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

on the way again

Dear friends,

I am walking again.

I started at the 1st of February at the Pakistan border. Walked to Amritsar. Now I am going step by step towards Daramshala.

Any feedback or question at

Facebook: Thomas Heinrich Schmöckel

Facebook: steppps peacewalk

Email: Steppps@gmx.de

Whatsapp: +30 698 0654542

Fotos on instagram: schmockelthomasheinrich


little update

Dear friends.
I have been on a 10 days Vipassana retreat.
Because I feel, my process is not completed yet, I go from tonight on on another silent journey by myself. Here for I found a beatiful place at the river Ganga in Rishikesh.

Out of the silent time after 10th of December

Blessings around the world

I arrived in Mandi

I enjoyed

The last two days have been so beautiful.

Finally I reach a lonely street.

Nature pur.  And even a jungle. Wow.

Today the climate changed again, while coming further down. Bamboo and bananas are growing around Mandi.

And Mandi is my first non-tourist Indian city. I will explore tomorrow.

After I have to get somehow (proparbly by bus) to Nepal to renew my Visa.

5 1/2 years

Today is day 2114 of being with the peace walk.

5 1/2years

16098 km

15 countries

At least 30 people walked with me.


on the way to Mandi

I suffer

It’s my last week before having a 3 month walking break.

The luggage feels heavy. It is getting warmer coming to a lower and lower elevation. I don’t wear so many clothes anymore and I have more staff then before walking through Ladakh.

Coming down into the world ‚people’s world‘ everything gets more heavy. Walking on the streets, even though it’s not the main road, which is super crazy, I don’t see mountains and nature anymore. There are mountains and a big river, but walking on the street, it’s not visible and feelable anymore. Dust and horning. Fast driving and, sound and horning…… It’s painful. And people also forget that they are living in a great super nice valley. Symptomatic, there is one big house at the river side. All windows are towards the street. Towards the river no window. People forget, the life source is the water, not the street. Painful. ….. And than, all the creeks and rivers which are used as dumps…… sooooo painful……. People at the street are not in a good mood….. And they don’t know, that sound, dust and pollution is making them so…..

Male dogs are marking everything and anywhere. Here in India, and before also in Afghanistan (some other countries I have seen not so obvious) the menfolk is spitting everywhere. They bring it up with a loud unplesent ugly noise, and then they are spitting it out. All the time. For me it is a type of unconcious way of marking the area. Because there are so many people on this planet, it does not make it less embarrassing. Sometimes it feels to me as again a unconcious way of having a ejaculation on the street, or better said as a replacement of a ejaculation. 

In Europe I feel so good, when I can leave human concioussness bubble at around 1700m and up. Here in the Himalayas it’s, when I come over 2500m…. Sooooo goood. Coming back in lower elevation….. I become kind of nam….. the eaes are closing up…..it feels like to become under water. Already in Manali in about 2000m elevation I felt a bit like that. Under water. Where is my planet earth, sure I can feel her, but ‚under water‘ it’s so difficult to feel the mountains and the beautiful sky. ……


Two or three more days to walk to Mandi….. Puh….. And maybe very nice…..

I love this Mother, Mother Earth…..



Already arriving at Rothang pass was a surprise. Suddenly, after being weeks in Ladakh, so many people on the pass. A big Indian crowd. It was also first snow on the pass, but I guess, this is just normal, a kind of party atmosphere. For me it is the ‚greeting‘ of more upcoming crowds in 1.2 billion people India. Anyway coming further down to 2000m in Manali and a very touristic place normally, ‚after season‘ yet, I need to get used to ‚this‘ again.

Manali has beautiful nature and mountains around. I was greeted by some big blue birds with a little concert. Only the tail feathers were 20cm long. At the nature park close to a river with big round stones in his bed, I see also monkeys.

At the first evening I met David, half Indian, half German, who is so surprised by my peace walk, that he immediately brings me to a cheap hostel. He knows the owner Ayush (just 22), who opend in the last year 20 ‚bonfire‘ hostels all around India, and David is so sure, that he will invite me at least for some nights. After some days, directly after Divali, a Light Festival, a whatsapp message from Ayush, arrived…..

‚Hey Buddy!!
……..You have free Stays at our all properties Bonfire 🔥
And for Manali feel like home you can stay as long as you can.
Buddy I really love your passion of travel and really expect a beauty film blog from you. We will be happy if you share Bonfire Hostels on your pages and blogs and we gonna share your story to all our portals. Secondly I personally invite you to our Rishikesh Hostel and we gonna record your amazing travel story and share all around.
Web: www.bonfirehostels.com
Facebook: Bonfire Hostels
Instagram: bonfire_hostels
Bonfire Heart‘

I am so touched……. This multiple invitation….. Thank you Ayush from my heart…..!!!!

In Leh I had met Angelina, she and her brother run in Manali a restaurant/lounge ‚The lazy dog‘. I am invited to eat there for all my stay in Manali for free.

Coming also to Manali and further down, it kinds of means coming now to ‚real India‘. Ladakh, I feel, is an exeption in culture and landscapes……
And it also means, arriving to my main destination in this walk. I am a bit scared and to the same time full of happiness, finally to arrive after 5 1/2 years. From tomorrow, after more than a week here, I will walk further down…..

Love from my heart all around the world

Plan Oktober 2017 to November 2018

● Mid to end of October 2017
Walking to Mandi
(Renewing the Visa in Nepal beginning of Nov)

● Nov 2017 until January 2018
3 month walking break. Visiting friends and interesting places in India. Making a Vipassana retreat.

(Renewing Visa end of January 2018)
● Febr-April 2018 Parkistan border to Amritsar, then DharamSalam (Dalai Lama), then towards Shimla
Maybe visit Haidakhan (Babaji ashram) in April

● May-june- beginning of July 2018
Shimla towards Spiti, then to Leh
(●End of July- fly to Nepal, new Visa India, back to Leh)
●August 2018 stay in Leh
●September, Oktober until begin of Nov 2018
Walk through Ladakh to Spiti and Shimla
● November 2018  walking towards direction Nepal

Please know, this plan could change.
If you plan to walk with me, you have to check with me. Some parts of the walk are very extreme….. I can’t exept everyone for that.


You find Fotos in instagram at


visions and insides

In Keylong I have first time after 3 weeks Internet. Keylong is not really small, very tourisic, but they developed a boring-is-ness. It feels like everyone in town is bored. The season is nearly gone… Ankush had the feeling, when he was here, too…..
Actually I planed to stay 2 full days, three nights, but after 2 nights the time was come leave.

Anyway, during my stay Xavier and Chamille, the French bycicle couple ask me, which way I continue….. Which way I continue?  They cycled instead of getting to Manali into Spiti Valley and then further down towards Shimla. And enjoyed. I was a bit interested to do so, but because I have to renew my visa in 3 weeks in Nepal, I dropped the idea. And just to far. I counted in my map, another 556 km. So it does not make sence to do it now.

While leaving Keylong I had a strong longing to just walk back to Leh. But this is also just not possible because the Visa issue and also the cold weather is coming. The street will partly also close at the end of October. ……. The mind had some explanations. …..

After turning around the next corner, after dusty Tandi…..  The scenery becomes so beautiful. Looking towards the south so many nice glaciers. The weather is still beautiful, sometimes little white clouds at the sky. At the beautiful village Gondhla I find a nice family to host me. Amorshand and his wife invite me. Sometimes in Buddhist houses it’s a bit a reserved atmosphere. It’s very friendly, but also little talking. Sometimes a feeling of unsureness is rising up, if you are really welcome, on the other side, there is nothing, what you are missing. Then suddenly, the dinner is served. Amorshands wife is sitting in front of all the pots to distribute the food. After, if it is 7 or 9pm you are asked, if you want to sleep now. I always agree, to have some resting time, even though I am not tired.
Happy to stay longer, ‚why not‘ Amorshad says…. ‚if I come another time, I maid come along…‘ Yes sure…..

I think back to the area close to Rumtse. To all the stupas there and that I was walking and chanting around them. Collecting stones and putting beautiful once on the stupas…… feeling totally happy with this….. These days I think often about my mother and my father. I don’t know, if I have to get there, to help them somehow, or to support….. in the other hand I have not completed all the walk and I should trust, that there is a time for everything and univers is perfect. This is a process of many days, where I came to the conclusion to be without regret and fully on the peace walk. However long it takes.
Regarding my own further future it is very much possible, that I also, when becoming ‚old‘, will develop a dementia, as my father has now, as my grandfather had, and all my father’s sisters and his brother has developed. Knowing how we deal with dementia, people are mostly in homes, less outside, I ask myself how I would feel, being bound to a home…..
I would love, if I can’t avoid this situation of experience dementia, to be outside. Like in a 2 by 2 km area, surrounded by a fence. Inside he fence nature, can even be desert, as close to Rumtse with some stupas in it, where I can surround the stupas and play with the stones. I could wear a foot fetter/hobble with a antenna, so I can be found at the evening. Riscs of dead or injuries I would take,  even signing a paper in advance, that no-one else is responsible for damage of my body by of being ‚free‘ in nature. So, I could be kind of happy….. In a building I would not be happy, I am pretty sure……
But why not totally wake up????
Would that avoid a dementia?
Are there enlightened dementia people?
(This are kind of serious thoughts, but I see also myself avoiding thinking of such a scenario)

Anyway. After Gondhla it comes very strong back, from my belly, from my heart, to go back to Leh. I am also again tempted to go to the Spiti Valley.
The whole day I am so busy, beside enjoying nature and the glaciers, to diguest and understand this idea and develope a solution for it.
I also don’t know, if this all is coming up, because I sing inwardly again the ‚om mani padme hum‘. In the ‚only nature‘ areas I a little bit forgot. Now, there are stupas again, ‚om mani padme hum‘ stones, buddhist flags….. little reminders and sometimes I have the feeling, if a ‚reminder‘ is close, my system starts automatically singing the mantra inwardly.
During the day I have the joy to witness the enfolding of a solution for this longing, the energy pulling me towards Leh and Spiti -Valley. And I am very happy with the solution. I will just go the way again. But this time from Shimla to Spiti and then to Leh and back. This is 1030km one way. And I will do it next year through the summer.

Even though there is a solution, I am still tempted to again think of Spiti Valley this year, but I promised to myself and to the All-It, that I will not do. I speak to the spirits and the elements, that they don’t need to send a big cloud, to make me understand, that I way to Spiti is blocked (by the weather and the snow) because until now, it was still open – 4550m pass.

In the evening I arrive in Koksar, the village before the Rothang pass towards Manali (and the village before the cross road towards Spiti). 2 nights rest before crossing Rothang pass (3.950m).
There is also a Stupa and some ‚mani‘ stones. I circle and sing inwardly the mantra. Everytime a stupa is on the way I circle and sing.

So many creations are arising, ideas. So I would love to even create a pilgrim’s way towards Leh with ‚reminders‘ of the way. Even a long long long ‚mani‘ stone way in the Plains……

….. and finally? Just the evening before I left towards….. a big dark cloud arised out the nowhere (from the direction Spiti)…… with some snow – just to make sure, that I go towards …..Manali…..

It is a joy to see the new snow as powder at the mountains, and also during the walk over Rothang pass next morning. And there is something I witnessed coming close to Rothang pass. Suddenly in my mind the mantra ‚om mani padme hum‘ is singing itself and I witnessed, when it started….. And I ask myself, why is that happening now? And I turn around a corner…. And there is a Stupa…..

Sarchu to Darcha

My way had some delays. So for example I stayed one more week in Leh. When I look at these nights to the sky I see the moon coming close to the full moon size. Is that an invitation to walk through the night?

Next morning I start walking without only knowing of one place, where some people are. In Kelang Serai is a station of workers from the Border Road Organisation (BRO). But this is not really a inviting place, I guess.  During the walk I become more and more confident to walk through the night. It is clear weather, but a bit windy. Coming along BRO I try not to get in communication with the people. My heart decision is done, but I do not want to discuss about it. Little after BRO,  The sun disappears behind the mountains, I see a short cut. It’s a old ancient road for humans and horses…. wow. So beautiful.

Coming up to the BaralachaLa pass on 4.915m it’s already dark. The wind is still blowing. On top is surprisingly a building, a Shiva temple. Oh, this is a good place to get some clothes on. I try to open the door, difficult and I get a little shock. Someone is inside, he is opening the door from inside. Mohammed Izhaar has very long curly hair. After calming down we have a lot to talk. He is also walking, but from south to north. He just arrived two minutes before, we nearly met in the entrance area…… Izhaar wants to sleep in the temple. I just want to dress more, incl. my mohair top underwear and my wind/rain jacket. All together 8 layers on the upper body, 3 thin trouses. Record on this walk. Izhaar has also a thin sleeping bag, not enough for this elevation and is anoid by carrying so much weight with the tent utilities. He thinks of giving it away, and walk always until it gets dark. Then taking a lift to the earlier or upcoming village. Next day getting back by lift to the place he walked before to continue. That’s a good strategy, which I also thought about before.
I mention that I wish, that the wind would calm down. Izhaar: ‚Its always windy in the mountain. Every night the wind is blowing.‘ I tell him about my 3 nights in the tent. Every night the wind was calming down. Once, when I was singing the ‚Om mani padme hum‘ mantra. The other times, because I needed that. The elements just helped me. So for tonight I also wish it. And I know, that the elements can help me.
The moon came over the mountain, (it was just 8pm or a bit later, but it felt like 2am or so…..) we both enjoyed the rise, and I continued walking – interesting meeting……
And the wind calmed down……
I took a lot of short cuts (not following all the zig zak of the road) and reached at around 0.30am Zing Zing Bar. I thought Zing Zing Bar would be a camp, what is also already closed. But Izhaar told me, it’s open…. So arriving I was surprised, it’s not a camp, it’s another BRO place. They were several buildings and the first, as Izhaar told me, to get in, was oily stinking. A kind of gas station for all the trucks. I walked around several buildings, kind of not finding a entrance. At the second building there was a big huge empty pot of rice in front. A big metal door leaned again the wall from inside, this I can’t touch….. At the other side a door which I can open. 6 man were sleeping inside. No-one realized I was there. Everythink oily and stinky. Too beds were rolled, waiting for a tired person….. I enrolled one and went to sleep. A very fullfilling walk layed behind me. Thanks for the bed.
Next morning here and there a little surprise about a guest ….. they maked some heat with some smelly kerosin, but it maked it warm, but nearly no communication why, where, what….. So I left without a breakfast offer. So many men, about 30 or 40, staying there the whole saison, but don’t take any effort to make it a bit cosy???…..

77 km in the road, with all the short cuts I guess ‚only 70km‘. 2 days and a half night walk to Darcha.
The climate has changed after the pass. It’s more green then before. Desert lays behind me. First little trees again. Water flows again out of the mountains. The river flows south instead of north. The weather is still so good. Even not a cloud.
In Darcha it’s a bit warmer, 1000m lower.
Coming down two Darcha, from above, there is clearly a earlier mountain slide to witness. My host, a former monk, Rashi Depp, 30, explains, that no-one really knows when that happend. The mountain slided down like a wave into the big river bed, but because it is not water the material did not swob back. It is guessed, that the mountain burried a village. Now no-one is here longer then 60 years. Rashi Depp is a happy guy, making fresh nudles now and having this simple accommodation and restaurant, says, looking back, he was even more happy, having a monks life. When he was 12 he decided to become a monk, while 26 he dropped it. A lot of his friend monks were leaving before, so he felt alone and had to take care of more young monks, no time for studying anymore. So he left. Having a relationship after that he is never allowed to come back. If the vows are broken once, there is no way back.
Also in Darcha a lot of workers. Mainly they live in tents and that have no toilet or washing place. So everyone just does it, whereever that is….