Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, India, 4 July 2017, 1700 hours:
And so here I am, on a new journey, and a very different one at that. It’s a long tour of Shimla, Kinnaur, Lahaul Spiti and Kullu districts, 18 calendar days in all. What’s the difference? Well, this time it’s a family vacation with my much better half and our three children (aged between 3 and 10 years). All planned and organised by The Mountain Walker – which gives me a chance to be a customer and review first-hand the experience and service from the other side of the fence.
We have spent the last three days in Shimla, getting used to the walking, shedding our fast-paced city approach, and soaking in the old-world charm of The Clarkes Hotel, which is a heritage property.
Over the years, we have travelled a bit with the children – including in Himachal – but this will be the first time that we (as a family) will go on long road journeys for reasonably long stretches of time, beyond 12,000 feet above sea level, away from the relative comfort of city-towns such as Shimla-Manali and the sleepy Narkanda.
Should be fun.