January 2nd, 2008
Today, I got my courage up to venture further along the trail heading north. There was supposed to be an amazing waterfall a bit far but within walking distance.
Before getting too far, I was mesmerized watching the vultures circling above. Tibetans consider vultures to be spiritually advanced because they don’t kill, they simply take what is given, unlike the eagle, which hunts its prey
It was a beautiful walk through small pines and colorful prayer flags, winding around the small peak in the ridge. Eventually, I came to a small village, where the road split off in different directions. My map wasn't detailed enough to show the way, and I couldn't manage to communicate with the man at the canteen. I have a feeling I should cross over the next ridge, but my confidence was beginning to fade. It was starting to feel a long ways from McLeod Ganj, so I enjoyed the open view between the ridges and turned back.
Re-entering the woods, I noticed something moving in the ditch. Looking up at me, with bright, beady eyes, was what I think was a giant hedgehog. I almost looked like a stuffed animal, tossed in the leaves.
I continued back to McLeod Ganj, and all the way back to the edge to watch the sunset again. This time I stayed until the shadow of the ganj crept all the way up until the last bit of sunlight extinguished from the peak, leaving a wall of grey and white rock leaning against a pale purple sky.