As I mentioned yesterday, after having an online conversation with a friend about India, I realized I have a lot of photos from those couple of days of our Nepal trek that I hadn't put online. In fact I have so many hundreds of photos from Nepal that there are MANY that have never seen the light of day. These photos are from towards the end of our trek when we got to the area of Nepal near the India border. We went over into India for one night and stayed at this beautiful cabin next to the Jogmai Tea Estate in the town of Meghma, India, which is not far from Darjeeling. I still have a box of Meghma tea in my cupboard, which is organic, and very good! So anyway here are some more photos from my trip. Enjoy! I'll be gone this weekend at my church's women's retreat in Huntsville, so that should be really nice. I'm looking forward to it!
Madan Tamang, owner of the Jogmai Tea Estate, and Brian Williams, Director of the Red Panda Network (RPN), walk in the mist on the tea plantation grounds. Madan has a passion for rhododendrons as well and is restoring many native rhododendrons to his land, and reforesting with other trees as well. Here is an interesting interview with him on TheSimpleLeaf website. RPN leads eco-treks through Nepal for other travelers also if you're interested - check them out!
Brian, Sonam (behind), Madan, and Mickey Mestel (a fellow trekker) walk along the path.
I don't think this is even taken at Madan's tea plantation but another one, but it shows the way the tea grows, and I think it's a cool photo. This is inside the gorgeous cabin where we stayed. Very upscale and very moderately priced and a world apart from the places most trekkers stay when trekking through Nepal!! This is Brian on the far left wall, Tim Gorski (Director, Cultural Film Fund), and Mickey and Madan in the background.
A close up of some of the tools used in processing the tea, when it's being dried.
Madan tells us about how he dries and processes the tea. No tea is drying right now because it wasn't the season for it to be drying.
This was the vehicle we drove to Meghma in. Most of the time we trekked but for this part into India we all piled into this tiny vehicle, WITH our gear. So that would like oh gosh I need to double check this but at least 9 or 10 people plus gear. That doesn't count the driver.
Yep we got a flat tire on the way too, and I've never mentioned that! These were obviously the infamous "retreads."
Across the street from Madan's estate is this. If I remember correctly, it is a gompa which is a Zen Buddhist temple but it's also housing a bunch of artifacts that Madan's father or grandfather got from Tibet many years ago. The building on the right is where all the artifacts or gods-n-goddesses are which I'll show in a sec.
A close up of the wall.
A close up of the stupa, the dome shape on top of the gompa (monastery).
Another close-up of the wall, with tibetan prayer flags.
Inside the building were all these statuettes. There were hundreds of them! These were on the second floor of the building. The first floor was the more traditional gompa, or monastery, where the prayers take place. The sceond floor was almost like a museum with all these statuettes and artifacts.
Some little cups lined the walls near the glassed-in statuettes.
Some candles were lit.
Madan spins a giant prayer wheel clockwise, inside the gompa. Buddhists believe that spinning the prayer wheels, which are printed with the Tibetan prayer mantra Om Mani Padme Hum, reverses any bad karma you have and help you on the path to enlightenment.
All photo Copyright (c) 2007 Wendee Holtcamp