Yogi and I met in Delhi, his ship had anchored a few days back after a long trip around and he came back to his family. I took a brief break from work and flew home from Kolkata. We had planned a trip together to Yogi’s parents house in Himachal even before we reached Delhi.
We took an early morning standard bus from Delhi bus terminus to Chandigarh from where we planned to get the connecting bus to Himachal. For most part the highway was good and we made good progress to Ambala where we had a brief halt at some eatery. For some reason the driver chose to park the bus near the toilets to let us suffer, the stench was not only abominable but it was almost abrasive. I believe it was prophylactic for cold sufferers, it would have opened even the most congested nostrils. It was a torture which I was not willing to endure and I parked myself far away and was glad when the bus made a move. From there on, the journey to Chandigarh was uneventful and quick. Chandigarh is a refreshing sight, even though it was very hot.
The connecting bus was not immediately available. It was late in the afternoon when we pushed off from sector – 17 bus stand. The road up till Una was fine and from there on it was quite terrible. Road construction had created bottlenecks at various points and there were pot holes galore. There was not much to do about it than to persevere on till we reached Chowari late in the night. The journey from there to Yogi’s place was not more than half an hour, but late was the hour and our luck with bus for last leg of the journey ran out. Left with little choice we rented a room at the nearby run down hotel. We were tired and we slept like logs after a quick dinner.
Come morning, and we were off to Chamba valley. A quick short trip brought us to the local bus stand from where we took a short jaunt on foot to Yogi’s place. We were both glad to be home and after a quick wash and refresh we were treated to some delicious breakfast of paranthas and yogurt, with nice steaming hot tea. The house was situated in the valley surrounded by short hills and lush green surroundings. I was amazed how green, clean and refreshing everything was and how different it was from our usual city environs. We spent most of the day at home resting ourselves and recuperating for the next days trek. Evening time was well spent at the hill top, where we reached in a couple of minutes with a quick drive in a car. Yogi’s brother and his cousin accompanied us. Perched on a grassy knoll, we did what all young men do when left alone with not much to do; we opened a few beer bottles and had some pakoras.
The night time on the hill top was quite mesmerising. We could see the houses well lit in the valley from the top and sky was clear with bright stars around. Only in the hills one enjoys the luxury of pleasant and cool temperatures in the summer months. It got pretty chilly by the time we each knocked down a couple of beer bottles. We headed home feeling light in the head and after a quick meal we hit the bed early.
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