Sep. 1-15: Ladakh. Start out in Leh, perhaps do a homestay for a couple days, and there's a meditation center around there that I think is having a 3-day or so retreat while I'm there.
Sep. 15-22: Head back South via Jammu and Kashmir. Mostly passing through. Kashmir is a rather dreamy name, but I don't know what to do or where to go there.
Sep. 22-29: Punjab. See Amritsar and the Golden Temple for sure, and spend at least a day in Chandigarh.
Sep. 29-Oct. 26: Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand. Visit McLeod Ganj. HH will be there Oct 1-4 and 24-26! Visit some Hindu pilgrimage sites; I understand the Char Dham are in Uttarakhand. Sounds interesting? Also, Rishikesh. Finally, Oct. 26 is Diwali.
Oct. 26-Nov. 14: Nepal. I have no idea what I'll do there.
Nov. 14-18: Bhutan. I know exactly what I'll do there.
Nov. 18-25: Sikkim? This is also not very well thought out.
Nov. 25-Dec. 9: Delhi and around, meet up with some friends, relax a bit, and head south. Perhaps stop in Bangalore for a couple days; I'm interested to see what India's tech capital looks like.
Dec. 9-31: South India. Coimbatore, meeting another friend (hint: it is Ram), and then hang around Tamil Nadu or something? Kerala? It'll figure itself out.
Okay, now I will list the current list of things I will be bringing, because that's what I've been thinking about the most. Comments are welcome.
- passport, international drivers license (with motorcycle permit!), US drivers license, ISIC
- 4 shirt layers: red techy t-shirt, long underwear shirt, button down shirt, warm sweater
- 2 pants layers: long underwear pants and REI light hiking pants
- gym shorts for sleeping, or perhaps a lungi. I've heard these are very useful.
- 2 underwears
- windbreaker ("marathon jacket"- it's something stupid like 3oz, size of an apple.)
- 2 pairs of socks - Tekol is the brand I've liked the most
- phone (it's a camera, notepad, etc.), headphones, and usb cord
- kindle (same USB as my phone; woo)
- computer: need to buy this still. Looking at a 10" 3lbs netbook.
- toiletries: toothbrush, toothpaste, glasses/case, contacts/solution, floss
- medicine: allergy medicine, malaria pills
- shoes- I have some Vivo Barefoot shoes coming in the mail. Hopefully these will be good for walking a lot.
- sandals? my Chacos? they are not light. Anyone tried these?
- backpack: which? I will figure this out after I see how big everything is.
- gifts from Seattle for hosts/friends: what? ideally something small and light, but still nice. Maybe someone sells nice little Space Needle statues.
- and one bottle of Armani Code Black perfume, for my Bhutanese tour guide. His request. 's all good, I guess.