After five hours of stopping and starting – peasants, goats, chickens – all climbed aboard; we arrived at Tansen Junction and looked around for our guesthouse “City View Homestay”. What we could see of the town was far from inspiring… then we realized we still had to take a jeep 20 minutes further up the hillside to reach the old town. The streets were steeper than Shimla and mostly pedestrian with a few inevitable motorbikes. Still looking for City View we labored up a very steep incline.
Eventually, at the tourist information center we learn that City View is a euphemism for rooms in local houses. Our choice becomes one that is less than basic or a room in the only overpriced hotel in town.
We opt for the latter and enjoy two days of relative luxury in a room with a balcony providing a panorama of the hills and valley below and a view of both the sunrise and sunset. Once again Gerard’s found a place undiscovered by most tourists. He still hasn’t had enough of the old wooden houses with carved doorways and windows.
In the afternoon strolling around town we hear live folk music. Following the source, we find ourselves in a restaurant garden where a wedding is taking place. Much more interesting for Gerard than the ceremony (which is very hard to figure anyway) were the musicians. I don’t think they get much attention and when Gerard started to take pictures they were all smiles and appreciated someone interested in their music.
To get the final view of the Himalayas we plodded up to a ridge above the town, and waved goodbye.