Friday, September 30, 2016

A sweet run-hike

I got out so early that not even the daylight had scattered well. Usually it's not so - I wait for a brighter morning, and when the bright is just right, I set out.

Today was done by a run. The run was done in a hangover after being pushed away by a (now-)former love. Least said, the run overpowered everything else. It was the longest I have done around these hills. All the way the hamlet of Birbhatti, which lies below the town of Nainital (on the same hill). The surroundings filled with sun while I got tired. A beautiful black-tailed puss welcomed me at the terminal point of my run. Thereafter, I climbed up, on the tiny village often eyed while navigating on Maps.

The climb, or the hike, was a stimulating experience. Making my debut on this stretch of road, I made my way up in observation. Hiking up, the valley prospered with village homes and school compounds to the left, while to the right it dropped into the gorge made by the stream originating from Naini lake. This piece of hill which I was on is generally seen by one on the hike from Gethia to Nainital, after cresting at Alukhet - a "there is now here" moment. The Alukhet hill forms a barrier of sorts, closing this valley from the very early morning sun; the sun needs to travel farther up (or look over another hill) before it starts direct-lighting these establishments.

This part of the Nainital hill has enjoyed some open patches of land, maybe due to geography or as a result of being a part of the original approach to the town of Nainital (there were days when the Ekka, or horse-driven carriages used to climb up the last stretch from Jeolikote to Nainital via here) which has been a summer escape for the British since 1850s. Now those large patches function as stadia or grounds for Saraswati Vihar and Govt. Intermediate College (hat tip to Wikimapia).

The climb up got a bit excrutiating at places. I was trying to leave my state of mind, and climb harder all the time. Sometimes I faltered and transitioned into inner monologues; like the time when Radiohead's Daydreaming started playing. The rising sun mixed with the clouds sometimes got me emotive, too, taking over the  vocals from whatever was playing. I was playing the game of "life conjectures" for the way up - left me distressed. Occasionally I ran into interesting things or facts, which brought my inwards gaze out again - like the geospatial confirmation of my location; a shaggy black Bhotia dog that surprised me and to which I foolishly went close to say "hello nice doggy"; a dog with a black forehead mark shortly before reaching the terminus of the village road, and the strange character of the village road populated thinly by boys on motorbikes and old regulars.

My exit was next to the Inter College gates. The hike path flares into tiny lanes all of which generally seemed to bring one out onto the main road. Tiredness (of and from exploration) had established a new benchmark of sorts. The climb was over. Another 45 minutes of hike down to my home base of G followed. It made for around 12 kms to start the day.

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