April 29 to May 4. 1999

Well, not quite paradise ...

Pelling is a rather ugly collection of hotels near the Pemayangtse Monastery, the Sangachoiling Monastery, the starting point for some interesting tours or treks and a little nice "secret". And ther are lots of nice places too, and then there might be the mountains.

While there probably are a lot of nicer hotels (and certainly many worse), head for Hotel Garuda, named after the mysterious bird of Tibetan myths. There is a map of interesting things and places, and for the "Lonely Planet" type of tourists it is where you will find people like themselves. If you are not, they possess a lot of valuable information - and a good laugh in the afternoons and evenings.

Hotel Garuda is situated below the road, just where the Share jeeps and buses stop. The most quiet rooms were at the bottom of the hotel, but my room was very damp.

There is sort of a Bank of India, but it is better to take the money needed, as there are all sorts of "but not like this". Some that went to the nearby town of Gezing or Gyalzing (or a lot of other possibilities) had trouble there too.

An old guy like me gets so tired after the journey that a little food and lots of rest is it. Young people like the Dutch/Hungarian actor couple Luc and Petra will go out and might be invited in to a wake.

The next day there was a funeral procession, with a funeral pyre at the Sangachoiling Gompa.

When I went to Sangachoiling Gompa, I med three nice Korean young guys, and we were caught in the afternoon showers. The next morning the sky was clear, to reveal the mountains.

Hotel Garuda - the red roofs below the road. Maybe not the best, but where the backpackers stay and meet.

The "Roundabout" and bus-stop, just a few yards from Hotel Garuda.