Our first stop was Narkanda. Narkanda is 63 kms from Shimla and is not very touristy. Hence the decision to take a break here. We reached Shimla around 7 AM and transferred to a Tempo Traveller which would be our ride for the entire trip. The views outside were stunning. Lush green trees with mountains in the backdrop. Finally, we were in the hills!
We had a quick stop for breakfast. Paratha and Chai. The staple breakfast of mountains :) We reached our hotel by noon and got our rooms. Amulyam, Abhishek and Rounak were going to be my roommates. The first thing which we all did after entering the room was to check the view from the balcony. Check it out !
Since it was noon, we couldn't see the mountains in the background due to clouds. I was sure the next morning sunrise would be epic. After freshening up, we went for lunch to the market. Negi Dhaba was the first restaurant we came across and our hungry stomachs forced us to enter it :) And it was definitely worth the name and experience. The outside board said it was establised in 1950! The food was really good and you must give it a try if you are in Narkanda. Definitely value for money.
We had the whole evening to ourselves and decided to go to Hatu Peak. Since we had to return by sunset, we decided to go by car and return on foot. I was excited that there was a mini trek involved. The road was pretty narrow and only one car could cross at a time. The views from the top were amazing. There was a temple and a small guest house. It was were very serene.
After spending an hour at the top, we began our trek to reach the bottom. The route was pretty much defined. We just followed the road. But where is the fun in that? :) We took numerous shortcuts by skipping the roads and venturing into the forest. It was fun and almost everyone enjoyed it. By the time we reached the base, the sun had gone down.
We went back to our rooms and began discussing about the day. I was sharing the room with 3 guys who had brought their DSLRs and tripod as well as GoPros. I felt like an amateur infront of them with my trusted OnePlus 5 :) But even the OnePlus 5 can act as a basic DSLR using its pro mode and take great shots. I had so many apprehensions that will I be able to gel with others? And here I was talking to 3 strangers as if I had known them for a long time. Each one of us had their stories to share. Amidst all this, we realized that it was quite late for dinner! Immediately we rushed to Negi Dhaba and ordered the food. Since it was late, not many items were available. But we ordered something and stuffed our stomachs after a long and tiring day. After taking a walk in the market, we realized how cold it was. I was sure the higher we would be travelling in the next few days, the lower the temperatures would be!