When you plan a ride in summer season, the foremost choice of every rider is always a Hill Station, away from Pollution & Population and obviously respite from the hot weather. Shimla & Manali are always on the list of many like minded people, but for us, it is a normal routine journey, therefore the key member of The Highway Riders & Enfield Battalion started exploring for a new destination and at last we all agreed on one destination, “CHITKUL”- The Last inhabited village.
Once the location was finalized, the same was shared among other riders from the group and after keeping in mind the availability of each and every rider who was keen to be a part of this ride, three days trip was planned from 8th to 10th June 2019.
As the hard part of booking the dates was done, our focus now shifted to other major key factors such as, health checkup of the bikes, spare tools, First Aid Kit, Do’s & Don’t and above all extra batteries for DSLR Cameras to capture the MEMORIES.
On 7th all the ten riders were ready and full of excitement eagerly waiting for the coming day. The Leaders were ready with their Flags on their bikes, the marshals were ready for the safety gears and necessary documentations inspection. No matter how many rides one has done, the night before the commencement of the ride always seems to be longer than other nights, which keeps up increasing the heart beat just like the day before an exam.
Let us BEGIN the JOURNEY…
As decided 02:30Hrs will be the assembly point at Sukhdev Automobiles, Patiala who have always been our official Partner for all the rides. Timely start helped the riders to reach Rajpura, from where one more rider joined the ride and after riding for an hour around 03:30 hrs at Zirakpur another rider became a part of the company.
At 07:00Hrs, without making any more stops in between, we were enjoying the fresh scents of the Nature and having breakfast at Kufri.
After filling our bellies, we continued the journey and started relishing the views of Narkanda Gardens and the scenic beauty of Maple, Hazelnut, Cherry and Apple Trees.
Before reaching Rampur, we witnessed rainbow at a waterfall, which was a mesmerizing view for all of us. After seeing it the energy level of everybody increased and all felt very delighted to be at the right sport at the right moment.
Around 15:00Hrs we reached Sarahan, where we had already booked a Hotel to spend the night. After refreshing and having Snacks and Jalebi with Tea we decided tonget some pictures clicked, that is when God Inder bestowed us with light showers of rain, which changed the mood entirely on the positive note.
After relaxing for some time, we decided to visit the famous, Bhimakali Temple, local market and a small but well maintained cricket ground, as it was getting dark we headed back to the hotel to call the day off.
It is always a pleasure to be woken up by the melodious chirping of the birds rather than to the honking of the school buses and that is one of the advantages of living on the hills. Back to the journey, Around 08:00Hrs after having the breakfast we were all set to reach the final destination Chitkul. Most of the riders were excited because they had either heard from others or seen the pictures of the place we were about to visit. Once exiting the Sarhan boundaries and riding for a while, upon entering the Kinnaur district we were welcomed by the Cliffhanger Road, believe me folks it’s a pure satisfaction to ride on those roads, which actually tests one’s ability and respect for the rules of riding on the hills.
We reached Sangla around 13:00Hrs where our Home stay was pre booked and from there our final visiting place Chitkul, was merely 15-20 kms away.
Finally we reached Chitkul, I am unable to express in words the joy & glitters that every rider had in their eyes while enjoying in the lap of Mother Nature. As planned we had our lunch of Maggie & Kidney Beans-Rice(Rajmah-Chawal) which is always a favorite of every adventure lover while travelling in the hills, after that we went to sit on the beds of River Baspa, where we relaxed, clicked pictures and above all spent a QUALITY time with each other in P.E.A.C.E. which was the prime MOTIVE of the ride. Finally one of the rider brought to our notice that it’s been more than three hours that we have been present at the river bed, which was a surprise for us all, because as per us it was around 20 minutes ago that we came to this place…and the time flew very fast, therefore we started to head back to our home stay.
Unfortunately, the bike of one of the rider, Cheema Ji got punctured and we had to halt for few minutes, thanks to the preparations made in advance before the ride that the tools and kit came handy and we were back on the track in a jiffy.
After reaching the home stay we tried to make the best of the night as the next day we would be returning back to our regular life style, therefore we tried our hands on local food and drinks under the stars and cool breeze.
I being an early bird woke before the sunrise and was about to get ready, when a resident of the village brought to my knowledge that there is one and only old wooden bridge in the valley which is just a couple of minutes walk and to watch a sunrise from there is always a feast for eyes, upon hearing that, the adventure beast inside me came to its senses and without wasting any more of my precious time I planned of paying a visit to the bridge.
So Arsh and me get ready for morning walk of village and headed towards the bridge, after walk for about 5-10 minutes and following the route told by the villager, we reached at the bridge and yes watching the Sun rising from there indeed was pleasure for the soul.
At 09:30Hrs we started our journey back for Patiala, riding slowly and steadily around 13:00Hrs we reached at Jeori where we had our lunch. We were also lucky to meet riders from Road Runners group who were coming from Ludhiana and were on their way to Spiti. After having lunch we continued our ride and around 18:00Hrs without making much stops we crossed Shimla and reached Riders Cafe Where we spend some time with Rishi Ji (Owner of Riders Cafe).
As it was getting dark and to reach back home safely and timely was always running in our mind, therefore we increased our pace, Once we crossed Chandi Mandir, we had the privilege to meet Munish Paaji (Owner of Thumpers Cafe) who greeted us with refreshments, after sharing our riding experience and staying there for couple of minutes we again continued our journey, upon reaching Zirakpur we decided to have dinner. Once the dinner was over, I bid adieu to my fellow riders and drifted towards my home, Mohali and rest of the team steered towards Patiala.
Overall, in terms of riding, knowing about the different shades of NATURE, lifestyle of the people at various locations and terrains……this has been by far a great learning experience for all of us.
“What goes around comes around”, we left when it was 40 degree, and enjoyed 48Hrs of fall in temperature then again back to 40 degree.
***I might have come back but a part of my Heart has stayed back in that simple and peaceful life of the hills.
Fellow Riders who were a part of this MEMORABLE Ride: Sartaj Singh Paaji, Ripudaman, Arshdeep, Garry, Gurwinder, Harsh Sodhi, Onkar Cheema, Rizaq, Simran and Jeevan.
Special Thanks: Kanwarinder Rana