Wow, got to Shimla today, and there couldn't be two places more different ! After driving for what seemed an interminable distance across flat, dusty terrain our bus started up a gradual incline and the landscape became incredibly green. The roadside was even peppered with gum trees !
I mentioned that the traffic in Delhi was fairly structureless – well outside of Delhi it's more or less the same, only the ratio of trucks to pedestrians is tilted heavily in favour of trucks. I've never seen so many trucks ! It seems from what I saw today that the bulk of the Indian economy is based on shifting things from one place to another. There was a bloke on a pushbike carrying a 3 piece sofa set !
The incline grew steeper, and we found ourselves in the foothills, where the trucks were as plentiful, and the primary difference being that there was no room for forcing people off the road due to the rock face one side and sheer drop on the other side.
It's all a bit strange really to be whisked off by yourself into the hinterlands of a strange country – there's no shortage of people offering you taxi rides (so, same as London, really), including one bloke at the bus station who offered me a taxi ride to Shimla… about 400km from Delhi. Riiiiiiiiiight.
Gawd, winding through the hills on that bus, honking like a maniac and overtaking all over the place – really made for an adrenalin charged trip. In a way I was almost thankful that it started getting dark around 6:30 and it was therefore harder to stare the harsh reality of gravity on the face over those cliffsides. Can't wait for the trip back down in 6 weeks! I reckon it's going to be a 4 valium job. There is a train that does the trip from Shimla to Kalka, but apparently it takes forever, and really the bus wasn't that bad – they probably only lose one a week.