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51Back to top Go down   India the easy way - Page 2 Empty Re: India the easy way on Thu Mar 23, 2017 8:02 am

Dai


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@werewasi wrote:I am going to several of the hill towns that were the refuge of the British  civil service (1840’to 1947) , people esp. the wives and children when the heat down on the plains made life unbearable.
I have this fascination with the hill towns
Me too, only it was Shimla in particular and not through a book. Time to tell another short story, I suppose...

Some years back I had a really nasty dose of flu, to the point where I was too weak to climb the stairs and had to sleep in the living room for nigh on two weeks. I woke one morning, wide awake, at around 5.00am in the certain knowledge that I wasn't going to sleep again for some time, so I did something that was extremely unusual for me and reached for the TV remote (I don't have a TV habit and prefer to avoid it at all times). The first thing I came across that even remotely held my fevered interest was a program on the Indian Hill Railways. As at the time I was running a high temperature, the program and the images stuck in my mind in bright technicolour and put Shimla and the railway on my bucket list. I never expected to actually get there...!

I didn't answer one of your previous questions Dave: is the ride on the Toy Train worth it? Yes, it is. If you do the full trip it takes almost eight hours to get from Shimla to Kalka. We did it Indian-style but if you're after comfort, you can arrange in advance for the
Shivalik Queen coach to be hooked up to the train for an additional AU$81 each (minimum four people through). We came down on the Himalayan Queen departure - all second-class seating (called 'chair cars') but still surprisingly comfortable. Some of the views from the track beat the road views hands-down and, of course, you can concentrate on the view and not be looking out for suicidal drivers! Very Happy

If you can reach it, the program is still available here:-

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00r5wk7

And a review from one of the UK's most respected broadsheet newspapers:-

http://www.independent.co.uk/travel/asia/the-shimla-kalka-toy-train-is-one-the-most-beautiful-railways-in-the-world-9823414.html

    

52Back to top Go down   India the easy way - Page 2 Empty Re: India the easy way on Thu Mar 23, 2017 9:29 am

werewasi

werewasi
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Tks Dai,
Got the programme but I'll have to go down to the Library to watch it because i have only pocket Wifi.

I didn't get to Shimla so it's on my itinerary. My question was - did you see any bikes being carried on the train ?
Also what's the best leg - I would have thought down.  I'll be going steerage class.
In 1994 I took a goods train from Forsayth (way out in the far north Queensland wop wops) to Cairns and we rode in the Guards van
(with the bikes). Took a few days so we slept on the floor and had our gaz stoves to cook on.
So I'm used to basic transportation. 

Since you're a Brit (hee hee) you'd like H and D - gives a very good picture of the operation of the RAJ. I think the final scenes area depiction of  the 'recluse' of Shimla.

Sashi Kapoor is superb.

The 4th pic in that Independent article is of something that will probably be allowed to just rot away for political reasons. In other countries it would be culturally significant. I have a post (day 15) where I stopped at the church of St John in the Wilderness at Dharamshala. I was told that the few anglophiles up there are trying to save it from becoming a derelict ruin.  

Today - an epic day. Finally after days of work, got RS #2 running after sitting for over 2 and a half years. I won't be doing that again
to a K.  It's time for it to go to a new home.

India the easy way - Page 2 Img_6210



Last edited by werewasi on Thu Mar 23, 2017 9:58 am; edited 2 times in total


__________________________________________________
K100RS  1983 and 1986 (bought a 2nd and put them both together in a dark garage thinking that i would get a heap of parts from the progeny but nothing happened- think they're gay)  Laughing Laughing Laughing

1985 K75, Guzzi V7 Special, 1986 GB500, 1974 T500, 1986 MB5 with the whoppa 100cc engine transplant, NC 700 SA Honda, two 1986 Kawasaki BR250s
    

53Back to top Go down   India the easy way - Page 2 Empty Re: India the easy way on Sat Mar 25, 2017 10:00 pm

Dai

Dai
Life time member
Life time member
No goods wagons on the toy train Sad Knowing the Indians though, it might be worth asking about because I did see some on the way up, full of permanent way personel (pic on the website).


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'83 K100 upgraded to K100RS spec
Others...
'78 Moto Guzzi 850-T3, '79 Moto Guzzi 850-T3 California,'93 Moto Guzzi 1100ie California,
'03 Suzuki Blandit GSF600SK3 (NFS any more because wifey has claimed it)
    

54Back to top Go down   India the easy way - Page 2 Empty Re: India the easy way on Sun Mar 26, 2017 7:26 am

werewasi

werewasi
Platinum member
Platinum member
Day 14 Nurpur to Mcleodganj (Dharamshala)  85 kms

By 6am the noise level had risen to that of the Chandi chowk market but that was Ok because escape was always attractive option.

Best part of the whole ride (was this morning coming up fr Nurpur on a good piece of road (very unusual) up a long climb through the hills to Dharamshala to Mcleodganj (where the Dali Lama, took refuge when he fled from China.
So why is it that this road is smooth and well maintained while the Dalhousie road is like the frontline in France in WW1 ???

Only a few more days before I go down to Delhi and return the bike, so I need to make the most of them.
Cool and cloud cover comes down and envelopes the place. Better chance of finding food that is suitable , not highly spiced stuff that the road side dhabbas dish up (rest of boys found this OK, but I struggled to get stuff that was not to oily and spiced.

The hill towns are wonderfully cool at 2000m, in contrast to Delhi, so it's great being here. I stopped at this church which I saw from the road as I climbed up the wonderful road from Dharamshala to McLeodganj




(classic stone type -1863) - St John in the Wilderness, and it was just a wonderful setting, being surrounded with terraces of daffodils. Walked through the graveyard and it was very emotional reading the inscriptions -  " ..............  22 years, darling beloved wife bride of ................  of the Indian Civil Service. Daughter of ........... (some english village). I I I I      I imagine the parents eventually getting the news months later, that she had died in some remote Indian hilltown.



Even if you survived being shot at, you could get wiped out by an earthquake. This guy only aged 25.




There is very little trace remaining of the Brit presence, here now, and Indians do not want to keep anything that is a memory of the Raj. The Tibetan influence is very strong here and the town exudes a tranquility that is probably a by product of this. It’s hard not to smile though, when you go into a ‘western’ coffee shop and the monks are all in there tapping away on their WIFI I phones or laptops and ordering lattees.
The place I am staying at- Mcleodganj  Homestay is fabulous, being an offbeat place with great rooms and scrupulously clean. Straightaway I ask for another night and will stay here for a couple of days and relax.




There’s just something restful about the whole of MCLG despite the streets being clogged with cars, and the market stalls are full of good craft gear.




This shows the architectural flavor of the place –


And the view looking south down the mountain and out over the Indian plain, way below, in the far distance. (very top of pic) 


Maybe the Dalai Lama’s presence is responsible for the more relaxed feel of the town and the Tibetan monks are there in big numbers.

I see this, where women are bringing baskets of rocks from the hillside behind and wonder if this is a new type of 'static load testing'.  




I spend day 15 here as a rest day and get ready for the ride tomorrow to Chandigarth, down on the hot plains, by tipping in ½ a liter of oil but the bike has only done 200kms since the mechanic filled it at Pathankot and the level still seems to be low. I’ve just got to get back the 800kms to Delhi without the motor seizing  


__________________________________________________
K100RS  1983 and 1986 (bought a 2nd and put them both together in a dark garage thinking that i would get a heap of parts from the progeny but nothing happened- think they're gay)  Laughing Laughing Laughing

1985 K75, Guzzi V7 Special, 1986 GB500, 1974 T500, 1986 MB5 with the whoppa 100cc engine transplant, NC 700 SA Honda, two 1986 Kawasaki BR250s
    

55Back to top Go down   India the easy way - Page 2 Empty Re: India the easy way on Wed Mar 29, 2017 7:03 am

werewasi

werewasi
Platinum member
Platinum member
Day 16 Mcleodganj  to Chandigarth  (250kms)

Set off about 6.30 am and it’s a great morning with it being nice and cool. I head south down the mountain and the road is good so it’s a great ride. The route is not well signed so I miss a crucial turn and have to double back about 10kms. The names of the villages are not signed either so I really don’t know where I am but just have to try and relax. Further on in the Punjab, village signing is done but not here. After 2 hours I stop at what seems to be a more westernized dhabba, because the basics ones just don’t do toast and tea. Even so I end up with a toasted butter sandwich and honey or jam is not available. Still, it’s food.
The road winds around the hills and climbs occasionally through cuts in the hills and the ride is great. The last couple of days have been the best, visually and road condition wise and I’d like to be visiting more of the hill towns. I cancelled Shimla and Mussoorie because I realized that I just wouldn’t have the time to get to them.
There are still the drivers who run up behind you, honking madly , and there’s one TFI in a Tata shoebox which looks as if it would have all the dynamic stability of two Vespas tied together, who just about takes us both out as he passes and comes head on with a truck. Some how gets past, brake lights flashing at every corner (the sign of a truly great driver) and then I pass him minutes later when he pulls up at a shop. So what was that all about ? – getting there before the shop went into liquidation ? .
I beginning to think that there’s an inverse relationship between the size of these guys cars and how much of Michael Schumacher they think they have in their genes.

The boys on bikes, hot little 150 CBRs and things like this, ride as if they’re practising for the Moto GP and their level of competence seems higher but again they are scary head on.




My overnight stop is Chandigarth ( not a good choice ) and the traffic into it is pretty bad. I should have printed off a large scale google map and finding the hotel in sector 22 (this is how the city is cut up) is beyond me. I ask a Sikh (generally likely to speak English) the way and ask him to tell a tuk tuk driver to lead the way and I will follow. Next thing he climbs into the t t and when we get to the hotel he has paid the driver, refusing the offer of tea. I’m blown away by the kindness of so many people and I have his e  mail address so if he comes to Australia………….
The hotel is a bit of a dump and overpriced but it will have to do. I go out on to the street past all the electronic and phone shops and the latter are packed. Phones are a must fashion accessory and even the some of the bicycle rickshaw guys have them,despite the fact that in India they are a very expensive bit of kit


__________________________________________________
K100RS  1983 and 1986 (bought a 2nd and put them both together in a dark garage thinking that i would get a heap of parts from the progeny but nothing happened- think they're gay)  Laughing Laughing Laughing

1985 K75, Guzzi V7 Special, 1986 GB500, 1974 T500, 1986 MB5 with the whoppa 100cc engine transplant, NC 700 SA Honda, two 1986 Kawasaki BR250s
    

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