Dear blogreaders, this will probably be our last blog from India as we are now in the final 7 days of our trip. However that doesn't mean that we don't have any news for you.....
We ended up spending 8 nights in McLeod Ganj during which time we managed to do not an awful lot but met some nice people and hung out in some nice cafes and restaurants. The weather there is pretty damp and it is so high up in the foothills of the Himalayas that sometimes the clouds drop down really low and you are literally walking in the clouds. It is a lovely town and a very relaxed place to spend a few days. The beggars and lepers are a little annoying though and there seemed to be more and more each day (we think they were being bussed in by the AIB - Association of Indian Beggars!). The only slightly bad experience we had there was in a small cafe (one that is in the Lonely Planet) and I ordered a cup of hot chocolate, which duly came and I gave it a stir and started drinking. Halfway down the cup I realised that the floating thing was not actually hot chocolate powder but was in fact a bug (legs and all). Having been raised a sturdy sort of person I simply gave the cup back to the waiter and asked for a new one without a bug. The waiter told the boss man who apologised profusely and thanked me for not making a fuss. My second cup of chocolate arrived and I stirred it and drank a quarter and lo and behold there was another bug - admittedly it was smaller but it was still a bug! Anyway by this time I had almost drunk a whole cup so we called it a day and left. So for any strict vegetarians out there - do not have the hot chocolate at Jimmys in McLeod Ganj :-)
On Friday we took the bus down the hills and into Amritsar, it took us about 8 hours in total and we kept telling ourselves, when we get there we can have a nice cold beer. And when we finally arrived, we did just that - delicious. Its very hot and dry here, quite a change from the last place.
Yesterday we went to the Pakistani border at Attari to watch the most bizarre display ever. There are hundreds of Indian people on one side of the border, hundreds of Pakistanis on the other side and about 10 silly looking soldiers on both sides. They high kick their way (a little John Cleesish) to the actual border and stare at each other, puffing their chests out and looking mean. There is much shaking of hats and general grimacing accompanied by cheers of "Hindustan!" from the Indian side and "Pakistan!" from the Pakistani side. When they finish strutting their stuff they lower their respective flags, shake hands, turn around and shut the gates connecting each country. Its quite a spectacle. When we arrived it was absolute chaos, everyone pushing and jostling for a space, but I had remembered something I had read that their was a VIP area for foreign visitors, so I asked a chap on a horse and he said yes, at which point we walked past all the crowds and sat practically next to the whole ceremony. So all the extra money we have had to pay to get into sights, museums, zoos, rickshaws, hotels, restaurants etc was worth it just to get a seat - hurrah for the foreigner!
And then last night we watched the football - but we aren't going to write anything about that.
However, today we went to the famous Golden Temple which is spectacular but not as good as the Taj Mahal. We took some great pictures which we will upload when we get back home on the 29th.
We are heading back to McLeod Ganj tomorrow (by train and bus!) and then we will make our way to Delhi on Thursday night and spend a night there beore flying back to Brussels. So until we get back, this is the blogwriters signing off and thanking you for reading our adventures and leaving messages, it was nice to read your comments.
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