After our last update we spent a couple more days in Shimla. We even trekked the 4.5 km to the old Viceregal Lodge. Its described in the Lonely Planet as a cross between Harry Potters Hogwarts and something else that we can't remember at this moment. It is built in the Scottish Baronial style, with lots of towers and impressive balconies. We went on an extended tour of the Lodge (now the college for advanced studies!) and walked through a total of 2 rooms with a guide. For 50 Rupees we thought that was quite a bargain (!). The gardens were very neat and in a typical English style. And after all that wandering in the gardens we still had enough energy to walk the 4.5 km back. Shimla is built on what seems like, (especially if you are walking with a rucksack), the slopes of Mount Everest. And after 4 days in Shimla our calf muscles were taking on a decidedly muscular tone. But the highlight of the visit to Shimla must surely be the 3 - 0 victory of Holland over Italy in the Euro 2008 competition. Personally I couldn't stay up long enough to see the first 10 minutes (it starts at 00:15 in India) but I was woken up 3 times and therefore assumed that it was a 3 - 0 win. We are now organising our schedule for the remaining 16days around Dutch matches (including a day spare after the match to recover from the late night!).
Anyway, we left Shimla on Wednesday morning and travelled 6 hours by bus to Mandi where we stayed in a lovely hotel (The Raj Mahal) and ate tandoori. And bright and early this morning we were back at the bus stand to catch a bus to Palumpur, another bus to Dharamsala and finally a taxi to McLeodGanj.
This is where the Tibetan government is in exile, so there is lots of Tibetan food available (even though we ate Italian tonight), and the atmosphere is very similar to that of Kathmandu if a little quieter. After we finish this update we are going to go next door to the Tibetan temple and spin the prayer wheels, trying our hardest not to think of Eddie Murphy in the Golden Child (I am not sure we will be able to do that though).
So until next time dear readers - namaste and x x x x x x x