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Early bus; luckily we bumped into a very nice 57 year old guy called Neville, from Melbourne, who was going our way and knew the bus to get on. Indian bus stations really are an incredible mess. The bus was okay though, semi-deluxe, though the driver was pushing it pretty fast over mountain roads, leaning on the horn at every opportunity. We were very close to the edge of some sheer drops far too often.

It was a six hour trip to Mandi. With Neville, we got rooms at the Mayfair Hotel; a bit of a dump but not too bad. My sore throat of last night was by now developing into full blown flu. At least my fingers are healing up!

K & I walked around a few nearby streets (no other tourists in town), at one stage coming upon a little hole-in-the-wall shop where a man laboriously set metal type for printing receipts and the like. I had a brief chat with him and we got a photo. It was like stepping back in time. School kids giggled at us and sometimes said hello. People look, but don’t stare as badly as they did in Shimla. Beautiful fabric stalls. Everything incredibly grotty, of course!

We had dinner upstairs in the hotel restaurant with Neville, and had a good long conversation, finding out all about his family. Lovely bloke. I was feeling exhausted and sick by the end of the evening though.

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