So after settling up at our hotel in Rishikesh (which involved Gareth getting on the back of one of the hotel staff's scooters to go to a hotel in another part of town so he could pay by card...I am very glad I wasn't the one who went to pay) we headed up to Mussoorie. Mussoorie is a Raj era hill station delicately perched on top of a 6000ft ridge in the foothills of the Himalayas. It is popular with Indian city dwellers who come up here in summer to escape the heat but at the moment it is off season so is really peaceful and quiet. It took about two hours to get here up windy mountain roads (but which are in great condition-I must say at least three times a day how nice the roads are compared to Kenya).
We checked into our hotel and then went for some lunch at place called the Meeting Point Cafe the owner was so friendly and he asked if he could photocopy our Lonely Planet because he was in it...he has laminated it and put in on his wall. We then went up a cable car to Gunn Hill, the highest point on the ridge. It was quite surreal up there as it is obviously really busy in summer so there were loads of stalls doing magic tricks and with costumes that you could get dressed up in and have your picture took. At this time of year though it feels a bit like a ghost town where someone switched on the electricity and flashing lights then left in a hurry. It did however have amazing views and we got our first glimpse of the snow capped Himalayas.
Yesterday we got a bus to nearby Kempty Falls which is a big waterfall about half an hour outside Mussoorie. This was a similarly surreal experience as in what seems to be the Indian way they had built a pool complex around the waterfall with loads of stalls and cafes. The main attraction seemed to be Kempty Lake "The Biggest Lake in Mussoorie" which was in fact a 40ft by 30ft boating pond with swan shaped pedalos. This again was made even stranger by the fact it was really quiet and all the pools were empty. It was though a really pretty spot and everyone was taking lots of photographs...a lot of them with us in as people kept asking to have their photo taken with us. We went for a nice walk round the back of the town in the afternoon then in the evening went for a gorgeous curry.
This morning we are having a relax before we catch the train to Delhi. We have even been for a smoothie and a panini in a very modern Barista Coffee shop (there is a Domino Pizza here too). I think we will leave it there for today as there has been three power cuts since I started typing and we are off to enjoy our last few hours in the holiday atmosphere of Mussoorie which we have enjoyed so much.
Thanks for reading
Laura and Gareth