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Chandigarh to Amritsar

Important Notice: While on the trip out of goodwill I had shared my pics with some of fellow travelers. It might well be possible that you might see my pictures that are shown here, posted somewhere else on the web too. It was not very wise of me to share my pics without proper attribution (watermarks) done, but if you do see such pictures please report it to me.


July 5th, Day 2: Chandigarh to Amritsar and places around

Early morning I woke up and a surprise was waiting for me. It was raining heavily and 

although other tourers love riding in rains 
I personally hate riding in rains; it is just not my preference. Since I needed to cover around 250 kms with not much of mountain roads, I had some freedom to start late and still get to Amritsar on time. So I decided to wait till the rains get lighter. At around 9 o clock the rain stopped and I decided to have breakfast, check-out and start my journey for that day. Went out had tea and breakfast in our good old "chai ki tapri" (usual tea shops), checked out of the hotel. I inquired with the hotel guys for the bungee chords that I lost last night but in vain. 
Started my journey to a historically famous place and was very much eager to reach Amritsar to check out several places that I had planned out i.e. Golden Temple and Wagah Border ceremony.

Since it was still raining there were not many people on the road whom I could ask the way to the highway for Amritsar I roamed around here and there for sometime before figuring out the right way, I came to know that I'll have to go towards Jallandhar and then to Amritsar. The roads were still wet and since that day the Bharat Band day the continued to be closed. I wanted to buy some nylon ropes so that I could tie my saddle bags properly on the bike but couldn't find any shops open. After traveling some distance I finally spotted one shop from where I could buy the ropes. I stopped, bought the ropes tied my bags and continued ahead. I came a very bad stretch of roads which was full of slush and the rains had worsened the condition more. I crossed the bad patch and thought of taking a butt break. A break obviously means picture taking time. And this is that I actually started clicking more pictures.


I continued to ride in wet roads which really dislike. However the temperatures were low because of the rains which made easier to ride otherwise with the riding gear on (jacket, gloves, riding pants) it would have been a little difficult.


The roads were completely deserted and every now and then there was a police check post and I was stopped almost everywhere and inquired where am I going and other stuff. I would generally answer their questions that I am going to Amritsar coming from Delhi and their obvious surprising reaction when they come to know that I am traveling alone on a bike. Many suggested me not to as it is too dangerous riding solo.
Where ever I stop I would ask for directions and people will come to help, sometimes they tell wrong directions too. And which is what happened; I was directed to take a rather longer route which took me around 50-70kms more than the actual one. The actual route is through a village named "Una" but I was directed to take a detour which cost me a little more kms. I came to know that I am on a longer route only when I stopped at mechanic's workshop to get bike's tire pressure checked. He told me I should have taken the route towards Una and then to Amritsar. I had clocked around 120 kms till now and still there were some 175kms remaining for Amritsar. It was already noon and 175 kms meant another 4 to 5 hours of travel till I reach Amritsar. After reaching I'll have to search a hotel, check in, dump my things, and the head towards Wagah border. I started doubting that I'll be able make up the time before the Wagah Ceremony starts or not. But anyways pulled aside for my lunch when I spotted a dhaba. I ordered my lunch and cleaned bike's chain as it was totally soiled with mud and water and also it was sounding very bad while running.
This is was my lunch: 
Obviously I couldn't finish all of it even though I tried a lot :D
I then continued towards my destination for the day and shortly after that I reached Jallandhar highway; nicely laid and wide highway where I could go a little faster. Traffic was anyways non-existent because of the "Bandh". Also the weather got cleared up considerably with blue skies all along which also meant temperature slightly going higher and with the riding gear on it gets more difficult to ride.


While I was going faster to cover up more distance this one incident happened which I was afraid of all the time. I was going around 100kmph at one time I overtook a Maruti zen and after about 2 kms or so I hear a lot of honking from behind. It was the same Zen car which I overtook. I slowed down and pulled over to one side so that I could give me side to go ahead thinking he was in some hurry. But he came near me and the lady in the car said to me that my luggage (saddle bags) had fallen down on the way. I looked back and indeed the bags had fallen off. May be due to the bumps on the road the Nylon rope that I tied around the bags had snapped and the bags fell off. I immediately turned back and started looking for my bags. While searching all these thoughts started coming; whether I'll be able to get back the bags, what all things were there in the bag and if at all I lost the bags do I have sufficient things to carry on and finish the trip without it, etc....
After going back for around 2kms I saw one old guy, a Punjabi guy, was carrying the bags on his back and walking towards the opposite direction. When he saw me coming he waved at me. I went to him and he told that he saw my bags falling down from the bike and he immediately picked it up so that no one else picks it and runs away with it. He even told he shooed a guy on scooter who wanted to take the bags away. He gave me the bags and I told him that the rope I tied around snapped. He helped me out in tying the bags back on the bike and which when my right hand touched the bike's exhaust. It was very hot and instantly my fingers got burnt pretty intensely. I poured water on it for sometime till it stopped hurting. While I tying the bags I noticed that there was one of the packing material that came with the bags was missing. The old man said it must be left at the place where the bags fell off. I asked him took look for my stuff till I go back and get that packing material but he said he will go and pick up the thing and bring it to me and he asked me to stay. He did find the thing and brought it back. I then asked the old guy whether I could do anything for me for his good deed of saving my bags. But he said he doesn't need anything and he said main thing was he could save his bag from getting picked up by the wrong guys and he could give it back to me. I was so moved by this gesture. I thought still people like him exist on the this planet. If it was some urban city I am sure I wouldn't have got my bags back. I thanked him a lot and I continued my journey. I was thinking what if this thing had happened on the mountains and the bags had fallen off the higher roads to the bottom of the valley :D I wouldn't have got it back. Hence I decided to keep an eye on the bag while riding and also this time I tied the bags pretty tightly.


A butt break or should I say pic break:
This trip I had decided to try out my hands on HDRs. And I started taking pictures in Auto Bracketing mode. I had read a tutorial on the web related to this: 
I am not that good in photography but this was the perfect time for me to get my hands dirty and learn. On the other hand it was a gamble that I might not be visiting the places again for a long time and messing up the pictures wouldn't be a good idea. I thought how bad can it be if I do mess up the pics :)
I started and soon after the break a car pulled beside me and started asking something which I couldn't hear. The car pulled over in front of me and I had to stop and a bunch of 4 guys came out of the car and started coming towards me. I got worried a little bit thinking all sorts of possibilities. I thought is this the time when the suggestions I got by the local people, about riding solo is dangerous, is coming true?
But nothing of that sort happened. The guys were friendly, they just stopped for asking about me and my bike and where I was going. I told them about my bike, my route and where am I heading. They were impressed and they actual cleared the doubts that I had, of not making to Amritsar and Wagah border on time. They said the ceremony starts only at 6.15 or so and there is plenty of time left. After taking some pictures of the bike they continued and I also continued towards my destination; a little relieved from both worries i.e. reaching on time and also the other bad possibility :D.

Route on the map:


Visit my flickr album for better quality pics (selected ones) : http://www.flickr.com/photos/sumitplall/
Day 1 Around Delhi and To Chandigarh | Day 2 contd.. Around Amritsar

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