Haz won; but only on condition that we moved quickly, sparking a two week dash across one of India’s hilliest states.
Our days soon developed a routine. Rise at 05:30, depart at 06:30, breakfast at the first dhaba (basic restaurant) that showed signs of paratha production. A climb through terraced fields then pine forest to a pass. Substantial khanas (rice, dal, veg curry) for lunch, bottles of Pepsi when we passed a fridge. Dairy Milk if we caught sight of a ‘chocolate cupboard’. For the first time in our cycling lives we put on weight.
Afternoons brought fast descents to a hotel room in a riverside town, for some relaxation in front of the T20 World Cup. Days and great rivers blended into one. Was it the Yamuna we’d crossed yesterday? Or the Mandakini? Did it even matter? It was all Ganges to us.
As none of these riverside towns were at all appealing, we cycled 12 days straight before finding somewhere we liked: Munsyari with its sublime setting in the shadow of Panch Chuli. Our well-earned rest day was spent busking in the main square. N on harmonica, H wailing away in her beautiful alto voice a ditty she’d been singing to herself incessantly on the many Uttarakhand climbs:
“It’s a long way to Munsyari
it’s a long way to go.
It’s a long way to Munsyari,
to see mountains capped with snow…”
Here’s the link to our Uttarakhand photo set on Flickr. A selection of these is below: