Because it is better not to drive to Leh, we have to find a new destination. We decide to search for the source of the river Ganges. De villages in the surroundings of this point are pilgrimage places and a lot of Indian people go there to have a dip in the Holy water to get rid of all there sins.
This means that we have to drive quite a long distance. We decide to split it up in more days. Today we will drive to Shimla, a former English settlement. Unfortunately, the road is bad and very narrow. As a result of this, we are not able to drive faster that 25k an hour. Because the road is very narrow there is not enough space for two vehicles. Trucks and busses rule the roads as size does matter. The bigger you are, the more rights you have. This means that we will be pushed of the road without remorse or have to be on the side of the road before they pass. At a very high speed the busses and trucks pass by creating dangerous situations. A few times they only miss us by and inch length!
Elles who can’t hold her breath anymore has enough of it and starts searching for one of the presents we got from our friends when we left Holland. This to get rid of all her frustrations. Its a air horn propelled by a gas bottle which can make so much noise that it can cause temporary hearing loss. In India there is a second rule. He who can make the most noise and blows his horn the most can earn respect. So there she was, Elles hanging out of the window, blowing the horn at every moron on the road that comes too close. It works! We laugh our asses of and the truck drivers brake and look at us bewildered. We have ourselves a new toy!
Some 50 kilometers before Shimla, on a winding road high in the hills, it suddenly becomes foggy. Then the fog becomes so thick that we only have one-meter view in front of us. Not so comfortable as driving becomes even more difficult as we have no idea how the road goes and we can’t see upcoming traffic. So here we are, driving with all lights on and even the alarm lights. Elles, at this point, is pressing her nose against the front window trying to give some directions. Then the heavens open up and it starts raining. Not an ordinary shower but a heavy monsoon rain. This makes it even more difficult to drive as the outlines of the road disappear. With less then 15 k an hour we crawl to Shimla. Dead tired we arrive in the pouring rain with zero visibility. When we are harassed by Hotel touts and they want to stand on the back of the car it’s Michel’s turn to bite his lip. Get of our bus &%#@$#! Aaargghhhh. Full speed we try to get rid of them and are relieved when we finally park the car.
‘Maybe a meditation course is not a bad idea…. what do you think….. Michel?’