Dies ist der FriedensPilger-Blog
This is the peace pilgrimage blog

On the way to Leh

After completing 18.000 km I meet the Hell-race-people.
It’s just mind blowing what these organize. They have some runners who are running in 120 hours, 5 days,  a distance of 475 km from Manali to Leh through all this high passes. (Includes sleeping time)
Some other runners do 5 marathon in 5 days through this difficult terrain.
We have a wonderful evening together, where I give my story of the ‚empty villages and the vision‘ into the circle.

Next day we all have to get over the 5.350m TanglangLa Pass. The marathon runners have to take the running route along the official street, I can take some short cuts. While starting to nearly the same time, I sit again after the Pass somewhere at the side of the street, resting, while the runners pass by.

I have another problem to solve. I calculated the time for walking until Leh fine. At the 30th of June my friend Elisabeth from Germany arrived for a visit. What I did not calculate….. I have to write and publish the blog before she arrived, otherwise I am not really with her.
So…. I decided, because I walk so nice and kind of easy bigger distances, to walk the 70 km after the Tanglang La Pass crossing day in just 2 days. Just before the gates of Leg, in view distance to the Shanti Stupa, I stay now with my ‚free monk friend‘ Konchok. Here I have time to do all the writing and proparbly tomorrow publishing…..

Blessings to all of you
Thomas

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A vision arises

The last two walking days, to much traffic on the road. Season is getting high…. to much honking…. no clue where Sunil is, he must have passed….

One afternoon in Pank, I told the both ladys Sonem and Tshimet, who helped me with my special food wishes, I have to go to my room (dormitory) to think….. I had no clue what that would mean. I set down on my bed and put my palms together, suddenly a flow starts coming through me… it is less thinking, than recieving information, sorting it in the open mind…. ok. I reached Pank and the upcoming plains…. Sunils intention to see me on the way brought me until here. Now I can leave the street. I can go to Sangtha (away from the street) to cut the way to Dehbrink (45km on the road) in two parts. Looking on the map I slowly understand I can continue from Sangtha further northnorthwest towards a village Lungmoche and Dat, then to Tsokra to finally reach after KarpoLa Pass a more common hiking trail towards Leh. All the villages are marked on my map with a red square, which means, people are living there permanently. A local shows up, looking at my plan, realize what I want to do, says ‚yes‘, to the same time leaving the room, telling ‚I come back’…. what he did not, also the following day. So I ask Sonem and Tshimet, to look over my plan…. There are not so super locals, but after a while, they agree, that there are people in the villages. Tshimet even has a brother in Kharnak, which is on my maps.me online map just a km away from Sangtha. I can stay there for a night. She has another adress from Tsokar (my map says Tsokra) where I can stay on a camp ground renting a tent.

I waited all the time to find someone to go together on hiking trails, but all the people who promised to come, did not come, wether other people came insted. So it’s time to go alone. And I am confident. I found a nice route, which I can manage,  even though it has five around 5000m passes. There are enough villages on the way, where I can get potatoes or eggs to fill up my food storage. Mainly nuts and some other snacks I bought at the Dhabas. Raisins for 3 or 4 days are left. And a bit honey and chick peas.

The map I have is a hiking map, showing all the structures of the mountains and rivers. The trails are not marked in any way.

From Pang I leave through a short cut from the valley towards the plains. And its just great to be up there, looking around to all the mountains and down into the river valley. Going north it’s just beauty, here are wild and stay horses to witness. They live from the little grass here. After 12 or 14km I stop looking back at that fabulous mountain, which makes coming from north a illusion. It seems, that everyone has to turn in a 90 degrees angle, but in fact the cars can go nearly straight towards Pang. After I turned to my trail the mountain turns with the sun light kind of violett /blue, on the north side he has a kind of turquoise valley formation and beside a kind of huge bowl, best for a nice ceremony. I have to climp up and down the 4.950m SparmurLa Pass. From far I can see Sangtha and it seem, that there are nice Tibetian/Ladakh houses. Beautiful. After all the Dhabas a nice Tibetan village. At 5.30pm I reach the village. The illusion was perfect. 11 stupas are lined up at the small Zara river, combined with a huge altar of ‚Om mani padme hum‘-stones…… the stupas made a image of Tibetan houses, but…. on the other side, where the houses are, simple stone houses and …. they are all empty. Not a single being there, not a single animal to find… lots of footprints, only from animals….. What happened? …. A second village ‚Kharnak‘ is not to see. What to do? …. Lungmoche is 11km away….. I decide to go there. But I have to hurry up…. I maid arrive there when it’s dark….. Through a dry river valley I follow the trail north. Some Jeep was driving here earlier. Both sides steep rocks with caves, ideal to use them as meditation caves…. I hurry up
…. But after maybe 20 min I change my mind and I walk back to Sangtha. If there is no-one in Luchmoche, I have a real problem. I would arrive in the dark, no chance of orientation,  and I did not take any water from the Zara river in Sangtha….
Immediately I start picking up little dry wood pieces from the ground. In Sanghta the people left some of the animal stalls (sheep or goat) open. I find a small stall with a broken roof at one corner, so I can make the fire on that side. The villagers also put ‚flags‘ on big sticks, to keep wild animals away. Some of them I collect, bags for sitting and laying on it, a old broken but wide shepard jacket I use to keep me warm. I find more wood in the village, carry it to my night place, big concrete wooden pieces I don’t use, it maid be needed for other ‚construction‘ purposes.  I don’t sleep a lot, because I have to feed the fire all the time…. with all, what I found I survive warm. At the morning I have a wonderful body wash at the river….. what did happen, that no-one is in the village?…..

From here I could turn east to Dehbring, but this I will do only, if there is also no-one in Lungmoche. That would be a long walk, 11km to Lungmoche and another 28 or so from Lungmoche to Dehbring. I see so many animals, more wild horses, some wolf’s,  and so many holes of marmots…. The way is again rest to find, from Dehbring Lungmoche is also connected by a small diet road – but not a single car on it. …. The river is totally dry in Lungmoche, so in this case I completely understand, why this village is abandoned. Clearly it’s to see they have cows here. The dry shit is piled ….. I’m the moment I have to decide to go to Dehbring or continue towards Dat a car drives trough the village towards Dat. I can’t see the driver, it happens to quick, I am just not prepared for this happening… the only car I will see that day….. But I conclude….. ok, the car goes in direction Dat, that means, there must be people in Dat. It’s about 25km to Dat. And I have to cross another 4.950m ‚YarLa Pass‘. So my direction is north north west. Along all the walking way up, people build a wall,  2km up, 2km down, obviously to fill them up later with ‚mani-stones‘. What an effort…. and what an effort to get up that pass…. (from Lungmoche there is also a road connection to Dat, which end there – and not a single car, truck or human on it) The quality of that road is quite good, so I guess the Gompa monks from Dat have quite a influence on that. Beside the road again blocks of ‚mani-stones‘ at least every km. Coming down from the pass, there is a stone sorting mashine and I can’t see from the far, if this mashine is working or the belts just move by the wind. I don’t see a single human all the way. The mountains shine in different colours, from black to brown and gold,  green and yellow, partly changing by the sun light….. just beautiful….

Dat has three village parts, Datgo (Dango) and Dat (Shenen) and Dat Gompa and again, by my big surprise,  not a single human here. I just can’t believe it. The third village, and not a single human, only this one car, which I saw.  Again villagers had prepared there ’not being there‘ by decorating there animal wall shelters and houses by putting black sheep fjell on top, to keep other animals away. And they left there dogs… maybe 6 or so…. they tried to defend there territories. … at the Gompa I thought to find some or at least one monk…. no….. only two dogs making really trouble to come closer to the temple, which was anyway closed. They had a solar power station, which maid do it for all the people… everything looked very much care taken….
At the Gompa a area, where tree sticks are planted. Obviously a experiment field, what could grow here on 4.300m. Here grows only grass, if water is available. … rest is rocks and sand. ….

who feeds the dogs?…. where is the car I saw going here?…. and not driving back….. the river flows good here and I see a lot of grass in the river bed and beside….. how can it be, that really no-one is here?…. mostly someone does not agree with a solution, that everyone has to leave…….???? Anyway, there is no-one. … some buildings are open
But after one night no sleep I don’t want to do repeat the fire…. aria. …in a stall…. The prayer wheel building is also open….. and a house with a glass front towards the sun. Perfect. That is my house for the night. Warm and wooden from inside. A after fire smoke stinking tent I use as a blanket this night. Variations are needed. And I do sleep well and deep. At the next morning the dogs lay peacefully in front of my door…. empty stomachs?… accepting me as the new owner….
But I do not have enough food anymore, and what I have, the dogs would not like….
May food storage shrinked down to 100ml honey. Raisins are gone. Some peanuts are left, about 120 or 160g. Also 1 1/2 package chick peas and two packages of each 40g moong dal. Hmmmm. Continue walking? Next village is Tsokra, about 10km away, no clue if there are also no people? After Tsokra it’s about 25 to 30km to a better known hiking trail. Trikes is 4.200m high, after it comes the 5.190m Zalung KarpoLa Pass. Can I get up the pass, about 1000 m elevation meters up, with the rest of the food I would have after Tsokra? I am just not sure….
I decide to go back to Lungmoche, then to Dehbrink, getting maybe more food there,  maybe coming back….. getting to know if someone is in Tsokra. I wish myself a help to get a car over the YarLa Pass, but after Lungmoche I would walk again, because there is a trail, I haven’t walked…. so a help for 10km would be nice….

And another question is still not solved, where is this Kharnak, where I have the adress from….. a little sign I got in the evening by arranging me ‚bed’…. on one of the kartons I put underneath my body as a matress I saw written ‚Kharnak’……?….

Just in the moment when I was sitting down for a shit, a truck comes along. The driver, Saman stops.  He has 3 guys with him and a 2000l water tank in the back. They are going to Dat to get water. They can take me over the pass, when they come back. Great. So I continue my way. After 2h that come back. I have to jump on the back of the truck, companion of the water tank, which moves by going to raff threw some street holes towards me….
The three workers are from the stone mine I saw the day earlier. A adventurous unloading of the water tank followed. The three workers have only one water tank. Every time they need water, that have to get a transporter to there working place. The tank has to be filled up by buckets and men and only half full, because of the unloading process. So the truck driver lifted up the loading part to an angle, where the water tank nearly started to move down by itself. With a rope we tried hold him not to move to quick or slide over…. the whole tank was moved to a pile of stones on which he ended up on a 45 degree angle, fixed by stones. The three workers where shining of light through there eyes and smiling from ear to ear. A joy to see. The whole transfer did cost them 200 Rupies, about 3$…. They earn 500 Rupies each person each day…..
Ok. Back in the truck, this time in the front, over the pass. Saman is in his element. At the pass someone had lined up a line of prayer flags over the street, at bit to low. So Saman jumps on the gas pedal driving through the line. One of the flags, a red piece sticks at the morrow on his side. Quickly it got removed and with a gesture ‚have you seen anything?‘ and a big smile on his face the action is history….. For this little traffic the street is really good build, so good, that Saman needs to take instead of the loops, a bumpy short cut…. the truck flies down the mountain and I have to use my both hands to hold myself more or less in position…..
Arriving in Lungmoche there is obviously a dead black (not wild) horse lying on front of one of the stalls. If it would have been there yesterday, I would have recognized it. Saman and me are looking surprised to each other. Before I can say anything he moves up his shoulders and the truck went on…. some 100 m later I have to go. Saman thinks I will go tomorrow to Dehbrink, but no, I will reach today….. a lot of crazy people on this road…..
(Saman also had no idea, why no-one is in the villages, shoulders up…)

The vision
Greatful, after a ride over the pass, finally being back to walking….
I saw the track yesterday already, and I though, I really would love to go every way here…. how is that possible…. (it’s still 28 more km to go today, and I don’t know it’s so far) The track is again a old walking way of the locals, every some time I find the ‚mani-stone-altars‘ at the track side.
Suddenly I put my palms together, which I have done while walking super rarely and now it becomes a deep deep prayer. It becomes so intence and I enter another level of consciousness. I feel how every step becomes so precious, how every step is so holy…. as all the time, but now it’s so obvious to feel and to realize. Every step I do on this holy journey is so important, every single one, and every single one is so holy. … a gift to feel it so intence…..
I have to keep my palms together and to move on….. now, as the people are gone, we can start a new chapter, we can bring the water back by planting trees here, the plants and trees will hold the water and the rivers will start flowing again. Then we do not want to get the animals (sheep, goats, cows) back here, but we want to do this for the wild animals here…. for the horses, foxes,  wolfs, snow leopards and some rabbits, marmots, wild goats and so on. We want to rebuild the nature in a bit triangle from Pang to Dat to Dehbrink. Inside this triangle, maybe in Dat, shall be a silent retreat center, where people experience deep silence and learn from it. These people and other volunteers will reconstruct nature here, bring water back to this land by planting trees and other plants…. these people will walk around this triangle and pray for this land in silence and palms together in front of there chest. Every 15km will be a rest station for this praying people, a solar headed house, where they can rest and sleep. All the triangle has to be surrounded one by one and often as they can.
There need to be a huge light temple for the nature, for the elements be constructed, close to where I turned away from the street. The people who live in this area need to get other source of income than rising animals, they need to get other food than animal food. They can host for example the visitors, who all, including the people here have only access to renewable energy transportation. Everything has to be done, to protect nature in this area for the forsake of all. The effort and result shall shine further out from this triangle in all directions.
I promise to walk the next day the missing part of the triangle.

I am told to keep the hands in this way together and continue walk, but my arms were hurting with the backpack on my shoulders, I just had to rest. I set down….. diguesting what I realized…..

I walked the way to Dehbrink, reached there a little later than sunset.
Next day, exhausted as I was, I got early in the morning to the place where I turned left 3 days before (by another truck) to walk the last side of the triangle.

I stopped at Mangzul/Dehbrink at the nomads camp, to rest for a couple of days. Tilles, one of the Nomads could explain, where the villagers are. All went to Zara,  close to Dehbrink, because in there villages they had a ‚problem with the grass‘. They will be back in there villages in 10 days.
Kharnak is called the reagion around Dat and Datgo, also Tsokra.  In Tsokra the people from Dat and Datgo stay at winter. In summer, there is no-one in Tsokra…..

The locals say, no tree grows on the plains…..  In Rumtse,  on the way to Leh, on 4.190m are growing trees. Tsokra is on elevation level 4.200m. Dat and Datgo are on elevation level 4.300m. Sangtha is on 4.400m. Lungmoche a little bit higher.

Greenhouses, partly mud green houses are a big success in the area a bit lower. Some years earlier people in the Leh/Ladakh area thought, nearly nothings grows on 3500m or up. I tested last year delicious tomatoes from 3.600m.  So good.

From Mangzul/Dehbrink to Dehbrink I completed the triangle at the 22.6.2018, only 3km, and maid my km 18.000 of the peace walk full.

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Joy and Happiness

It’s always a joy,  to walk for peace, …. But here, back in the high mountains,  after Spiti, just fantastic. Not without any ‚work out‘, but just wonderful. I feel sooo good at 4.000 m and above…. great.

In Sarchu the first surprise. All the ‚villages‘ at the next 300km are only there in summer, when the passes are open and temporary. Some of them are just tents, some a bit more solid metal based, and some few solid super simple houses who are abandoned in winter. Real Ladakh villages are surprisingly not laying at this road, only further away from it. – The women,  who own the most of the Dhabas in Sarchu are on strike!!! There was a arguing with the police, whithin the police mentioned to maybe close the shops, a stone hit one officer…. I don’t know the details…  But the women then closed the shops by themself… to go for there rights….
Anyway, I can not stay there and they sent me to the BRO (Border road orga) some 100 m further. Here I meet again the commander from last year. Back then I asked him for dry fruits to bye – he remembered later – and I can stay there in the camp, but only for one night. What’s a problem, because I have a beginning blister problem under my right foot, and I wanted to rest… and find out the reason….

The commander, Mr. Mishra, is so friendly to hand over a big hand of dry raisins and a fresh mango. Further he mentioned that just 20km away there, at Brandy bridge, is the next camp. Oh… I did not know about that. Good news. So I have a very lazy slow day, taking a short cut by crossing successfully a river, having a meditation on a outstanding rock formation overviewing the ‚Sarchu valley‘ and letting it go slow. (Sarchu lays where 5 big valleys meet on a plain, where 3 rivers have engraved there beds. For me this is a perfect spot to create a new modern city with only renewable energies and research institutes for future and clean technologies. I see gondola connect the river sides, bycicle driving around. It is possible to have alternativ transportation and nearly no cars.) But… arriving there,  at Brandy bridge…. it’s not a real camp, there are workers and a mashine, sorting stones for size for constructions…. – I can’t stay here –
Some 100 m after this realisation I meet a cyclist, Ioka from Netherlands. The solution is, to continue walking to Whisky Nala, about 25km away. It is 5.30pm….. run is gone at 8pm…. But there is a short cut for walkers, because here comes a huge uphill area with 21 loops…. I can go up at the side. It’s going steep 400 to 500m up. With the mountain shadow being always one loop further up I am challenged,  because I want to see the sun again, when I am up there. It takes 70minutes to reach the to…. yeah in the sunshine…. But the rest is hard… with my blister issues, the coldness and the dark… the moon is not even new moon, not helping at all, I arrive at 10.30pm at the camp.
The couple is a bit distanced to me in the beginning. But with my meditation disciplines I harvest from him ‚very good, very good, very very good…‘
I find out, the reason of having the blisters…. after the sandal fixing I did not loose up the strings, so it was a bit to tied….. after two nights I walk to Pank – having another, two day rest….

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only 3000m high

Going towards Keylong it’s ‚only‘ 3000 m high.

If I am with some worries, I contemplate, I am not with my real self. I have 3 worries, which here and there come to me…. the sandals, my visa issue and my mother….
When I am with my worries, I am in my mind or emotions (belly). I am not in my heart. In my belly and mind it’s busy or ’not calm‘. In my heart, there is calmness, silence tranquility…..

The sandals get again repaired in Keylong. Again a shoemaker from Panjab, working for the summer in this area, is taking care of my footwear. This time he fixes the soles again, before renewing the stiches of the stripes, who hold my feet. This time the soles get also nails!!! It’s so important,  that the shoemaker understand, for what purpose I have the sandals, because, if I invent they way of repairing, they often say, ‚don’t worry, it will be ok‘, but in the end I have the problem going on…. and I actually don’t worry, I just do care…. I am happy with the result!!…

Keylong is also the last place to stop for the next 300km. Because I do not eat sugar, honey and 2kg of raisins are the solution. Some nuts for the walker too. Also on the way through the mountains no fresh vegetables or fruits. So, I would like to take a lot, but no space in the bag and capacity of weight carriage. ….
Keylong is further the last place of internet connection for the next 350km!! Sunil from Dehra sends a message, that he is coming with friends… they will look for me on the road way….. they want to bring cashews…. hmmm, but I was not even 100% sure, if I stay on the road or take a comeplete different way to Leh/Ladakh….
At a Dhaba in Darcha,  where I meet Tashi again…., I decide in a meditation, that I will stay on the road….. (maybe that announcement of Sunil is coming keeps me on this track to see the Morey Plains again…. I just love them)

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Cyclists and ‚the blue monk‘

Two cyclist are stopping beside me. Oskar from Sweden and Park from South Korea, who calls him on his tour for all the westeners John. Oskar has heard from me from 4 different sources in different countries. One was at a dinner party at the Malaysian embassey and he is nearly speechless to meet me in person. But Oskar is a communicativ person, so we have a lot to share. John is a bit calmer. Later the day, when we stayed at the same ‚homestay‘ he said ‚Now I am cycling around the world for some years. But after I have completed the tour, I want to walk around the planet, I think that’s much more difficult, so you are my ‚hero“.
We are all three on the way to Kee-monastery. In the mountains, when we have to get up, I am in a better position, means in this case, I can take some short cut, while the both have to cycle up all the loops to a higher place. So, while there are busy in there low gears, I pass the elderly home ( sponsored by Ecophere ) and a close by stupa. Inside the stupa I find a picture of the Panchen Lama in his 20th? I ask a elderly nun ‚who has done this picture‘ knowing the Panchen Lama is in Chinese prison since his 5th year and nowone knows, where he is…. the nun answers with a mysterious gesture what can be interpreted as ‚we have special ways-can’t talk about it….. smile
I continue my way to the outstanding Kee monastery, building on the sides of a mountain by a short cut, whatching a photographing 3 golden big statues and arrive on the top, where I myself are surprised, where Oskar and John are….. Little bit later, John arrived first and is himself so surprised….. A story what could been written in ‚….a master and the deciples – miracles happen….‘

To leave Spiti towards Keylong I have to pass the Kunzum La Pass at 4.551m. The road seems to be partly as a dirt road in a side valley, which maid lead ???? …where???, but it’s about 70 km long and ‚The highway‘ between the district Spiti and Lahul, which are governed together…. 100km away from Kaza my sandal soles say good bye to my sandals…. the sharp stones at the short cuts did there best.. ..

Anyway, I look forward to sleep in one of the simple Dhabas at the highway, which exist only in summer… here are no villages, so some people open here there summer buisiness. And the first Dhaba in Batal is owned by a really nice couple, in there late 50th and only smiling. Some stones on top of each other for the walls, a wooden improvised roof construction and a plastic on top. Ready is the sleeping place. Cosy and cheap. And in the beginning of the season all the sheets and blankets are still clean….

In Koksar I am back on the route from last year. One Dhaba owner promised last year a cheap place to stay. But this year everything different. He rented this place to other people, making 5 laks, 500.000 Rupies, what’s about 7.700 $ for the season. The owner is Nepalese, build this up by his own hands and now that’s this win!!! (A worker on the street earns about 7 to 8$ a day.) The new owner talked about ‚peak season‘ and I answer, that I don’t have ‚peak money‘. … Anyway, we come to a compromise…..
Little bit later I visit the Gompa, which is build overlooking the village in a huge cave of the mountain. The monk is happy to invite me for two nights. He refuse to wear dark red clothes and is dressed in blue to light blue. Also his other personal belongings, as his sleeping blankets, all blue to light blue…. so I call him the ‚blue monk’… and he liked it!!!
When I arrived with my backpack he announced, that he will not be there next day. He is called to a private house to recite a sutra for ten days. I am so surprised.  For 10 days he will sit alone in a room reciting a sutra for 8 hours a day for a better vibration and energy in the house….. as a service to this people and community….
This impressed me a lot….
Later, back on the way. .. I finally understand…. I do the same…. by walking step by step…. for peace

 

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Kaza and around

As so often I follow a short cut. Often to avoid km to km in loops, as today from Komic on 4500 m to Kaza on 3.600m. But this time the short cut, which is even mentioned in ‚maps.me‘ is just … what?. It’s steep and lose stony down. No sign of a path at all. Suddenly a way crosses. But it leads to a kind of cliff. I follow in the hope to find a better way into Kaza. This way is done to build a small water pipe route to Kaza. A bit adventurous. All the time I say to myself ‚ok, to the next corner…‘ …. witnessing that the path gets smaller and smaller, but closer and closer to Kaza, steep down on the right side, the left side steep up…the houses of the small town are already kind of under me…. after the 8th or 10th time ‚around only the next corner…‘ it’s just to straight down (the cliff) and my foot just fits on the edge ( and I had to remove a stone to have a ‚good‘ grip) …. Even though the town is so close, I decide to go back to the lose stone ’short cut‘. Somehow after a while I am down….

Again, the x-time again, I feel in a kind of time laps. Since about 2 weeks I arrive all the time so early at day, even having left late?…. so today I am at 3.30pm at my day goal….????

The monastery in Kaza is happy to invite me for 3 nights in a luxury room. Warm water again. Shaving time. The monks are busy singing. They have layed a huge sand mandala as a celebration towards Vesak festival at full moon. Also they have a spring ceremony at my last day there on the terasse and stairs at the great temple… with blessing seeds and a huge fire overviewing the whole Spiti valley. I am invited to sit with them during the ceremony on the podium and I witness some funny situations. … the ‚head crowns‘ are sitting not good at all. They have four parts and some of the monks look like American Indians. All the time one of the 16 monks have to rearrange his ‚head set‘. One monk does all the time selfies of his decoration, which suits him really fantastic. Onother monk falls all the time to sleep, sitting in the front….. last days ceremonies have taken easily 8 hours a day…. so the drummer with his long drum stick is heading out drumming on his back to wake him up….
Also the second temple is busy with drumming and chanting,  to ceremonies to the same time…..

Sol cafe is given to me as a adress of good and fair informations. I have to let go of my idea to take one of the two short cuts to Ladakh. One needs a guide or at least a tent – ten days no houses -, for the other I have to cross 3 rivers…. and because it’s spring time there maid be to much melting water….. so I have to take the 150km way around a mountain range….
Sol cafe is also a special adress, because it’s the home of ‚ecophere‘ a NGO with lots of volunteers, which impulses a lot of good in the area. For example founding the idea of ‚homestay‘ which went around as a best success for more income in all Ladakh and Spiti…. Ecophere supports a elderly home,  castration and feeding the countless street dogs, supported the lots of mud green houses in the area and making consciousness work for solar energy solutions in mind and fact…. really making a difference in the area….. and more…. really respect to Ecophere …..

Sandals repaired. With the help of a shoe maker from Punjab. The sandals got repaired. Some stitching. And a new sole.

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this and that

Better buildings for the Himalayas
The new monestary in Dankhar has two temple. Non of them was open. I asked one of the 60 monks, why? ‚Because it’s to cold. We have puja always in the kitchen. Only in July and August the temple is open….‘ Same in Komic. It’s just to cold to use the main temple ‚We use the temple only 3 month, in June, July and August‘
In this area the cold tempretures are a big problem. Maybe more solar energy would help, but I think a different type of modern building is more the solution, where the sun heats up the buildings. All winter and summer long it’s mostly sunny.

2nd time to Leh
Here and there I get asked, why I go to Leh the second time. When I talk how everything developed through an inside, I still get goose bumps.

Visions
The ideas of building different buildings in northern Germany, when I return from the peace walk feels kind of concrete, but it’s still in the vision stage. Further though I don’t have any experience in building something, even not a tiny house….even though I do not have any money…..and I do not want to owe anything….
Nothing of that what I want to build shall be mine…. it has to be for the public good….
The vision I have until now
…. a peace stupa maybe in the ocean/fjord
…. a meditation hall close by the stupa
…. a vipassana center
…. a light temple for silence and toning
…. a silence place for around the clock 24/7
All in the area Angeln, between Flensburg, Kappeln und Schleswig
…. and there is more, not that concrete, but also there….
….
It feels big…. But we know, challenges are good… But I don’t want to do it because of challenges, neather anything for myself….. I will be just the channel…..

Circeling clockwise
As I mentioned,  the Love and Compassion mantra ‚om mani padme hum‘ is the mantra in Tibetan Buddhism. There are also ‚om mani padme hum‘-stones. Some very old, some younger or new. They lay often in hundreds or thousands on special places close to temples or other places. The mantra reciting is also done around this places. Something I did not realize until 10 or 15 days. Sometimes this places are in a middle of a street. And sometimes, they build the street in such a way, that you can always drive clockwise around. ….

Last year this ‚om mani padme hum‘ mantra enchanted itself in myself. This year this did not happen yet. Curious. ….

Sandals
My Sandals are nearly broken. The sole is nearly gone, so that the upper klipper, which is fixed inside the sole is visable from underneath….
Kaza, the next small town, but Spiti capital can hopefully help. One day and 20km away. Maybe getting a new sole, maybe getting new sandals….
These pair I have from Tarald from Norway, met him in Greece in summer 2016, they carried me already 4.800 km.
It’s always hard to say goodbye to sandals, when you can walk so good in them…..

Age
Again I discussed this topic, when Aparna was here. Really interesting topic. I am kind of fine with my counted age since birth in years. In the other hand I don’t agree with the fact, that the cells renew themselves from a specific age slower. This I can’t allow, even though it happens. But, as I don’t allow illnesses to manifest, and I did often with different starting issues, I can’t allow this unneeded aging process to happen….. so as a sign to my mind and system, I will still continue to count my age backwards – and it feels soo good. Now I am 51!!!

Aparnas daughter Vedangi
is starting her world record attempt on 15th of June in Perth/Australia. Vedangi, 19, will cycle with her bicycle 29.000km in 100 days around the world as youngest women to do so. Blessings to Vedangi and her parents Aparna and Vivek. All are present in Perth, when she starts.

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Lalang, Demul and Komic

I am so happy that I choosed this route. Sempa Dorje guided me to do so. It’s a bit challenging, especially the 2nd day from Lalung to Demul, when it goes steep up. But the way is good done, even partly constructed,  just for humans and animals.
It comes up from Dankhar 3.900m, Lalung 3.700m,  Demul 4.190m, Komic 4.587m. But I am not convinced by the correctness of the elevation meters. To Komic it felt much easier than altitude let’s guess.
The view is everywhere spectacular.

The village women in Lalung celebrated a mantra Shanting by circleling clockwise around the temple. (Also very beautiful temple with lots of statues with need of renovation). Later they sat down having tea and cookies while continuing the prayers, also by using prayer chain and prayer wheels.

All the income of the homestays in Demul get shared in the community. There is a coordinater who comes in the morning with a book, collects the money. And everyone’s seems very happy with the solution.

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Aparna Aria in Dankhar

Already in the evening Aparna arrived by Taxi. We meet on the street in upcoming darkness. Joy is big to see each other and I guide her to the room. The Isralies and Marina from Argentina, now as well in Dankhar, which I met earlier have there last evening in Tenzins homestay and we are invited to be there. Aparna has only her woolen half jacket with her and we have to climb some steep area in the dark up close to the fort. Aparna needs my hand not to slip down and for inner safety. The evening is great and she is so happy to walk back to our room later on, after 4 days travelling and little sleep on busses and train. But 400m of walking on a dirt road have to be done after there. She needs again my hand to manage and I think she is a bit surprised  (or even shocked) how the conditions are.

Because some of the restaurants in Dankhar are relatively costly I found a nice Dhaba to have breakfast. It seemed very long until we had our food ready and after 1 1/2h we were just ready to go, when Aparna started a intensiv conversation with the owners lady, which is also teacher at the monks boys school. I did not know what the conversation was, but I lost interest in waiting after 10 min, told her that I will wait at the closed by old monastery where I wanted to show her around. Aparna just quit her teachers job and now she is asked, to coach or even teach here.
The afternoon we slept, she still super exhausted, I a bit, and Aparna had also acclimate to the high. For tomorrow I had planed to get her to a mountain lake 250m more up.

The next day she really had a appointment at the monks boys school and stayed until afternoon. She had told, to my surprise, that she did not want to go up to the lake. She had even breathing problem from our room to the Dhaba. But I went. The beginning was a bit hard, but then it was not so steep anymore and I enjoyed it so so so much. At the lake a stupa stands in the wild. A little bit more up a view point with some prayer flags. Soooo beautiful. After a while I decided to get Aparna here. I went down to the village with exitement and fully convinced, if needed, to push her up here. Down in the village I could not find her. (Later I found out, I went to the wrong school). When she showed up, the still did not want to get up there and had some news. She did not want to walk with me, instead of staying for 10 days in the village, coaching and teaching…..

Next morning, she had more news. She had a dream. Also she said, she does not like teaching anymore. Now she will go home again. …… ok….. surprise
After informing everyone whom she promised to, it felt like escaping, fleeing…. suddenly she sat in a taxi to Kaza…….
No time to show her the nice pictures from the mountain lake area anymore, without breakfast she escaped…..

The days later I often thought about her…. I am proparbly to optimistic, that she have could managed the pathes I walked….. also sad, that she could not accept the alternates, I had offered her, to enjoy this beauty of Spiti……. Anyway, I took her with me, in my steps……

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Welcome to Spiti Valley

After crossing the exit point of the ‚inner line‘ area a sign: ‚Welcome to Spiti Valley‘. Another main destination this year. From now on I have to slow down a bit. I am good in time. I enjoy even more the beautiful nature…. I rest much more, here and there a beautiful place to meditate in the nature.
At one point a while ago a side valley enloaded lots of stones during a heavy rain towards a bridge to be build. Now, brigde and stones are the same level. Metal for construction is just demolished and tapped together as a woolen ball.

In Tabo is another break point. A ‚market place‘, filling up proviant, eating fresh fruits. One of the few phone points, so I contact Aparna, to find out, that she is on the way again. Here is a old monastery,  build in 996 after Christ. Beside a new monestary and a big stupa. Young monks exercising outside some gestures of convincing others in conversations, I am allowed to stay in a dormitory of monasteries guest house, which is in renovation, another attraction are meditation caves, I meet some new and former met travellers, really nice…..

Among the travellers is a Israeli family with 3 kids. They always have a few years at home and then the whole family goes on a one year journey again. I met earlier families who have done a year off, but to do that on a regular basis is just fantastic, the best education for the kids at all, and super inspiring. Just great…..

I continue my slowness, find again nice places to rest, for example a beach at the Spiti river, and more meditation caves without any tourist use….

After Shichling – 3470m – the way goes up to 3.900m to Dankhar, a pictures village, again with old and new monestary.  Just arriving Dankhar I get stopped by a teacher of a government school. After a bit I sit with the students to exercise english practise.
The new monastery invites me and ’soon arriving Aparna‘ to stay for 3 nights. The room has the best view into the valley and snow covered 5-6000m mountains and glaciers on the other side of the valley.
The hole old monastery is really impressive. It’s constructed on outstanding rocks, overviewing the valley. At the entrance door it’s discriped, that 8 mountains are surrounding this monastery as a lotus and and any of the mountain ranges is ruled by a deva.
The monastery is 1040 years old and has a lot of levels and room for different use. Every day the monastery is open and all room can be visited. As in many monasteries there is always one guest room for the Dalai Lama reserved, so he can come any time. Special here, you can see and enter the room. I went all together 3 times, to look around and meditate there. Sure, also this building with religious and cultural tresures needs renovation.

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