We spent 22nd -25th Sept in Shimla at the Cedar Grand Hotel…..both for a bit of R&R after 6 months of travelling on the road…..often in very poor accommodation conditions…and moving on each day…….sometimes doing very, very long days on the bike, as well as time for me to recuperate from my ongoing tummy problems which have been getting progressively worse. I finally gave up letting “nature take its course” and went to see a local chemist and the antibiotics he gave me along with the medication Claire and Emiel shared with me (they too are having problems) seems to have done the trick. Vince is the only one with a cast iron stomach!
We spent the days exploring the village on foot and one day (23rd) Claire and I went and had our hair and nails done (my feet were beginning to resemble Shrek)……at an exorbitant cost of only 850 INR (A$17.50).
Whilst I was taking a photo of one of the many monkeys around Shimla (there is a Monkey Temple here), Vince thought it was funny to come up behind me and grab me…..scared me senseless and made me scream. This provided much amusement to ta local policeman who commended “Very Funny” with a sweeping grin…..Claire and Emiel also laughed. But Karma is alive and well in India…..and just a few minutes later, a monkey sitting on a railing lashed out aggressively at Vince and tried to grab him…..luckily it missed….although they all look healthy enough we did not want to have direct contact with any animals as a precaution against rabies etc. The actual Monkey Temple is called Jakhu/Jakhoo Temple and is dedicated to the Hindu god Hanuman. It is situated on Jakhoo Hill, 2.5 km /1.3 miles east from the Ridge in Shimla. It has a height of 2,455 m (8,000 feet) above sea level. It is the highest peak in Shimla and offers a panoramic view of the Shivalik Ranges and the town of Sanjauli. Every year the festival of Dushera is held there. Visitors can access the temple by either a steep climb on foot, on horseback or by taxi.
We are all quite fascinated by the mist that rolls in here on a regular basis…..our hotel has a terrific view over the town and mountain….but sometimes it is shrouded in nothing but white. We have had a couple of rainy days….but that allowed us to just relax in the hotel watching movies or reading books. We have been able to get some much needed washing done….always a challenge on the road as well.
We are on the look out for another point and shoot camera as my trusty workhorse ,,,,,Olympus TG-3….. has finally reached the unreliability point…….our research tells us it has now been superseded by the TG-4 and I would be happy to get that (if we can find it in India). Looking local, they are trying to convince me that the Nikon Coolpix AW130 is the way to go…..but although its mostly comparable (and cheaper), I have checked the specs and I like the faster shutter speed (1/2000 instead of 1/1600) on the Olympus (critical for my back of bike style of photos) as well as the wider stop (f2.0 instead of f2.8). Vince also says the new Olympus has Night Live Composite….our TG-3 is crap a night shots….but this improvement takes several shots and extracts the light to build up a brighter picture…..so he is pretty excited about that….he has seen this technology before and it’s impressive. So I think I will give the Nikon a miss and try to source another Olympus.
We will head to Chandigarh on Saturday 26th as we have the bike booked in for an oil change and possible rear brake pad replacement (we have the BMW parts with us that we bought in Austria) so plan to spend the night there….on the road again!