Last weekend was amazing. I had been invited by a acquaintance to accompany a group of (bike) riders for a long-weekend (4 days) ride to a place called Mori, in Uttarakhand. I had never heard of the place before, but when I saw the pics on google, I got interested and said Yes. Also, an old acquaintance from Hyderabad too was joining in, so it would’ve been nice to meet up and all.
We were supposed to leave 15th (Aug) morning, so I wrapped up this outing with my dear pal Gur on 14th evening and reached home in time to pack and rest and all. Though I knew that there would be no sleeping for me cos’ of late my sleep cycle had completely turned and settled at the 7 am – 3 pm time slot; so I knew there was no way I will be sleepy before 6 am, and we had to leave by 5:30 – 6 am the next morning.
Lo and behold, I reach home and receive a call from the person who’d invited me saying how most people have cancelled and asking how will I make it to the meeting place at 5:30 in the morning and I will be very uncomfortable and all etc. It was clear that he wanted me to say No, but wasn’t saying so. At first I said ok, I won’t come, and ended the call. Then I got pissed, and duly took it out in a WhatsApp msg, after which he gave in and reluctantly agreed to take me along. :)
Anyhow, the ride started pretty uncomfortable. My bum and the entire lower area started hurting like crazy, like I was sitting on a stone bamboo, and each bump would hit and hurt like crazy. It was weird, cos’ I have gone on rides before, as a pillion, and I had never felt like that before. At one point I felt that I couldn’t breath it hurt so bad. After about 2-3 hrs of excruciating pain, and 2 stops later, I couldn’t keep it in and verbalised my pain. One of the bikers (there were total 3 bikes, and 4 of us) pointed out that i was sitting way out on the back seat, and that my bum was literally hanging half-out, so of course it was hurting. And the guy I was with also added that yes his seat indeed was a tad harder than other seats. Thankfully, the guy I knew from my Hyderabad days kindly offered to take me as pillion; and the rest of the way, though it was painful as the area I think had become sore, wasn’t unbearable. Also, I bought a small cushion when we stopped at Mussourie; it helped.
And then the A-M-A-Z-I-N-G bit started, the mountains, the lush green, the clouds rolling in. The next 3 days passed by as if in a dream. The guys loosened up to the only (stranger) girl who’d tagged along and relaxed and started sharing, their conversations, their dawa, and their daru.
We couldn’t make it to Mori, as planned, and spent the first night in this beautiful little hamlet called Damta. Beautiful place, beautiful people. It was dark by the time we reached there, but thankfully we found a place that offered decent enough rooms; I think the only place in that small hamlet, a little bigger than a village I think. I found out later that it was a stop-over for buses and jeeps on their way from the mountain tops to Dehradun and all. After freshening up, and some good dinner, we made ourselves comfortable on the balcony overlooking the mountain stream and the hills beyond, sipping drinks and sharing ghost stories. The lush, green hills were only dark silhouettes now against the very faint glow of the cloudy sky. There were clouds all around, and mist, which glowed like a celestial wonder every time the lights of a car or truck got reflected each time it turned at the mountain bend. And then it started to rain, close to the middle of the night, and the power wen off. I could’ve sat there all night, enjoying the rain, the cool, cool, breeze and drizzle falling all over me with the wind. Alas, I hadn’t slept the night before, and we did have to ride some more next day to reach Mori. So around 1:30 am, we bid adieu to each other and I was out before my head hit the pillow. I got up at 6 and was mesmerised by the green, lush beauty all around. Thinking how lucky one is to be able to live at a place like this.
After about 3-4 hrs of riding enveloped in more cool, lush, green and breathtaking pine forests, we reached Mori. And wow, the google pics had not done it justice at all. Actually no “picture” can do the beauty of the place justice. So, so pretty, and idyllic, and the mountain river that gushed past all along the ride, sometimes looking dangerous, sometimes playful and inviting. If only one could come here every weekend. Sigh!! :) Apparently the local people call the river Vinashak (destroyer). We arranged for rooms, dumped our stuff and headed out in search for a place where we could wet our feet. After looking around a bit we found a perfect spot, under a small bridge. And that is where the story of my “current pain” started unfolding. After having sat in the cold, cold, but very refreshing waters, I came out and tied just a sarong around my waist. On the way back, I spotted a mountain waterfall and asked my friend, the biker, to stop, which he did promptly. And I did something I had never done before; I tried to get off from the other side of the bike, the side that has the hot, hot exhaust pipe. I not only have a burn, I have a deep, 2nd degree burn for which I am going to the doctor daily now to get the dressing changed. Hopefully, another week-10 days from now and it will heal, though leaving a scar…a battle scar…ha :D
The next day we started riding around randomly and found this unbelievable little mountain stream, a little upstream, which was deep enough to enjoy the gushing waters massaging the back but not so deep that we’d get swept by the water. It was the most amazing, memorable afternoon ever. And a little boy joined us, Navin, grade 4. The innovative little child. He build little rafts with pieces of tree bark strewn all around, sticking two pieces of wooden sticks in it. He would then throw the raft up stream with all his might and then jump, swim, and splash around to catch it as it came down the stream. It was so much fun just looking at him play.
If only, I could spend the entire week there, frolicking about in the cold, healing, refreshing waters. Water so cold, but not biting, soothing rather … I had never thought that I’d be able to take it, even step into it, but not only did I step in that cold, cold water, I sat there, enjoying it, gushing past all over me.
A most beautiful, memorable experience.
On the way
On the way back, I decided to bus it. I am glad that I did. I took a diversion and went to Paonta Sahib gurudwara; did darshan, had the yummy langar. And then people told me that it’s best to go to Yamuna Nagar and then take a Delhi bus. People were right; I reached Yamuna Nagar, and then took a bus to reach Delhi via Karnal, Panipat. It was a beautiful bus ride too all over. Had a good, good time. :)
From the bus
Paonta Sahib from the Yamuna bridge