So, it begins, the ideal trip that had eluded me so far. This is something I have been planning to do for the last couple of years. Various practical issues had scuttled the plan every time I came up with them. But this time I see no obstacles, at least not as yet. I have arrived at the Kangra Valley as of now but unlike the previous times, I am not going back after the weekend. At the least, I intend to spend the next two months traversing the hills. The motivations for doing so are,
1. To avoid that furnace of a city at the peak of the summer. There are things in Delhi that I like but its summer is not one of them and nor can I afford an AC.
2. Short trips just do not give me enough time to comprehensively explore a place.
3. It also seems like wastage of time and money to keep travelling to and from Delhi every now and then.
So, this plan had been brewing for a long time and finally I am implementing it. I am sure to spend the next two months circulating the entire Himachal completing various trips and treks that I have had in my mind for a long time.
The itinerary is not exactly fixed but I am starting with Kangra but will slowly move towards Mandi, then reach Pabbar Valley, traverse through Kinnaur, Spiti and Lahaul, and finally will complete the unfinished business I have with Pangi valley.
In order to make things easier, I have vacated my Delhi room to save on the rent. Initially my plan was to rent a room in one of the placid Himalayan towns of Himachal or Uttrakhand. I just needed a place where there is cheap accommodation available and the internet worked seamlessly to continue my work. Research suggested some good options such as Bir-Billing, Kasol, Kasar Devi etc.
However, as of now I am not looking to settle in one place because even if I stay in the hills, it will still take long hours of travel to various remote corners on public transport. I might still consider it while the monsoon sets in but for the time being I will be on the move consistently, not spending more than 3-4 days in one place.
So, I have been in Bir for the last couple of days. Here are a few Instagram post covering the initial phase of the trip. Camera images are yet to be processed but they will be, by tomorrow.
I guess Bir-Billing has become a pretty common destination nowadays. Still, for those who are wondering, I took a train to Pathankot and then a bus to here. But it is also possible to get Domestic Airlines dropping you at Ghaggal, which is not far from here.
I am not sure how successful my plans would be but as of now. But I am just happy with the fact that I do not have to catch a return bus anytime soon and I hope this would become the template for ideal trips in the future.