Wednesday, September 06, 2006

The mountains...

Wow...

That's pretty much all I've been saying since hitting the mountains. I left Chandigarh on Monday late morning for Shimla. I was prepared to catch a deluxe bus when I met a young man who was finishing his engineering degree in a town just a few kilometers outside of Shimla. I joined him on a regular old bus. Wow... the bench seats and the no frills really can take a toll on you. I don't prefer the 'ordinary' buses at all and have come to the realization that I am a princess in a land with no castles.

After the absolutely gruelling 4+ hours on the bus, recovering from a cold and just plain old cranky I was in Shimla. Porters were on my like flies on dung. "You come with me", "I know best hotel", "Special deal for you" and my personal favorite "No problems". There are no rickshaws in Shimla so a porter takes your bag and carries it to your hotel for a small fee of course. So I found myself at a posh little spot called the Brightland Hotel. Since it was off season I got 40% on the room and relaxed in somewhat of luxury. Shimla is the holiday spot for Indians. It's kind of like comparing it to Banff but bigger and more Indian. All the architecture is British influenced for it was station to the British in the summer time.
I ventured out into the hills and valleys of stores until my shin splints were too overwhelming. I found a restaurant, enjoyed a gargantuous thali and made my way to my posh little hotel room. Upon waking up in the morning at 7am by a phone call from the front desk asking me if I was checking out at noon or not I began to notice little hives all over my body. Bonus. I had no clue what they were so I headed out to the chemist to try and solve my problem. He said I was having a allergic reaction to something and gave me some pills. I found a coffee shop called Barista and bumped into two lasses from the UK - Rosie and Anna. We swapped some travel stories and they joined me on a tour of all the valleys of Shimla. We went horseback, well maybe not horseback... more like ponyback riding to the world's highest go-cart track in the world where I abused their machinery until they got mad and pulled me off the course. I now have a story to tell...

That evening I was to set off to Dharamsala on a semi-deluxe bus. I went down with one of the hotel attendants to get my advanced ticket only to find out it was an 'ordinary' bus. I didn't fare well with four hours on this thing, I couldn't imagine ten hours! I eventually flipped a coin and did the opposite of what the coin told me to do. I jumped on for adventure. At the bus station I ran into a lovely young lady who has been trekking northern India for the past month and a half. Amit and I got seats together and found ourselves to be the oldest of friends.

I made a conmment earlier in a post about being alone amongst millions... I was so wrong. You're never alone and the universe just had to remind me of it during my stay in Shimla.

I'm off to go kick some philosophy with the Dalai Lama and his crew. That's a look at current events, top stories at a eleven... back to you Bob ;)

2 comments:

  1. "I don't prefer the 'ordinary' buses at all and have come to the realization that I am a princess in a land with no castles."

    Best line ever...

    ReplyDelete
  2. I don't usually check over what I write - I just write and expell the thoughts from my head to share. So, with an ear to ear grin I smile and realize just what I have written.

    Nothing wrong in stating facts, now is there?! ;)

    ReplyDelete

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