I am currently staying with friends in Mussoorie, a Himalayan hill station, where it is the busy season. To be fair, like everyone else, we also decided to beat a retreat from the heat of the Indian plains by heading for the hills, so we are part of that very busy-ness.
If you’re looking to exercise, the only way to beat the summer holiday/weekend crowds is by heading out early. If you leave it too late, it’s both hot and crazy crowded. These little winding hill roads were not built for the volume of traffic the town gets, so to avoid traffic jams and incessant honking, early morning it is.
Which is how I came to be plodding slowly uphill, under hundreds of Buddhist prayer flags, early this Sunday morning.
We weren’t the first people at the Buddha Temple, but it was lovely and quiet, with very few people around.
As we headed back down, however, we saw stalls being set up, and snack vendors arriving, so I guess it would have been very busy later in the day.
It was a brisk 4.5km walk, with lots of downhill and then a pretty steep climb up rather rickety steps to reach the gold statue of the Buddha on the top of the hill, so I reckon I got in a fair dose of aerobic work, plus stair work. And I’m SURE there’s a formula somewhere, that says that brisk walking and stair climbing at 2000m is x times harder than at sea level 😛