What a ride...
Another early start yesterday to get to Dharamsala on the bus. We ate breakfast waited around until everyone was organised, travelling in a tour can be a challenge and is certainly testing my patience at times but that is something I should be working on anyway! We get on the bus and I am excited to see the sights of India and it was exciting for the first 9 hours :/ along the way we stopped a couple of times. The first stop was at this dingy looking roadside cafe that had the worst toilet - no toilet paper and didn't flush and 20 odd women all wanting to go haha it was interesting. Most Indians we have come across have been very friendly and curious and the guys do check out western women I found it a bit cheeky rather than lecherous though so I didn't mind lol. One of the girls in the group bought a chocolate and it looked yummy so I said how much was that and she said 10 Rupees which is about 20c and so I went up to buy one and the cranky guy behind the counter said that will be 20 rupees!!! I said hang on you on charged my friend 10 and he grumbled something to his mate and charged me the same haha if he hadn't been so grumpy I would have given him 20 :-)
Watching India from a bus is truly fascinating you get to see all different aspects of Indian life the business owners, beggars, stall holders and farm workers. The traffic alone is an endless source of fascination, you see whole families on scooters (the funniest one I saw was a baby squished between mum and dad!), trucks with blow horn painted on the back ( This is how Indians drive they don't use mirrors you just honk so they know you are there), horse and carts, lots of little cars (usually packed with people), took tooks and the occasional tractor. The driving is crazy it is just like what you see on those crazy TV shows and this kept us amused for most of the trip. Despite it being a very hairy ride I never once felt scared or worried.
We stopped at a vegetarian restaraunt for lunch and I got to sample a traditional Indian meal (see photo below) I am not a fan of Indian food and am a big sook when it comes to hot food so I struggled a bit but it was OK and I learned the secret to eating hot food is to use you hurt and eat something sweet after.
The bus driver took a wrong turn and so we ended up being on the bus for 16 hours and with only 3 stops it was pretty bad, there was one point where I thought I was going to burst into tears I was so bone shatteringly tired but I had a nap and moved past that and when we finally arrived I managed to see the funny side to the whole thing, especially when the bus parks in this area and our guide says it is now a 15 min walk to the hotel..meanwhile it is freezing we just all looked at him, luckiy this is India and so there were a heap of taxis there and so 4 of us just jumped I and I can tell you it was the best 100 rupees we ever spent!
We get to the hotel which we all agreed was ore like 1/2 hr walk away and the poor staff are asleep on mattresses waiting for us! They give us our keys, tell us there is no hot water and we head to our rooms. The rooms are clean, run down but quite large and we are happy and ready for bed. The noises outside are pretty bad - dogs barking, horns blaring and people talking but I am so tired I don't care!
Interesting tidbit for Gary I turn on the TV and big brother India was on I took a photo for you lol