I woke up to the sound of rain and welcomed it for its cooling effect on the land but as soon as I descended a few hundred meters, it was all dry and hot again. I was back in my favorite state, Himachal Pradesh, and enjoyed the twisting roads over hills and along rivers. The routes I was on were not that crowded with traffic and it allowed me to savour these last few moments of the ride.
I stopped at a dhaba and had a fresh aloo paratha with dahi. It's been interesting to taste all the different ways that aloo parathas can be made. It's the most basic food at a dhaba that's ready as soon as you arrive. Sometimes they're thick, sometimes very crispy, sometimes with lots of aloo, sometimes the aloo is just in the name, but coming in from the road, it's always tasty, especially with some achar and dahi.
I left the Himalayan foothills proper and got down to the plains of Punjab and headed straight into the unique city of Chandigarh. It's unique for a number of different reasons. First, that it's a Union Territory and the capital of two states, Punjab and Haryana, and secondly, it's India's first planned city after Independence and was designed to an exacting grid with roundabouts at every junction.
I was met by the local Bullet club and they hosted me for the last night of my trip. What better way to spend it than with new biker friends!
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