Momo’s, the Dalai Lama, 13-hour car ride with a surprising ending…

Date: 26 May Time: 06:48

OK. So we’re an hour late. We’ve got 13 hours ahead of us. Let’s go. We’ve decided to hire a car, Andeeta is the driver, complete with grey beard, red turban, sleek spectacles and an uncanny knack for keeping us at the edge of our seats. I haven’t had a chance to give you a taste of the driving styles of India. It’s worth mentioning. Any taxi driver in South Africa or semi-pro speed racer will be reduced to dust. Enough said.

12:5opm

Roadside spot with a famous actor’s face everywhere. On the menus made of tambourines, to the garden entertained by figurines, he’s everywhere. I’m on the fence here – kitsch or just freaky? The food – all vegetarian and we have butter paneer with naan. My stomach is still suffering occasional visions bursting delhi belly ghosts.

4:45pm

Golden light starts streaming through the heavens just when we hit the mountains. Perfect time for shooting outdoors, DV is really exercising self-control, solely because we don’t know how many hours we have to go.

7pm

My eyes seem to be lying to me, but no, we are know knee deep in the Himalayan Mountains. The sun is setting and each road sign just keeps saying, Dharamshala: 20km’s away.

20:12pm

McLeodGanj, we see you, just above Dharamshala, the home of the Dalai Lama. We drop our bags at a hotel and head straight for the Tibetan kitchen, with all it’s local dishes sold out, we bite into thai green curry, kungpao chicken, ginger friend rice and chicken momos (Tibetan dumplings). More momos to come. Watch this space.

I have to highlight again – 13-hours in a car with me and Andeeta in the front, Max and DV in the back, and we’re still friends? The Himalayan Mountains must have some magic powers.

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