Spent my first night in Shimla and it was pretty cold. Had to use 2 blankets - why did I leave my sleeping bag at home?
Got up early this morning to walk up to the Monkey Temple, that was when I got my reality check. I am barely 2000mtrs up and the 'hike' up to the Temple ruined me. The way up was very steep but I am now a little worried about how I will fair in Nepal when I am exceeding 5000mtrs with a 2 stone backpack on!
Still, it will be great fitness work and you know that I am too stubborn not to do it.
However, it is going to be very very cold; again I ask myself, why did I leave my sleeping bag at home?
Monkey Temple was brilliant. The view of the Himalayan range from the top was breathtaking. You have green mountains in the foreground with snowcapped peaks in the far distance. I now really feel like Frodo taking the ring back to Mordor and the path looks daunting!
As you would expect by the name there are a lot of monkeys, and I mean a lot. They also have no fear of man, which is a little unerving.
After having a look around I took out a pencil and drew the temple, the first time I have drawn for 15 yrs.
It wasn't a bad attempt, a few wonky lines, but the crowds loved it. I felt like a right freak show, but everyone was very complimentary of my picture and insisted on taking photos of it. Met a lot of people this morning and it is amazing how shocked they are if you use a couple of basic Hindi words, they love it.
Top 3 moments of my day so far are, in reverse order:
3) A monkey stealing a digital camera of a lad and running off with it
2) A monkey jumping onto a monk's back and stealing his sunglasses and running off with them
1) Seeing the Himalayas proper - something I have wanted to do since I was little
By the way, if you throw a bag of nuts at the monkeys they give the goods back.
Right I am off to move rooms. I dont like where I stayed last night and have gopt a cheaper room which actually looks a lot nicer. When I was looking around at new rooms I was offered one with a baby monkey swinging outside the window on a cable! I didn't take that one as I can see it getting into my room and taking either my camera or sunglasses, and I have no nuts!!!