I'm feeling nostalgic after my Dad sent me these photos of when we met in India and travelled together for a month with his Tibetan friend Bino and two Tibetan monks. I feel so blessed to have spent this time with my Dad. It took ten days in Delhi for our visas to be granted for the restricted area of Arunachal Pradesh where Bino's Mum lives in Mechuka a small mountain village near the border of China. There isn't much of a road there (although i see on trip advisor that they may be slowly constructing one...ha trip advisor!) and it takes about three days by 4x4. When we visted 15 years ago the locals told us that it had only been visited by tourists maybe ten times. It was remote and beautiful and the sustainable way they live up there continues to inspire me. All grain and crops were grown and water was collected direct from the river (we were told that the spirits would not be happy if you polluted the river in anyway...if a cow urinated near the water it would be sure to die shortly after) The toilets were away from the houses in wooden sheds and the ashes from the fires in the homes were used to neutralise the smell and create a compost for the fields. Cooking was done on a central fire in the middle of the room. Houses were timber framed. The staple crop was millet. The delicacy was a hard cheese made into cubes and would store for months. Up on the hill overlooking the village is a Tibetan Buddhist Temple visited by the Dalai Lama.
|a hindu festival celebrated in mechuka|
|Tibetan Pilgrimage. Wearing the traditional Chupa, apron and coral and turquoise beads ... i think the red bottle i'm carrying probably contained arak... local moonshine made from millet.|
|the hospitality was incredible but we were very drunk a lot of the time - the teapot was filled with arak and it was unlucky for a guests cup to become empty!|
|stilted houses on the journey up the mountain|