“ Born free, Born fearless, Born with an indomitable spirit and Born to explore………”
Day 32, August 15, 2017, Swarghat to Bamta
Distance – 47 kilometres
Duration -7 hours
Indias’ 71 st Independence Day– a day of celebration and pride for every Indian .” Probably there is something in the air today “, thought Sunita as she set out at first light for her next destination. “The chirping of the birds seemed musical as if they were all singing a song for me, the early morning breeze seemed cooler than usual as it brushed against my face, the mountains and valleys were lush green after the monsoon rain and I too had a song on my lips. The uncomparable feeling of being born in a free country and the love for my motherland filled my heart .”
Just as Sunita recalled the numerous Independence day celebrations in her school- the flag hoisting, patriotic songs, National Anthem and of course the much coveted ‘Ladoos’, Sunita caught sight of school in the village Kullar . What could be a better way to celebrate this auspicious day than in a school with children. Sunita decided to make an unscheduled stop at the Government school and meet the children .”It is your moral responsibility to plant trees as you owe it to the earth to replenish the oxygen you have consumed during your life time here”, was Sunitas message to the children . Sunita felt good interacting with the future of India but she also was a little disappointed that there was no flag that was hoisted which she found strange.
The climb uphill is strenuous but the stretch downhill is dangerous and requires tremendous control on the cycle. Sunita did a stretch of 5 kilometres which was downhill and as she was going down the mountain she was conscious of the fact that tomorrow she will have to cycle uphill again to make up for the lost elevation. Sunitas plan was to stay at Bilaspur for the night but she decided to do an additional 6 kilometres and
reach Bamta where she checked into a hotel Today there were not many people she met on the way except the occasional passerbys and truck drivers who cheered her up as she cycled. Sunita prepared herself for the next days ride to Mandi which means a ride of 65 kilometres of up the mountain cycling- definitely not an easy task even for a resilient ‘mountain goat like Sunita.