Day 10 Shimla to Mussoorie

Today was a big time rally day. We covered slightly over 300 km on mountain roads with a million switchbacks. Because our original route was blocked by a gigantic fallen boulder blocking the road, we had to take smaller mountain roads with potholes, dirt and no guard rails. About half the driving was done through small villages where traffic becomes very congested......mostly because of buses and trucks trying to get through the very small village streets. The other half of the drive was done in high mountain roads with spectacular scenery. Makeshift waterfalls everywhere and lots of wild life....the weather was clear and sunny and the birds were out, especially the hawks looking for a meal. 

Typical passing situations on the mountain roads of India

The spectacle of the waterfalls crashing down alongside the road was interesting. At various locations I saw: (a) men stopping their cars to wash them by throwing buckets of water over their car; (b) people (men) were in the waterfalls and the pools created by them; and (c) herders who bring their cows, sheep, donkeys or horses to drink and bathe in the falls. In short, these nature-provided waterfalls are a beehive of activity. 

The sacred cow is everywhere on the roads of India; with their herders they sleep on the road and bath in the waterfalls

Throughout these country roads there are all kinds of roadside stands selling everything imaginable. The apple stands are one of the most popular. All types of apples: red golden, yellow, green. Indians seem to love apples, but they don't cook with them not even in the desserts and not even as fresh fruit for breakfast.....they just eat them raw. More importantly, I've yet to see an apple orchard so I don't know where they come from. Another type of roadside stand caught my eye. Many stands sell stuffed animals, far and away the most popular stuffed animal figure is a bear (all sizes from small to very large). This stuffed bear looks very similar to the US National Parks' Smokey the Bear, who encourages all of us to prevent forest fires in US National Parks.....very peculiar! 

Our car continues to run well -- oil pressure, heat, tires all good. While I haven't added up all the rally distances we've traveled with the old girl, it must be more than 30,000 miles to all corners of the world. The more you push her, the more she responds positively.