It's the month of May. It's hot. It's time to take a break and head for the hills. But, where? In consultation with Doc P, it is decided to head to Uttarakhand. Yamunotri, Harsil and Gangotri are selected from a list of possible destinations. Phone numbers of rest houses are scoured from the world wide web. Email addresses are located. Calls are made. Faxes are sent. Accommodation is fixed up. The circuit is now ready. And, then the plan changes. For some unfathomable reason, the Delhi-Haridwar axis always puts me off. Must be some childhood nightmare. Why not Bhaderwah and Jai Valley again, I ask Doc P. Why not, says Doc P. The families haven't been there. The Bol-hero has retired and the brash, blue Tyota Leeba hasn't been there. What the heck, even the i-toonty hasn't been there! So, the circuit is redrawn. A night in Bhaderwah. An afternoon at Padri. The cherry on the cake is two nights in Jai. The phones are worked. We fix Udhampur to end day one and start the last day. We have accommodation there courtesy the good ol' doc. Okay, good young doc. Old acquaintances fix Jai for us. The only place open is Bhaderwah but, who goes to Bhaderwah? So, on June 9, 2018, a blue car and a maroon car set sail early morning. Oh, did I mention that we are carrying a back-up vehicle in the back of the i-toonty? It's a two-wheeler that is sprung upon us at 5:00 am by a young member travelling with us. It sure is hard adjusting down from the Bol-hero to the Tyota Leeba. But, it is always good to have back up, isn't it? So, off comes the two-wheeler's wheel, lifted up and placed inside gingerly. It's a delicate looking two-wheeler but works wonders in the mountains and meadows. Not much to report about the drive to Udhampur. Except for parathas at Jhilmil Karnal. We keep going till we hit Samba and turn for Mansar lake. The road is not bad. The lake is nothing great. We're expecting too much, I guess. And, we're hungry. Lunch is a mishmash at a tea shop just outside the gate. After which the road reduces to a collection of potholes of various sizes that are in start contrast to the engineering marvel of the railway tracks snaking above, below and beside us. We can launch satellites, send a spacecraft to Mars but we are at sea when it comes to building roads. Anyway, after a bumpy ride and one missed turn we reach our digs for the night. The owner is away leaving his mansion for our use. We dine and sleep like royalty. The fun begins tomorrow. Only three pics for day one. The heronry by the road. I remembered from last year. Good advice at Mansar. The only short stretch without potholes on the Dhar-Udhampur road.