I rode out of Agra with a big smile on my face as this was the day that I would finally leave the hot plains and its heat wave and climb into the foothills of the Himalayas. I took state highways northeast from Agra and passed through Bareilly and saw fertile lands getting ready for the coming rains. Uttar Pradesh is the most populous state of India with a population of over 200 million people and all its little towns were packed full of crazy driving, cows and buffaloes and trucks hauling goods here and there. From this density, I knew tranquillity lay ahead.
From Haldwani, the road started twisting and climbing up to Nainital. I rose from 200 meters of elevation to 2,000 meters! Wah, so refreshing to feel cool once again after frying for days riding through the plains. sanDRina was happy too to be leaning in and out of the well-designed turns. The mountains were quite dramatic as I got near Nainital and then I was greeted by the gorgeous sight of Naini Lake set amidst steep mountains with the sun slowly setting.
I was thrilled to finally be starting the Himalaya leg of my journey. From here on, it's small roads through the mountains until I descend from Kashmir.
Watch the helmet-cam video of Jay's ride up the hills.