Monday, October 18, 2010

20101012 India - Dalhousie

Another 6.5hr bus ride from Amritsa to former British hill station Dalhousie. The roads were snaking all the way up to altitude 2000m. Some sections were REALLY hair raising. It was a big construction to build these roads up to the mountain top. Surprising to see many small villages were patched all over the mountain.

It was dark on my arrival, cold, hastily settled at the hotel for Rs250 (EUR6.2) per night. Ah... with clean big bed, cable TV and hot shower! Wow... value for money. A spider was welcoming me at the toilet located at balcony.

Really small... nothing to see except the dense pine forest, mountains, cooling atmosphere and the sunrise/ sunset views. Dirty... it was dirty for a tourist spot. Rubbish was not taken care of. People dumped loads of rubbish at the slopes instead of burying them. They didn't even clean up the rubbish around the hotels.

A sizable Tibetan refugee community had been established here long ago. I met 2 Tibetan teenagers, they guided me to visit their compound and we talked about their livings. Interesting.

Many locals told me I must visit Khajjiar - termed "Mini Switzerland" with a lake at the center of grassland. It was an hour drive from Dalhousie. I was expecting dense pine trees, mountains, crystal clear water, beautiful grassland, herds of cows and relaxing cafe. Partly true, except the crystal clear water was replaced by muddy pond, skinny cows, cafe with plastic chairs, and worse, rubbish was scattered around, not huge volume but it was an eyesore for a tourist place. I was fantasizing a pretty Indian actress dancing Bollywood choreograph with me and chasing each other at this romantic dreamland.

I waited 2.5hr to catch a bus back to Dalhousie. Unexpectedly the bus broke down on the way, was a little worried. Something was wrong with the front wheel. After 15min, luckily we were on the road again.

I stayed my last night in my room watching Commonwealth Games closing ceremony. Was good.