It's now the 5th. I've been here for just about a week, and, well, it's time to move on.
I'm still sick - coughing up all kinds of ugly things, and in a few days, will be moving from the current course of antibiotics to some kind of industrial grade disease killer. I've been in beautiful Leh for a while, and haven't done much more than read about 1000 pages of fiction, drink black tea, and personally destroy about 2 trees worth of tissues.
I don't see myself getting well in the next couple days, and so, there is no point in waiting to get well so I can go hiking and explore the mountains. Thus, I think I should be reasonable, accept the fact that I won't get to do any outdoor activites, and just move on.
I'm off to buy a bus ticket today - either a 22 hour minivan, or a 2 day bus ride - in either case, will take me to Manali... where it's raining, but at least, is where I want to be.
I've been stuck in Leh, a tourist destination, with 3 dollar per hour satellite internet, hugely overpriced tourist-friendly israeli/italian/spanish/korean food, and aging german hiking tourists everywhere. I want to leave. I've been stuck here, partially due to the fact that I did at least want to go hiking for a day or two, but also because some things came up in my personal life that necessitated me being near internet and a phone.
I think, for the most part, that I've sorted those out now - as best as is possible - and so now, I want to find a nice remote village, and spend the next 2 weeks doing nothing but chilling out, reading books, and playing card games and cultivating my hebrew profanity skills - without a phone, email, rss feeds, blogs, or the outside world.
I expect to be in the Parvati Valley area, which is not so far from Manali. There are lots of small villages around, with 3-4 guest-houses in each. While backpackers have gone missing before, I do not intend to go off wandering in the woods by myself, so I think I should be ok.
Israelis tend to be the ones who get killed - this may be because of the numbers (so many israelis there, thus any random killing is likely to be one of them) - or, the fact that the area is the epicenter of India's charas (hashish) production. Bad people are attracted to illegal businesses, and many israelis (or at least the ones in India) flock to charas like moths to a lightbulb. Bad people + israelis chasing after drugs = dead israelis.
The area is also one of the best sources in India for fantastic unfiltered natural apple juice, and pashmina shawls - but the types of people attracted to these industries won't hurt you...
I'll have my wits about me, and expect to be back in Delhi on or around the 19th of August or so - where, I predict, I'll spend my final few days in a Dentist's chair, making good use of my newly acquired ability to let hebrew profanities flow.
Until then ----