9th August 2015, Sunday……Day (9) Udhampur-Amritsar 286 km
It kept raining throughout the night.
Yet I had a good sleep. There was scant traffic on Jammu-Udhampur highway that night. The soothing sound of falling rain coupled with sweet smell of rain soaked soil helped me having a sound sleep.
When I woke up that morning, the milkiness of the morning had devoured the dark of the night. The dark night was over. It was drizzling and the two teachers were still dozing on the chairs.
I slept for about six hours and got up at around 7am.
Since I had already decided to return back home, got on the wheels immediately.
Clouds were playing hide and seek. Mountains looked absolutely fantastic. It was freshness and greenery all around. Beautifully laid Udhampur Jammu highway was looking fantastic in the rainy, cloudy fresh morning.
I saw a number of trucks parked on a nearby lane, a very normal sight on this highway.
The highway and weather continued to be amazing. The thought of returning back instead of going ahead was playing on my mind.
In a way that was good. The weather conditions were not conducive for driving on the mountain roads in the rains of August, which prompted me to postpone my plan. Thereafter, I had wonderful time driving solo to the unknown and hidden parts of Kashmir and Zanskar the very next month, September 2015, when the weather conditions were perfectly fine and fall was setting in.
The highway was fantastic though. It’s every roadies dream to drive on this highway during mountains with clouds playing hide and seek. Last time I had driven on this road was in 2007 during a family trip, so I was loving each and every moment of it.
The highway was not as good in those days though. The road was wide and butter smooth.
and Lalpari was just loving it.
The rivers were furious and flowing fast. It brought back memories of devastating flash floods in September 2014 in Kashmir.
The river, the mountain and the landscape looked fantastic but it also filled the heart with fear.
Lalpari posing on the beautiful Pathankot-Udhampur highway.
Besides being entrance point to Jammu & Kashmir and the sight of pile up of trucks, notorious cops, it’s also famous for variety of spicy chana dal ladoos.
Ladoos @Rs.10-tasted so good here in Lakhanpur.
Weather continued to be cool and the road was amazing all the way till Amritsar. Loved the drive and after being on the road for 1196 kilometers in 8 days and spending Rs.6800-, reached back home in the afternoon on the 9th day.
And despite heat and humidity, slept inside the car during all the 8 nights I spent in this trip.
Despite the fact that I could not complete the trip, dislocated my elbow and had to drive the car with one hand only, faced landslides, bad weather, lonely roads and traffic jam and fought with the demons inside my mind after opting to sleep inside the car at unknown places including Jammu and Kashmir, still I came out victorious, more confidant and self belief.
It helped me plan out more such trips in the future.
Map of the route followed for the day