Day 14 Nurpur to Mcleodganj (Dharamshala) 85 kms
By 6am the noise level had risen to that of the Chandi chowk market but that was Ok because escape was always attractive option.
Best part of the whole ride (was this morning coming up fr Nurpur on a good piece of road (very unusual) up a long climb through the hills to Dharamshala to Mcleodganj (where the Dali Lama, took refuge when he fled from China.
So why is it that this road is smooth and well maintained while the Dalhousie road is like the frontline in France in WW1 ???
Only a few more days before I go down to Delhi and return the bike, so I need to make the most of them.
Cool and cloud cover comes down and envelopes the place. Better chance of finding food that is suitable , not highly spiced stuff that the road side dhabbas dish up (rest of boys found this OK, but I struggled to get stuff that was not to oily and spiced.
The hill towns are wonderfully cool at 2000m, in contrast to Delhi, so it's great being here. I stopped at this church which I saw from the road as I climbed up the wonderful road from Dharamshala to McLeodganj
(classic stone type -1863) - St John in the Wilderness, and it was just a wonderful setting, being surrounded with terraces of daffodils. Walked through the graveyard and it was very emotional reading the inscriptions - " .............. 22 years, darling beloved wife bride of ................ of the Indian Civil Service. Daughter of ........... (some english village). I I I I I imagine the parents eventually getting the news months later, that she had died in some remote Indian hilltown.
Even if you survived being shot at, you could get wiped out by an earthquake. This guy only aged 25.
There is very little trace remaining of the Brit presence, here now, and Indians do not want to keep anything that is a memory of the Raj. The Tibetan influence is very strong here and the town exudes a tranquility that is probably a by product of this. It’s hard not to smile though, when you go into a ‘western’ coffee shop and the monks are all in there tapping away on their WIFI I phones or laptops and ordering lattees.
The place I am staying at- Mcleodganj Homestay is fabulous, being an offbeat place with great rooms and scrupulously clean. Straightaway I ask for another night and will stay here for a couple of days and relax.
There’s just something restful about the whole of MCLG despite the streets being clogged with cars, and the market stalls are full of good craft gear.
This shows the architectural flavor of the place –
And the view looking south down the mountain and out over the Indian plain, way below, in the far distance. (very top of pic)
Maybe the Dalai Lama’s presence is responsible for the more relaxed feel of the town and the Tibetan monks are there in big numbers.
I see this, where women are bringing baskets of rocks from the hillside behind and wonder if this is a new type of 'static load testing'.
I spend day 15 here as a rest day and get ready for the ride tomorrow to Chandigarth, down on the hot plains, by tipping in ½ a liter of oil but the bike has only done 200kms since the mechanic filled it at Pathankot and the level still seems to be low. I’ve just got to get back the 800kms to Delhi without the motor seizing