Brisbane2Bristol

On our great adventure

Rocks in our Heads and Toy Trains….

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Our arrival from New Delhi was smooth and quite fast but very hot thankfully it didnt take to long to find the hotel we had booked, as we only had one night here we needed to get out for the rest of the afternoon.

I had a recommendation from a work friend to check out the rock gardens and the lake, so off we went to find them…
First a auto rickshaw had to be flagged down…
Price agreed and off we go for the short hot ride…

We had a little problem finding the office to pay our entrance fees…

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We first went through an entry but it was to the toilets…
We were then directed to the end of the stone wall and saw a tiny window, that was the height of our knees or just about lol…

The rock garden is a Sculpture garden and is also known as Nek Chand’s Rock Garden after its founder Nek Chand, he was a government official who started the garden secretly in his spare time in 1957, the rock garden is spread over an area of 40 acres, it’s completely built of industrial and home waste and anything thats been thrown away and apparently is visited by five thousand people daily!

There were also camel rides….

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The place is amazing what a clever person Ned was to have this ‘crazy’ vision.
There were so many photo opportunities, around every corner there was something else truly unique…

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There was also a very clever use of water fountains, we were so hot and we were melting and were tempted to jump into the water falls!

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Still melting we decided to walk to the lake, brought a drink and an ice-cream and sat in the shade with everyone else trying to get some respite from the sun…
No more walking today in this heat, so we got a rickshaw and went back to the hotel for a cooling shower (no hot water in this hotel)…

That evening we walked a short distance down the road from our hotel and had pizza, before again packing up for our next town…

We have left Chandigarh and it was time to start our climb into the mountain areas to get some relief from the heat..heading towards Shimla.

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The roads were twisty and pretty good, the beautiful green valleys lay below us, pine trees now line the roads giving off a beautiful scent…this ride is beautiful…
The mountains have vast townships all around, we were expecting small towns of just a few houses and shops nothing like this!
Going round one of the many twisting roads i thought we had seen a mirage..

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It was no other than Macdonalds…in a beautiful garden setting.
In India you soon learn to expect the unexpected, even though we werent hungry we still had to stop for an ice-cream if nothing else!

We arrived in Shimla in the late afternoon the traffic was terrible…
Traffic jams on every hill!
The roads were narrow and hardly any space to manoeuvre, so while stationary we were approached by a few hotels touts..
Sorry guys but not in these narrow streets are we going from hotel to hotel to find the best deal.
We found a hotel it was pretty expensive for what it offered, but India has been like that but we did have an amazing view to the valley below…

Later we set off to explore the town, after walking up some very steep hills we came to the town centre..

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Giant orange Buddha on hillside…

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The fire brigade have a great bike…

We noticed that there were a large number of young men standing around with empty pushchairs….hmmm not sure what thats all about….

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We found out later that the pushchairs are for carting items that are either too heavy or big, for people to carry home so for a fee the guys with the pushchairs would do all work… as no cars or bikes are allowed in or around the walking area of the shops (i should have got one of the pushchair guys to push me in one up the steep hills!).

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Even pizza delivery by pushchair…

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Everything is carried because the roads are so steep…

After a quick look around we headed back to the hotel, armed with our new mini eletric kettle that we had purchased and was made in India! We could now have tea in our room any time we liked…

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Foot operated sharpening service ….

Dinner at the hotel was pretty good.. although im not sure they cooked it the premises,we got the impression that they sent out fot it!!!
The next morning we set off back up the steep hill to look for some breakfast…passing lots of children heading off to school…we found this great place The Indian coffee House, this place is like an old boys’ club, i think the furniture has been here since it opened 50 years ago!

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The waiters wear uniforms and looked amazing, don’t expect a menu on the table as you won’t get one…on the wall at the back of the resturant is blackboard with everything written on it, this was such a great place, and they knew how to make toast 🙂

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Next on our list was to check out the toy railway…

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The railway, built by the British in 1903 to provide access to the summer capital of Shimla, and provides one of the most scenic train journeys in India…unfortunately we didn’t get to ride this train….next time we will.

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The track runs for 96k’s though 20 railway stations, 102 tunnels, 800 bridges, and has an incredible 900 curves! and i should imagine the scenery would be spectacular just as is was for us riding up here on the motorcycle.

The station is old fashioned and doesn’t look like its been changed since it was built, so it still has all its old world charm…

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Fresh lick of paint…

On our way back up the steep hills towards our hotel we were being stalked by big grey faced monkeys…

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They would have been waist high if not bigger…a little scary as well!

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Monkey thief …

We walked back the same way we had come…along a high walkway with a big drop below…

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The walkway didn’t seem very safe but we carried on, in places the walkway seemed to be hanging on by just a few nuts bolts and leaning against the odd tree for support, not somewhere you would want to walk in the dark as some panels were missing from the gantry…

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Before heading back the the hotel we walk once again up the steep pathways to the small town centre and around the narrow twisty streets to the local bazaar where you can buy anything from electical goods to fresh fruit and vegetables…and it all looks so fresh, the fruit was delicious.
Sitting in our room with a cup of tea made with our newly purchased kettle, we looked over the valley below us and watched the birds of prey flying around our window what an awesome sight…. but unfortunaltely we couldnt watch for too long as we needed to pack for our next town McLeod Ganj.

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No mistaken what happens here, outside our hotel…

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