Continuing from where I left, I was on a very tight seven-day road trip on the following route.
Delhi>Bilaspur>Rudrapur>Nainital>Sitla>Mukteshwar>Almora>Patal Devi>Kasar Devi>Chitai>Jageshwar>Almora>Kasar Devi>Kausani>Mohlidhar>Ranikhet>Kathgodam>Delhi
So while I was working, the little and the lot that I experienced and managed to absorb (cannot claim to explore at all) would be the following.
# Sitting in the front seat can help avoid a lot of winding-roads-motion-sickness.
# Sitting in the front can be very taxing for your otherwise overworked brain if the driver wants to talk non-stop in order to keep himself awake.
# I can love the smell of freshly sanitized hotel rooms. And then suddenly hate them.
# More cities growing the Rudrapur or Almora way will really ruin our country.
# I love the defence forces. I just do. And I love how they maintain the places they live in. Ranikhet being the case in point.
# Sitla is a cold place. Very very cold place.
# The 50 km aerial distance between Kausani and the Himalyan peaks does not feel good. The force wants you to be on the other side. But that is also a cold place. Very very cold place. Especially if you are doing sunrise/sunset photo shoots.
# I met at least 10 new people and covered the previous 11 months’ deficit of that in my life.
# The new things I saw/did: eat methi ka laddoo, bhatt ke dubke, maduey ki roti, and bal mithai, have fresh cow’s milk, stand in a smelly cold storage, live in a building built in 1880, get overwhelmed by the artificialness of floriculture, watch the process of flower tissue culture, trek an unbelievable amount with my half dysfunctional legs, visit the Sun Temple at Katarmal, the Golu Devta Temple at Chitai, get the stories of both, meet some people who are doing some absolutely brilliant work in the region, understand that the thousands of pine trees are just ruining the ecology of the region, that kiwis are now being grown indigenously, learn about the art called aipan, see-touch-step on-and-freeze thanks to frost, among many other things.
# Gods were nice enough to keep the weather sunny through our entire trip. But I still know now what a solar eclipse apparently feels like.
# I had a bold ice cream in Nainital. And I had a bolder ice cream in colder Ranikhet. 😀
# I had more tea in those seven days than I had cumulatively had over the past 24 years. And the last one somehow knew that it was the last one. I could just not have taken any more of it.
# Like a cool dude I decided to not carry the extra weight of a hair brush. That made me realise that my hair isn’t after all so short.
# After the first two days, my colleague and I had become completely oblivious of the way we looked. It felt less of an official trip and more of a backpacking tour across the region. The same shoes, socks, coat, cap, neck warmer, gloves, and the self… without any accessories, basic kajal, or any other form of formality, we just trudged along – town to town, hotel to hotel.
# I am not a heater/hot water bottle person. At all. I just need my multiple layers of blankets in place.
# The region offers very good food.
# Airtel acts very idiotic through most part of the region. I had to dial every number at least 4-5 times before connecting through.
# Most natives’ looks were deceiving vis-a-vis their age. They all looked unbelievably younger than what they really were.
# I saw lemons that were 10 times the size of what we get in our cities.
# Got blessings I did not expect, got compliments I did not expect, and had a trip more awesome than I expected.