The journey from Nainital to Haridwar was another long day of riding, though slightly shorter, and generally less eventful than the previous slog. So, instead of talking about the trip, I’ll give some general thoughts on Indian road journeys.
Nainital is a hill station, one of the small towns just a short trip up into the Sivalik foothills of the Himalayas, either founded by the British (like Lansdowne, Mussoorie and Dalhousie) or expanded from a native village (like the Raj’s summer capital, Shimla, and Nainital), and used as an escape from the oppressive heat of the Indian plains. As well as being cool, refreshing, quiet and relaxing, Nainital’s USP is its beautiful setting around a small mountain lake.
I’m not actually staying in Nainital itself. My first Couchsurfing host, Bobby, owns a small organic farm in the valley about 20km south of the town. For the first day, I just relaxed on the farm, recovering from the previous day’s journey, and also visited the nearby town of Haldwani to catch up on emails and the blog. Just a small increase in altitude from the plain made a big difference to the temperature, taking the edge off. The constant noise and bustle was much reduced, too, and the scenery… well, take a look: Continue reading
Well, I wanted adventure, challenge and the unexpected, and by god I got it. Today is not a day I’m likely to forget for a while.
It started well, up early, packed and loaded, and setting off from Delhi at about 0730. The bike was a bit tricky to balance at first with everything on, but I got the hang of it quickly. I also learned another lesson: the ruck sack strapped across the back seat provides a handy back rest for long journeys. But only if you don’t put the knobbliest objects right where they jab you in the spine.