After Diwali we had a couple of our Desi friends visit from Houston. Manish and Minti! ….We ended up going to Manali, Chandigarh, and Delhi. Those same windy roads we traveled during Raid on the bike will definitely make you sick going in a car. Especially when you have a rally-driving husband at the wheel who thinks he’s competing in the WRC.
Minti wrote a post for our blog about her travels with us– Here’s Part 1 written by Minti:
Amritsar to Chandigarh: It’s all about Haveli, GT Road and Sector 17
After planning for a couple of days, we finalized the plan: Kanchan and Nick would pick me up from my family’s house in Amritsar, we would drive to Chandigarh (about 4 hours) and Manish would take a bus from Delhi and meet us there. I wasn’t sure what to expect after Kanchan called to say that they were on their way and after a long five minute wait, (they were staying around the corner from me), I see them in this tiny Maruti Alto, with a luggage rack on top. Talk about being surprised! I was under the impression that we would hire a driver for our trip, but evidently (as I came to find out later) – Nick is probably one of the best drivers in India. Space was going to be limited in the car, but we were up for the challenge. Anyhow, we strapped my suitcases to the top of the car and headed for Chandigarh. I hadn’t been to India in 23 years and couldn’t have asked for better tour guides than Kanchan and Nick. This was my first experience on an Indian freeway and it was um….interesting. In the States, you usually only see motorcycles/cars, etc on freeway. That isn’t the case in India! If you can walk, you have 5 people on a motorcycle or you’re riding your pet elephant – you get on the freeway. My first experience in the car was learning that buses have the right of way. Well, at least the crazy drivers “think” they do! First stop on the way to Chandigarh was Haveli, where we stopped for what became our usual afternoon cup of chai. For those of you that don’t know what Haveli is, it’s basically a Punjab themed resort, with some delicious food. When we reached Chandigarh, Manish was waiting for us outside the hotel. We grabbed dinner and made it an early night as we were leaving for Manali the next morning. Before we left for Manali the next morning…we had to eat (what we do best). And for anyone visiting Chandigarh, I highly recommend eating at Sindhi Sweets in Sector 17 (we ate there three times in a span of 4 days).