As it is so long that we went on a trip because of busy schedule and other reasons, so Mannu started calling us (Umesh and myself) to plan some kind of outing/trip. He confirmed that he will arrive Delhi on 16th of December’s night from Chandigarh, by bike. Umesh was positive to him regarding trip but every time he asked me I said that my project manager is arriving from U.S. for the first time on same day and on weekend I have to go to doctor. So I asked them that I have no chance to go with them. BUT as Mannu arrived on Thursday’s night and we three were together again after big interval, my mind started changing and traveling germs woke up. I started thinking that I have already missed Sangla valley trip with them so will not miss the next one, which was not planned yet. Mannu said if I will join them then we will go to Nainital, so despite very important day in office I decided to leave after first half, by any means, and postponed the appointment with doctor to next weekend. So after lying to my manager I left office after first half, Umesh came to pick me. We had lunch at home, Mannu had a look on Google maps regarding route to Nainital and we packed the required clothes in one bag.
We left around 2 p.m. from home and first went to a tyre puncture/repairing shop and got serviced the bikes. Approx. at 2:30 p.m. we actually left from Vasundhara (Ghaziabad, UP) to Nainital. We decided if we will be late then we will stop at Moradabad which is 140 km away from Ghaziabad. Right from beginning till 90+ km of journey Mannu remained insisting that we are on a wrong route/direction but Umesh was confident enough that we were following the right route. Actually at home Mannu had a look at Google maps and found that we have to follow National highway 24 but we were running on NH 58. This time I will appreciate the U.P. govt. for making such a good highway that we covered 90+ km in just 2 hours. So, after covering around 95 km, from where Muzaffarnagar was just 5 to 6 km away, Umesh also realized that we are on the wrong track so at last we stopped on a flyover and called to few of our friends who belong to nearby places but they were not aware of any route from Muzaffarnagar to Moradabad. Then I presented an idea that we should consult the truck driver who is always well informed about routs. So we found a truck standing almost 200 mtrs. away from us. Its driver and conductor were lying below the truck and were doing some repairing. When we told them our problem, first they laughed at us and then told that there is a road from that place to Moradabad via Bijnor and Noorpur and it is around 150 km. We had no other option so followed their direction. Initially road was narrow but good but after few kilometers it was too rough to drive. In the way Umesh got a call from his manager asking for status of his passport application. Actually Umesh took leave from his office giving reason that he had to fill and submit the passport application form at his home town in Himachal Pradesh and so he replied him accordingly. In the way there were number of small villages with small markets, tractor-trolleys carrying sugar canes and dry grass, running slowly on the road. We stopped at a place from where Bijnor was about 10 km away. There we had tea and some sweets (gaajar ka halwa), it was very yummy. From that place to Noorpur the road condition was such that I was feeling like sitting on a hot iron plate. By now it was totally dark, climate was chilled and we were rarely finding any vehicle on the road except for each other’s bikes. After crossing Noorpur we stopped at a dhaba which was almost closed and the owner was watching the climax of a hindi movie, in which hero was beating dozens of villains in the end. We had tea and biscuits there. In the way we were also getting directions from local people. After all we reached Moradabad, it was a well developed city with good market place. Actually Moradabad is 140 km from Ghaziabad but via Muzzaffarnagr its almost 250 km. We proceeded towards Railway station in search of hotels. We booked a room in a hotel named “India Hotel” as per our budget & requirement. Parked our bikes in Railway station’s parking as the hotel do not provided the same. The climate was too cold and we were shivering so we ordered for some hot water and refreshed ourselves with it as there were black spots on our faces due to dust and traveling. Then we sat on the bed, covered ourselves in blankets and placed order for dinner. Mannu slept early whereas myself and Umesh kept watching hollywood movie “Face Off”. We also slept after watching most of the movie and setting alarm for 5:30 in the morning.
In morning we woke up early, refreshed and left the hotel at 6:00 a.m. as Nainital was about 160 k.m from here. Bikes were wet due to due drops and fog in the night, we found a piece of cloth on a scooter and cleaned the bike’s seats. Meanwhile Umesh told that he had lost one of his gloves, we searched it in hotel room and near bike but not found. So he rolled my handkerchief on his right hand. Now we were riding on NH 24 and after few minutes we reached a railway crossing where we waited for 15 to 20 minutes for the train to cross. Normally the road was good but at some places there were holes in the road which could be very dangerous if you are riding at a great speed. Sitting behind Mannu is really an adventure in itself specially when he turns his face 180 degree backward while riding at a speed of 100+ km/hr and will narrate your some incident or story, now I am habitual of this. We stopped on for 15-20 minutes on Kosi river bridge near Rampur to see and click some pics of rising sun in the fog. From Rampur we followed NH 87 and then stopped at a dhaba named “Amritsarian da Punjabi Dhaba” in the outskirts of Bilaspur for breakfast. There we had heavy breakfast of aaloo-pyaz ka pranthas, tea and Mannu also ate egg omelet (myself and Umesh are vegetarian). We spent there almost 40 minutes and left for further journey. Then came in the way Rudrapur city, Pantnagar and Haldwani. Till now bikes were running in the plains and then started the hills/mountains where the road was comparatively narrow, of snake like shape/style with deep and narrow turns and upward. On these kinds of roads one need to ride with much patience and care.