19th January 2017, Thursday….Day (3) Khajjiar to Amritsar, 263 km
It was a freezing cold night. Strong chilly wind blew throughout the night. Unlike the previous night, I had to cover the car with plastic cover so as to minimise the impact of freezing cold. Put on another set of clothing and whatever bedding I had in the car. And after shivering for few hours, slept for few hours.
The plastic cover had almost frozen with hard ice. When I got up in the morning and tried push the door open, it won’t. It got stuck firmly. With cold, my hands had gone numb too, found it very tough to push the door. Mustard up enough strength and gave it all I had, the door got little open and slowly, I pushed the ice away and came out.
It was foggy all around. The entire meadow was engulfed in thick fog. The lake and the meadow was under thick blanket of fog. Visibility was very low. I started walking towards hotel Parul, the one that came to my rescue during the last two days. Like the previous day, it was not open as yet and the entire staff was still asleep.
I went walking through the meadow. Like the previous day, I was the only one awake and walking at that time in Khajjiar. Weathermen had predicted no snow and sunshine for the day, so I kind of knew I had had enough and the purpose of my drive was achieved.
First rays of sunlight hit the snow white meadow and the thick blanket of fog started disappearing. The blue sky started appearing and the snow on deodars started melting. I could hear the thud of falling big pieces of snow from the trees perched high above. The ice on the road started melting and fast converting into stream loaded with mud.
The landscape became stunning though. Khajjiar meadow engulfed in pure white snow, under the thick blanket of fog, deodar trees filled with snow white and bright sunshine, the rare landscape, which was there for only few moments. I was lucky to be there and captured the scene permanently.
After having nice time walking through the meadow and clicking pictures I walked to hotel Parul, freshened up, had nice breakfast of mix parathas and milk. With the opening up of the weather, I knew the road would be open soon. By 10am few cars began arriving and I knew my time was up. Thanked Rajender Sharma, the manager of hotel Parul and went up to my car which was stationed at one place for the last three days.
The only problem was my car would not start. I called up my friend Nikhil, who has always come to my rescue. He told me due to excessive cold the battery has gone down and I need to heat up the engine or get the car pushed. I requested Rajender, he sent few men, they helped and pushed the car out of its fixed position and the engine roared.
The drive from Khajjiar to Gate and then from Gate to Chamba was just beautiful. Sun shone brightly over the mighty Pir Panjal and the view was amazing all through the drive. The drive from Chamba to Banikhet was dominated by beautiful road, river Ravi, Chamera Lake and Pir Panjal Range in the background. I loved and enjoyed every bit of the drive till Pathankot.
From Pathankot onwards me and my car was checked many times by Punjab Police, I don’t know why, maybe they had some alert or warning otherwise the whole drive till Amritsar was amazing. Reaching home and was greeted with smile by the most important person in my life, my wife.
A dreamy end to a dreamy trip, I am so lucky to be blessed with such an amazing life, God Bless You All and help you live life of your dreams…………….!!!