20th March, 2012, Tuesday……Day (4) Barot-Bada Gran-Lohardi-Amritsar 340 km
Woke up to a bright sunny morning at KK Negi home stay Barot. Came out of the room and saw this beautiful scene. Ms Negi chatting with a friend on the banks of Uhl river sitting near her Alto and my Lalpari.
Ms Bhamri Devi, devrani of Ms Negi brought me a cup of tea. Enjoyed sipping hot tea while basking in the morning Sun of Barot.
Went out for a little walk along the Uhl on this beautiful path.
Enjoyed the morning in Barot walking along the river, inside lanes of both the villages, Multhan and Barot, chatting with locals, cleaning the car and basking in the Sun. Took breakfast from Taj River View restaurant, the same from where I had a nice dinner and first time in life ate a trout fish the previous night.
The drive till Bada Gran (14 km) was pretty nice. The road was patchy, potholed and had few fast flowing water streams. The valley on the left was deep and River Uhl was merrily flowing through it. There were a number of waterfalls on the way but due to dry weather there wasn’t much of water in them.
I hesitated a little at a fast flowing water stream near Kothi Kohar when a local man helped and encouraged me to drive through. Local men and women working at the sight giggled heartily at my hesitation.
The road ended at a clearing near Bada Gran. A kutcha path lead to the last village enroute Bada Gran. The shopkeeper at Bada Gran told me that I could stay for the night in his shop if I wanted to. He had arranged one or two beds inside the shop, would cook food and also arrange local drinks if I so desired.
There was a waterfall nearby and I could use it for bathing.
Besides this, he told me that he could also guide me for a small trek to Bada Gran, Raj Gunda and nearby areas. The atmosphere around was so serene that for a moment I felt like staying at the place.
Better sense prevailed, put off staying at the place for some another time, I decided to return back. A jeep got punctured and was stranded in the middle of the road. There was no way for crossing of any other vehicle. The driver was toiling to replace the tyre and passengers were watching intensely as if they were themselves doing so.
After about half an hour, tyre got replaced and the jam got cleared. Soon I was in Barot and went inside PNB branch to say hello to my colleagues. On learning that I was going to Lohardi, a 6 km diversion on the right side of Barot, some of the staff members decided to accompany me.
Weather and setting of Lohardi was so romantic, I felt like staying there but did not. The company of my banker colleagues, however, was as usual very dry.
It was already 5pm and I decided to head back home. Dropped my colleagues at Barot and turned left towards Jogindernagar. Night fell and it got pitch dark. Just before Jogindernagar I stopped for a while at ‘Trekker’s Nest’.
‘Trekkers Nest’ was a nice place. Rooms were large and had good views. The restaurant looked good too. I came to know that the place was run by Dr Singla, a nature lover and an avid trekker. Luckily Dr Singla was available and we had a nice chat.
It was 9pm and I was not sure what to do next. Rang up home and got to know that my better half was in Amritsar and wanted me to drive to Amritsar instead of our home in Ludhiana. Amritsar was still 260 km from Jogindernagar.
Since I love night driving, decided to drive to Amritsar. Got tandoori chicken packed from Subhash Chowk, Palampur and was on my way. Listening to hindi songs on fm radio, munching at tandoori chicken….Lalpari was gliding on that beautiful traffic free Himachal road with the shadows of gleaming white Dhauladhars as my company….
At 3am….I was in Amritsar and in bed!!!