Saturday, June 14, 2008

Delhi to Shimla

So...after the fun filled adventure that was Air India I thought maybe I'd be in for a break, you know, maybe things would go smoothly from here on in...but alas, it was not to be. As I mentioned I arrived quite late into Dehli but was able to get through immigration and customs without a problem and, due to the late hour, fairly quickly. I felt sorry for the poor cabbie who had been sent to pick me up as he had apparently been there waiting for me for close on 5 hours. He seemed to take it all in stride though and away we went through the dark and quite dusty streets of New Delhi to a hotel where I was shown to a room and promptly crashed out.

Only to be abruptly awoken at 6am with a knock on the door informing me that my taxi would be there at 7am to take me to the bus terminal where I would board a bus for Shimla, the town in the Himalayan foothills where I'd be taking my computer certification course. So, surprisingly prompt, I was whisked away to the bus station, which I must say looked like it had seen some better 75 years ago. But a bus station it was and so I loaded the bus and again, things moved fairly efficiently as the bus rolled out only about 15 minutes after its scheduled departure. Cool, I thought, things are moving along ok. And things did, in fact move along ok...that is...until we hit a town called Chandigarh, not sure about the spelling on that. But that's when traffic hit a brick wall, we honestly didn't move more than 5 feet in almost an was mind numbing. But just like I alluded too, Air India was just an intro to the patience building exercise that is travel in India.

After we finally cleared the traffic jam, and trying to describe a traffic jam here is like trying to explain why lemmings follow one another over a cliff, you see it happening but it just doesn't make any sense. Anyway, after we cleared the traffic jam, it was straight up into the mountains, and not just any mountains, we're talking the Himalayan mountains...the tallest mountain range in the world. And trust me, it lives up to its reputation. They consider these the "foothills" but I don't see anything "hilly" about these honest to goodness mountains. In fact, Shimla, the town where I'm taking my course is at 7100 feet, so if that's a foothill than the mountains we have back in Virginia are mere anthills.

Although we were about 3 hours late, at least we did manage to make it into Shimla safe and sound, which is saying something considering how our driver was driving a full size Volvo bus on these curvy roads like he was behind the wheel of a Ferrari in a TV commercial.

Stay tuned for more on the interesting town of Shimla and its wicked wildlife...

India Roadsign Quote of the Day:
"Haryana Police: Better late than never"

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