First I would like to talk about a few things that I like. I like travelling, going to newer places, even revisiting places that I like e.g. I have gone to Jaipur 5-6 times to see those same things (Chowki Dhaani, Birla Mandir) again and again. Most importantly, I like to drive to these places rather than using any mode of transport. Till sometime back, I have been driving mostly in plains (with a some minor exceptions). So driving in hills was a missing point for me and secondly, due to my back pain, driving long distances remained a dream . If the question comes to your kind is how long? In the initial days, I had to take a break at-most 100 Kms and 200-250 Kms was the maximum that I could drive before getting exhausted.
In the month of May-2012, we planned a trip to Himachal Pradesh – Parents and wife wanted a spiritual trip (5 devis), I wanted to spend time with all of them especially my daughter and also wanted to visit a few good hill stations. So we planned 9 day covering Anandpur Sahib, Bhakra Dam, 5 devis, Dharamsala & Palampur. Initial 3 days, we satisfied our spiritual hunger – Jwala Devi was the one I liked most. Also, we enjoyed big #bhakra #dam on the way and on 3rd day, we reached Dharamsala. – after 600 Kms of driving, lot of it was in hills. We didn’t like it too much (it was really hot there, hotel was not good enough). We also went to Mcleodganj – liked it very much – amazing weather, awesome Dalai Lama temple, Bhagsu Falls and many more things.
After 3 days, we went to Palampur. By the time I reached there; my dreams of driving in hills was fulfilled. Palampur was a dream place – the weather, neugal (river stream), Saurabh Van Vihar, the medicated environment and HPTDC Hotel – The Tea Bud. I was so impressed with the place that I even enquired about buying some property there.
Now only, one wish was left driving long distances. We started early around 07:00 am – weather was really nice for driving & home was 525 Kms away (with more than 150 Kms in hills). First brief 5 mins stop was Una, nearly 150 KMs – at the base of the hills. Then, it was Havelli Restaurant, Karnal (around 370 Kms) for 45 mins and finally Home @ 07:00pm. I had completed 12 hrs journey – a sense of accomplishment.
Next Target is: Leh