi for 5 days.

Here are some details:
India Trip Itinerary. 18 October - 4 November 2009
** 18 October 2009 Sunday. Drive to Richmond airport for Continental Airlines flight CO2188 1:00 pm from Richmond to Newark arrv 2:27 pm, and then flight CO82 from Newark leaving 8:25 pm to Delhi
** 19 October 2009 8:15 pm = 2015 hrs arrive Delhi on flight CO82 Continental Airlines
Travel agent in India for transfers, train, Delhi hotels, and Orcha trip is Uday Tours and Travel, 10/2459 Beadonpura, Karol Bagh, New Delhi - 110 005 India, Tel :: +91- 11 - 47151515 EMail: uday@del2.vsnl.net.in or utt@del6.vsnl.net.in Website: www.udaytour.com
Pick up and transportation by Uday Tours to Delhi's Nizamuddin Railway station to catch the train
Depart Delhi at 11:55 pm = 2355 hrs. The 2205 A/c Special [First A/C Confirmed] for Dehradun
** 20 October 2009 Tuesday arrival Dehradun at 0540 hrs. Breakfast and taxi up to Mussoorie.

** 20 October through 27 October 2009 Tuesday. One week in Mussooorie and Woodsotck (click for Details Below), staying at Himalaya Castle Hotel Near City Board, Kulri, Mussoorie, Dehradun Dist. Mussoorie Uttaranchal – 48179 India Telephone No: 0135 – 2635046
** 27 October 2009 Tuesday Taxi to Dehradun to catch the Dehradun to Delhi 4042 Express [First A/C Confirmed] departing 9:30 pm = 2130 hours overnight
** 28 October 2009 Wednesday Arrive Delhi 0745 hours.
Pickup and transfer to the Grand Peepal Hotel / Delhi, one night stay at Grand Peepal Hotel, 4/1 WEA, Saraswati Marg, Karol Bagh New Delhi, Delhi 110005, India +91 11 25751324
** 29 October 2009. Delhi to Janshi 2002 Shatabdi Experss, depart 0615 hours [A/c Chair Car confirmed.
Arrive Jhansi at 1048 hours. Pick up and transfer to Orcha Resort Hotel. Tour gardens and palace in the afternoon. Kanchanghat, Orchha, Distt. Tikamgarh , Madhya Pradesh, India Tel: +91-7680 - 252222 /23 /24, Tele Fax: +91 - 7680 - 252677 Email: orchha@orchharesort.com
** 30 October 2009. Day in Orcha, transport from Orcha to Jhansi to catch the 6:11 pm = 1811 hours 2001A Shatabdi Express, A/C Chair Car Confirmed
Arriving Delhi 11:00 pm = 2300 hours
Pickup and Transfer to Grand Peepal Hotel/ Delhi, possible 4 nights stay.from 30 October to 03 November
** 31 October 2009 Saturday to 3rd Novemeber 2009 Tuesday. Delhi.
** 1 November 2009 Sunday. Supper at Kailash's house
** 3 November 2009. Pick up and transport to Delhi airport. Depart 11:35 pm CO83
** 4 November 2009 Wednesday. Arrive Newark on flight CO83 at 4:30 am. Depart for Richmond on flight CO2457 at 8:25 am, arrive Richmond 10:02 am. Drive back to Charlottesville.

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Details for the week's stay in Mussoorie, 20-27 October


20th Arrive, go to Hotel Himalaya Castle. Go to and order sandals.  See about tailors who might make clothes within a week.  Other shopping and settling in.  What are the nearest Internet cafes to the Hotel - what times are they open, and their rates?

21st Wed. Hike to Dhobi Ghat and Witches Hill Some of the day at Woodstock helping out at the Alumni archives, or attending a class, etc.
Alternate on Wed or Thursday Hike to Flag Hill and up to the Chakar, down Mullingar. Tea with Ruskin Bond?

22nd Thurs Hike to Dhobi Ghat and Witches hill Some of the day at Woodstock helping out at the Alumni archives, or attending a class, etc.
Alternate on Wed or Thursday Hike to Flag Hill and up to the Chakar, down Mullingar.  Tea with Ruskin Bond?

23rd Friday.  Alternate day for trip to climb Nag Tibba, if weather on Sunday looks bad. If not, walk or shop around the Mall, go to Tibetan community and school at Happy Valley, down to see Kempty Falls? Maybe special reunion dinner at a special restaurant for the class59?

24th Saturday. Worldwide Woodstock Day - BBQ? do we invite ourselves to Judy Crider's house? Time? where's her house?

25th Sunday. Trip to climb Nag Tibba. Lindsay and Philip, leaving by van at 6 am. Arrangements by Winkie

26th Monday. Woodstock Honors Chris Anderson '74 Distinguished Alumni Awards Ceremony. Leader of the TED website of ideas and talks.

27th Tuesday.  Last day at Woodstock. Pick up sandals and anything from tailors. Around noon travel to Dehradun to see the town and sites, and catch trains to Delhi.

Back to the itinerary

Oregon and Reunions July 2009

We had a wonderful trip to Oregon in July 2009, seeing the marvelous Oregon Country Fair outside of Eugene, traveling south to the north California Redwoods, heading northeastward from there to southern Oregon's Crater Lake, and back north to the two reunions - the Class of 1959's 50th reunion on the coast at Newport, and finally the WOSA annual reunion at Eugene.

I will add some details and links to photos at a later time.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Beach 2009 May

The weather was good, good - the water was cold, cold. Sat 23May - Sat 30 May 2009, in south Nags Head at a house called Ocean Adventure, #416. Good straight view of the ocean down a 2 block road, could see dolphins through binoculars. Ate at Mako Mikes the first night; great food at Blue Moon Grill Thursday night (Fish tacos and calamari); good food at Ocracoke's Thai Moon cafe on Wed. Then cooking tile fish and 2 lbs of shrimp from Austen's, scallops from Whalebone seafood, and mahi from Wancheese, the last with Lynn over for supper Thurs night, after cocktails at her place, Bird's Nest at 100 Altoona.

Several times we went out on our south Nags Head beach; also two wide beaches on Ocracoke (but rip tides on Wed), and twice at the Pea Island beach (Tuesday's trip to Pea Island, and then on the way back from Ocracoke). Crowded beaches on Sat, Sun, and Memorial Monday, but then pretty empty beaches.

Got to Duck on Friday on the same afternoon we looked for tie-dye shirts for friends and found the Carolina Moon gallery in Duck and the donations shop in KDH, and over to Manteo (to see David's house at 500 Fernando) and Wancheese on Thursday afternoon.

Lazy relaxed time - especially on the nice front (back?) porch facing the ocean. Bird nesting right below the deck.

Very week wi-fi through Linksys up through Wed, then hardly any connectivity. Called and got very slow dialup on Thursday at $16 a month! through agninet now ncisp.net.

Did a lot of walking, shelling was not that great but fun, also watching pelicans and for dolphins.

Didn't gain weight, but first year my arm had white spotty arm tan.

Visited sister Barb in her place in Richmond on our way back to Charlottesville. Jado had been left alone all Friday and Saturday - happy to see us, purring, and chowed down.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Springtime in Chicago

Went to the Asian Association Conference in Chicago in late March 2009 - nothing exciting, but interesting to be with other South Asian librarians for a while and their meetings, and to re-establish friendships with Anand and others, and to go to some interesting presentations. And I saw and met Peter M from Australia; last time I saw, talked with him was when we were graduate students at the U of Wisconsin, Madison, in the mid 1960s. He said Don Best was retired from his university career as an American historian. Both Peter and Don migrated to Australia in the late 1960s as prospects for getting academic jobs in the US were very, very slim. Maybe I should have gone with them? That would have made a very different life for me over the past 40 years!

The last day in Chicago it snowed just as we were departing. The Sunday snow fall was beautiful and non-threatening to travel (only 3 inches or so).

I always enjoy Chicago, its architecture, museums, waterfront, changes, food, etc.