9th March 2015
What a pleasure it was!!!
Getting out of the car at a strange new place every day, different atmosphere, different landscape and people, such an amazing experience, so refreshing that I feel this trip should never come to an end and keep going forever. Like that dialogue from a famous bollywood movie “Main udna chahta hoon, daudna chahta hoon, girna bhi chahta hoon … bus rukna nahi chahta” (I want to fly…..I want to run…..even want to fall……,but I just don’t want to stop….!!!)
I did not know even the name of the place where I spent the night. I came to know later it was Shaharfatak.
Early morning drive on that road was heavenly. I could not have asked for more. Sound sleep and a beautiful morning drive through one of the most beautiful roads in Uttarakhand. Although most roads in uttarakhand are good but this one has to be amongst the best. Metaled road, pine scented air, red rhododendron flowers in full bloom, beautiful rain soaked mountain landscape and amazing people of the hills, it was beauty all around.
Sun was about to rise. Back in the city I hardly saw sunrise. In this trip I am lucky to see it almost every day. Lalpari is lucky too. She is witness to this amazing spectacle almost every day.
Mukteshwar arrived sooner than I expected, drove straight to KMVN TRH. It looked very different than what I saw last time in 2011 when I was here with family. In fact I could not recognize it on first look, a new building has come up and the old one has been pushed back to the background.
So instead of TRH, I walked down to PWD Rest House and met its caretaker. He was a very interesting man. He showed me the entire premises and the sun set point. He took me to Chauli-ki-Jali and clicked few pictures. Then we walked through the jungle to Shiva Temple and thereafter back to the rest house.
From Mukteshwar I drove to Sitla through IVRI woods and then to Ramgarh. The drive through the woods was good but I missed the sight of hundreds of langurs peaking through the branches of trees in thick forest which we saw when we passed through this forest in 2011. Road to Ramgarh was good one too and the landscape so beautiful. Ramgarh seemed a nice place with lots and lots of resorts and orchards. There are ashrams established by Rabindranath Tagore and Narain Swami and a library dedicated to famous writer Mahadevi Verma.
Ramgarh to Bowali was again a well laid out road. But the sight of hundreds of buildings under construction at Bowali and Bhimtal area was bit disturbing. There was lot of honking and over speeding. The market area looked overcrowded. First time in the trip I was feeling hot and tired.
I knew I was back in the so called civilization again.
Visiting Sattal, Naukuchiatal and Bhimtal was not all that good. There was lot of crowd, heat and traffic. I quickly drove to Nainital. Did not stay at Nainital for long either and drove to Pangot. The drive from Nainital to Pangot was beautiful. The narrow road passed through a very dense forest. Pangot is a quiet hamlet popular for bird watching. The jungle around has lot of wildlife.
I wanted to stay for the night at Pangot but there was no mobile network which I needed badly. I wanted to talk to my family back home and tell them where and how I was.
Driving back to Nainital was bit scary that evening. It got pitch dark soon and the road passed through a very thick forest. I was told that there was lot of wildlife in that forest and the road was narrow and lonely.
Anyhow reached Nainital safely and first task in hand was to find a suitable place for parking the car. After lot of thinking and rethinking I chose to park the car on the high court road but not before enjoying few drinks near the lake on mall road and nice dinner at the market.
Sleeping IN THE CAR inside that sleeping bag on the 21st night of this IN THE CAR ON THE CAR trip at Nainital was another amazing experience!!!