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We didn’t push for an early morning drive down. We left by 10 am and got my car checked for a rattling sound underneath. Turns out, the bumpy roads accounted for 3 bolts of the engine-guard sheet. We entered Uttarakhand now, crossing Tiuni and Hanol before stopping at Barkot for lunch. There were hardly any cars along the way, except, of course, within town limits. After Barkot, the road passes through the shade of beautiful pine trees. Small hamlets and terraced fields soothed our eyes while hand-pumps ensured we had a cool splash to refresh our souls. The effects of the forest fire of 2016 in Uttarakhand were clearly visible. The pine trees, which were standing, were half-charred. We sat down to enjoy the silence of the woods and witnessed the spring of new blades of grass making their way out of the charred ground. “Nature finds its way someway or the other.” Random thoughts occupy my mind while I drive. Sometimes they even remain for a few odd days. I was longing for the rains now and rains they did arrive.