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Himalaya

Day 35: Shimla to Dharamsala

Dharamsala, India 
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On the road to Dharamsala. Our well-hennaed driver,'Red'.
Michael Palin - HimalayaPack up. Take a last look out of the French windows I'm not supposed to open. Expect the monkeys to at least look up, but they're all gathered around a rubbish skip, picking around in the contents as if it were the first day of Harrods' sale.

Or perhaps they've heard what's happening to their brothers and sisters in Delhi. The Times of India reports that the authorities there have decided to start rounding up some of the monkeys that roam the city and deport them. More controversially, they're to take 2000 cows out of circulation as well. Not, I notice, to improve road safety, but, so they say, to curb the illegal milk trade.

We leave the bow windows, pebble-dash walls and wrought-iron balconies behind and continue north by car to another hill station, Dharamsala, best known for being the headquarters of the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan government in exile.

Our driver, like many middle-aged men in India and Pakistan, has coloured his greying hair with henna, in his case so generously that it's almost bright scarlet and a tell-tale contrast with his grey moustache. Basil has christened him 'Red'.
Dharamsala, India 
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A lunch, bristling with green chillies.
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PALIN'S GUIDES

  • Series: Himalaya
  • Chapter: Day 35: Shimla to Dharamsala
  • Country/sea: India
  • Place: Shimla
  • Book page no: 78

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