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Hitchhiking in the Garhwals.

For some of us avid travelers, the best way to get around new places is to set out for the road and see where it takes us. The best way to do this would be to read up ahead of time on your destination and make your train bookings well in advance. If it is the Garhwal region of Uttarakhand you wish to explore on a hitchhiking trip, there is a lot in store for you. Hitchhikers get from one place to another by thumbing rides on the road. You may not reach your destination in time or in the utmost comfort, but it is certainly easy on the pocket. Pick up great experiences on the way and stories to tell back home when you hitchhike in the Garhwal.

Hitchhiking is a perfectly plausible travel option if you adopt a few precautionary measures. Keep your handset charged at all times and carry a dongle for wi-fi connectivity. Google Maps are a great help when you are trying to find the shortest route to your destination. Keep a friend or family member updated on your whereabouts. Some of the most charming destinations in Garhwal are listed below. Adopt a few safety precautions to ensure that you arrive safely and in comfort.
Valley of Flowers National Park, West Himalayas.
Make sure you start early. Travelling by daylight is a better option for hitchhiking. No matter which part of the Garhwal you are travelling to - be it Chamoli or Uttarkashi, Dehradun or Rudraprayag, try to get there before sundown. If it is Auli you wish to reach from Haridwar, note that it is a distance of almost 204 km. Usually, it takes about 7 hours to get there. However, if you are hitchhiking, you might have to change your ride a number of times. Factor in the actual and the real road-time needed to reach Auli. All your efforts will be richly rewarded once you land up in Auli. Visit during the winter months of December and January to go skiing on its slopes.

On your way to Rishikesh from Dehradun, take the Rishikesh National Highway. Stand at a secure spot to thumb down a ride. It is a distance of about 45 km covered in an hour and a half, on a direct trip. At Rishikesh, explore the Rajaji National Park in the Ganga basin. It is a wildlife reserve with visitor cottages. Pilgrims flock to Triveni Ghat on the waterfront for spiritual baths. Rishikesh is also considered to be the Yoga capital of the world. Head for a yoga lesson when you hitchhike to Rishikesh.

Stay alert on the route and trust your first instinct. While locals can be helpful, it is best not to divulge too many personal details. There are many trains to Haridwar, the railway station closest to Chamoli. From Haridwar, reach Chamoli by hitchhiking. Also called the ‘Abode of the Gods’, Chamoli is home to the ‘Valley of Flowers’. Meadows of alpine blooms attract tourists to this National Park.

Hitchhiking may not hold a lot of appeal for travelers who play it by the book. Yet, hitchhikers brace themselves for the element of the unknown and embrace the freedom of flexibility. Plan your hitchhiking vacation in Garhwal today!

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