Day 56 – Raikot to Ludhiana, Punjab (Kanyakumari to Leh cycling)
I was very excited for this day to come as I was about to reach Ludhiana, for which I have been waiting for so long. I have a college friend of mine in Ludhiana whom I was about to meet after almost two years and I couriered some of my luggage like sleeping bag, etc., to him from Kerala, which I will pick up now on my way further.
I took a different route to Ludhiana than the main highway, just because it was 3 km, and this decision made all the difference in the journey. It took me through vast unending wheat fields, very less traffic and village side. The weather was also very good the whole way. Ludhiana was just 50 km from Raikot and I was cycling slowly, enjoying the weather and the view.
I was wearing minimum of the riding gear I normally wear. I reached the outskirts of Ludhiana in two hours and it took me an hour more to reach my friend’s home. It was the peak time as traffic was high and everybody was rushing to office. Ludhiana is the industrial city of Punjab. I would stay here for a week to rest and get my cycle thorougly checked before I move into the mountains of Himachal, where, if anything happens to the cycle, I will have to get back, which I do not want.
I will also meet the cyclists here who have been following me on Facebook from the starting of my tour and they wanted to see me. I would spend some time here as I’m afraid that Manali to Leh highway would not get open before 20 May. I am reaching Manali on 2 May at this rate, so I need to decide what is to be done. This year’s heavy snowfall is making it difficult for the Army to clear the snow piled up on the highway. Let’s hope for something good to happen so that I can carry on my journey without any break.