McLoed Ganj – day 11

A more relaxing 12.4km hike today around the local area. Started with breakfast near the Dalai Lama temple before setting off towards the Church of St. John in the Wilderness. One of the oldest cathedrals in North India (built in 1852), it is known for its gothic character, stained glass windows and memorial to Lord Elgin. It was certainly a strange sight to see – hidden amongst the trees high in the Indian mountains. Very beautiful graveyard attached to the church which contains the graves of many victims of the 1905 earthquake.  

 We then continued along to the Dal Lake. Considered to be sacred by the locals, it is surrounded by deodar (Himalayan cedar) trees. We had a picnic lunch by the lake, sharing possibly the biggest sandwich ever!!  
 Whilst I spent time soaking up the scenery, sun and reading my book, Jayne was taking photos of the wildlife that surrounded the lake.  
After about an hour at the lake, we wandered back into town and got our bus tickets to Shimla for tomorrow night. Headed back to our hotel via a craft shop where we almost bought a replica painting of theKalachakra mandala mural inside the Dalai Lama temple… Unfortunately, or fortunately, the price tag made us think twice about dragging it around in our backpacks for the next 11 months!!

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