After a week in Delhi we were ready to hop on the train and to finally go further North. We decided that the famous summer city of Shimla would be a perfect spot to start our big adventure towards the land of the Himalayas. We booked our train tickets and were ready to leave. To carry our luggage plus our bicycles (still packed inside the boxes) to the train station, turned out to be quite difficult for the two of us.
There was no other choice – we had to hire two rickshaws and two porters to help us with all the stuff, so we could reach the right platform on time. The Indian porters decided that one of them would be strong enough to carry both of our bicycles – and indeed with some effort he managed to transport 44 kg on his head!
The time in the train was quite an adventure already. Our first train from Delhi to Kalka was a luxurious one with very comfortable seats, a lot of space for the legs, newspapers to read and meals on board. The second one, the old and traditional “Himalayan Queen” was quite the opposite. The train was that small, that we had to keep most of our stuff on the knees and sit for 5 hours squeezed between other passengers and their luggage.
Fortunately the views were amazing and we enjoyed the trip to Shimla anyway. The city of Shimla at a hight of around 2000 meters above sea level and quite hilly itself forced us once again to hire some people to help us to get us and our stuff to the hotel. We could not wait any longer to get our bikes assembled and to be independent again.
The next morning we finally could unpack the boxes and hope for two fully functional bicycles. It turned out, that our bikes had survived the Bangkok-Delhi flight and the Delhi-Kalka-Shimla trains pretty well.
After unpacking and getting our gear and equipment ready to cycle, we spend a couple of days in Shimla wandering around the town, observing Indian tourists and planning the route for the next couple of days.
On our way out of Shimla, right after only a few kilometres, a first little adventure awaited us. We cycled right into a Himachal – Pradeshi wedding, with full orchestra, traditionally dressed bride and guests.
The bride seemed not to be very happy that day…