Saturday, June 12

Crossing Delhi

The road to Nainital (via Delhi) was hot... hotter... hottest.

With 2 days to cover the distance we decided to get an early start, but, the roads were not in favour of this... the road from Bera to Pali was a combination of  SH 16 and NH14 - both equally good (or bad).

The road was bad after a while and did not improve till we reached Kishangarh (near Ajmer). The 100kms from Kishangarh to Jaipur was the best on that day. After Jaipur the 6-laning work was in progress and it greatly reduced speeds due to the deep excavations. Between that and the traffic as we neared Manesar & Gurgaon we made it to Delhi exhausted after 14 hours on the road.

But the rasam and curd rice waiting at my cousin Sharmila's place kept the spirits high. Sharmila and Nisudan run Ciocollato, making the best Finnish chocolates we have ever tasted. naturally the dessert that night was a collection of their best.

The next morning we took the road to Nainital and it passes thru the entire city of Delhi before exiting the NCR at Ghaziabad. Driving in Delhi is really 'capital punishment'.

The weather was very, very hot... and being the weekend there were hundreds of people heading to Nainital just as we were... so every hotel and dhaba was packed for lunch. We found Apni Haveli on the outskirts of Moradabad which served us a decent meal and we were on the way.

The road (NH 24) wasn not much of a highway and was bad in some parts,   considerably impairing our speed... taking us till 4pm to reach Haldwani - the base of the Himalayas. Haldwani is known as the "Gateway of Kumaon" and the name literally "forest (vana) of Haldu trees".

Haldwani is also the last place that you can attend to any major problems in your vehicle... after this, the entire Himalaya range has only small mechanic shops where they can fix a flat tyre or oil leak. We had been here before, when we had to change some clutch plates on the Swift during our 2007 trip.

We got a call from Radhika (sister of the home owner) at The Hive and she said it would take us 2-3 hours form Haldwani to get to Nainital, because of the heavy rains all over the hills. We stopped over at a Cafe Coffee Day and picked up a hot cup of coffee and headed for the hills.

As we ascended  the ghats we found the temperature magically dropping... clearly stated on the bold display in our Xylo’s DDIS... from high 40s to low 20s... in a span of 20kms... we were actually feeling a bit chill. Between enjoying the sunset over the mountains, navigating thru the weekend rush all over Nainital and enjoying the first rain in two weeks we made it to our 7th Mahindra Homestay destination Dr. Ranjit Bhargava's “The Hive”


Post a Comment

Tell us what you think of this...