14 May 2020

Chintu Travels | Bir Billing | Day 1 | It Ain't it Chief.

It ain't it chief.

I didn't sleep at all last night, The constant thought of paying money to the conductor for the ticket and the front row seat with beams of vehicles moving in front of the bus made it difficult to shut my eyes. I finally paid for the ticket at 6 AM, after reaching Kangra.

The bus dropped me at Bir Chowk, which is about 3 kilometres away from Bir. The climb to Bir from Bir Chowk is all steep uphill. A gain of approx 300 metres over 3 Kilometres, I rode it in about 20 minutes. It was certainly faster than the last time I had done this.

After reaching the hostel, I figured this place used to be Zostel, where I had already stayed twice and made a lot of friends. But it wasn't it. There are no backpackers here, a few people are checking out all of the self-contained groups.

Zostel did bring the backpacking culture to India, but ironically people now book dorms in groups, and it isn't the same. There is no conversation happening.

I rested almost the entire day, walked a lot (About 20k steps!), tried to find a few old faces, had some good yet cheap food at the local dhabas. I hate the cafe culture, It is a hypocritical hatred. 3 years ago I wanted to open a cafe here, but today there are so many, the place doesn't feel the same.

A few locals I talked to tell me that unlike other places like Manali and Shimla, there is no experience people want to repeat.

Paragliding is something most people only do once and are content. Cycling is a new thing, the first time I was here, there was one cycle rental store and I remember I had rented my cycle from a local kid sitting and then from Zostel as they received new bikes the day after. Now there are more cycles than I assume there are people, I also saw a few electric cycles zooming around.

Tomorrow, I'll also pull my cycle out and get some good riding under my belt.


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