It's difficult to imagine a biking day better. Breathtakingly tropical ravines, a good road surface, little traffic and a bike behaving itself. At one point I found myself behind a learner driver. A sudden thought struck me: Indians are actually taught to drive like this? I kind of assumed as soon as you could reach the pedals you just went for it... After eventually finding Mandi (by asking at every junction and disregarding answers where they simply nod in all the directions you point) I rode around it twice and then went for an decentish hotel. Ah, back in the world of fans and TVs. I've come to the conclusion that the factory setting default volume in India is the ear-bleeding 80 out of 100. I'm currently listening at *7* and it's still too loud... Off for an explore and a beer in the faded opulence of the Raj Mahal hotel.
I find myself happily reinforcing hundreds of years of Engishmen trekking up sweltering tropical foreign mountains, in the wrong attire. When I asked the hotel if there was a walk I could do he looked worried and said no, perhaps it would be better if I had a nice cup of tea in the restaurant and looked out the window? Back at the restaurant later, drinking tea, I marvel at the TV. First Bangalore v Hyderabad cricket. The stadium is packed like Wembley and one side has cheerleaders - all white girls with a lot of flesh called 'white mischief'. It's a close game. Then there's a music video where a Punjabi woman sings, 'I don't give a shit about love, I just want to drink all night in the club'. This as I'm served a meal that could easily feed four. The waiter comes over three times to suggest that I'd like more rotis? Life in India goes on, perfectly.