A real and timely shave
Amie beside Tibetan prayer wheels
Monks eager for the next teaching session with His Holiness
Amie kneading dough during our Tibetan cooking class
Steve Hiking up to Triand with views of the mighty HimalayasOur bus half on the road, half hanging over the 100ft steep slope.

I guess it's safe to say, since we are coming home on the weekend, that we almost died yesterday. More on this later.

The bus ride out to Dehra Dun was really winding, unlike anything I've ever experienced before. Twisting and turning, our little bus clinging to the pavement which was clinging to the sides of cliffs. Sometimes I'd look out the window and there was nothing beside us, just a sheer drop hundreds of feet to the river below. I was a little stressed out, especially after bus incident earlier in the day (more later) and finally when we came to the bus' first stop, we both felt pretty unsettled and queasy.

No problem. We ordered ice cream and waited for the bus to take off again. By this point in time we were out of the mountains and on fairly straight roads. The only bad thing was I had the worst stomach pains I've had in ages. At about 1am, just over halfway into the trip, I knew something bad was going to happen. Sure enough, my stomach started crunching uncontrollably and I stuck my head out the window and promptly threw up…three times. Things calmed a bit, but then got going again about an hour later when I had to hang my head out the window once again…this time I threw up like 7 times. Thank goodness I was by the window, or we would have had some serious problems.

This morning when we got off the bus, I saw the extent of the damage I'd done!

A huge stream of vomit, definitely showing colors from yesterday's lunch and snacks, sprayed from the window and fanned down in an arch to reach the wheels of the bus. If the bus had been any other color, everything would have just fit in with the scenery. But…the bus had to be white.

-amie-

Ok back to almost dying (before Amie's bus story) – we were planning to take an overnight bus from Dharamsala to Dehra Dun and were on our way to the Dharamsala bus station on a local rickety bus. The local bus trip was only 15 minutes but had to go down several mountain switchbacks. Not that difficult with power steering. Our bus didn't and was on it's last legs. Luckily for this experience we were in the front row. The bus, going only about 10km/h, turns a sharp corner. Then it keeps turning. Then it keeps going, pointed off the road. The bus driver reefs on the emergency brake and we start to slow down. We eventually come to a complete stop but not before a tree branch breaks through some front windows and people unleash blood curdling screams. Amie is smarter than me. She promptly jumps out the window, not sure whether the bus teeter-totter is going to stop or keep going off the cliff. I am pretty stupid and sit there stunned as everyone climbs over me to get out the windows. Regaining composure, I am last to get off the bus. I guess I hadn't planned an escape plan for that one. Still pretty shook up, we hail an autorickshaw and head to the bus station. I asked him politely if he would pay special attention to staying on the road.

-steve-

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