17th February 2015, Tuesday…..Day(1) Amritsar-Dalhousie-Nainikhad 240 km
The stories of people who travel on their home on wheels have always fascinated me. During my bike rides to Spiti and Ladakh last year I actually met few of them. They were all foreign nationals and had brought their vehicles with them in India. Ever Since, I was itching to travel like them. During our Joydrive to Rajasthan 2014, me and my wife tried to spend 1-2 nights in the car and were successful partially.
I discussed this with my friend, Mr Nikhil Kumar of Ford India, Amritsar. Who not only gave me few tips and got my vehicle fit for the drive but also successfully demonstrated it to me by spending one night in the car with his wife on one of his visits to Palampur. That got me going for this……‘IN THE CAR ON THE CAR’ trip. With a broad plan of 20-25 days and few places in Himachal and Uttarakhand in mind, I began this Solo….‘IN THE CAR ON THE CAR’ trip on the afternoon of Shivratri Day, from my home in Amritsar. The first destination chosen for the day was my all time favourite…….Dalhousie.
The plan for the day was to park the car near Khajjiar temple, sleep in the car…get up early and enjoy the beauty of Khajjiar in the morning hours. Anyhow that was not to be. I checked up few places like GPO, Subhash Chowk and Bus Stop, Dalhousie but selected Nainikhad to be the venue for the first night ‘IN THE CAR ON THE CAR’. Reason being, Nainikhad is the only place on this route where few tea shops remain open throughout night.
Parked the Lalpari near the stream, behind already parked truck, little away from the tea shop. Prepared the bed. Got inside the car. Pulled the body cover down. Locked the door from inside. Pushed myself into the sleeping bag and tried to sleep. But it was nowhere. Tried watching video on cell phone. Tried walking around. Still not working. Not feeling like sleeping. Tried tea. Tried many things. Nothing seem to work. Got inside the car and tried again. Bit successful this time.
A bus came and few women chose to piss behind and near the car. The sound got me up. Went out and had tea again. It was midnight and sleep was still miles away. A truck laden with vegetables came. Chatted with the driver. He was very happy as after unloading at Chamba he would be home and sleeping with his wife after a weeks time. Had another cup of tea. Went walking on the road under starlit night. This continued happening throughout the night. Though I was not able to sleep properly still was enjoying everything…..
Wonderful start to a nomadic drive….quest for freedom!!!