Eight hour car ride from Shimla to Amritsar…No delusions, rose coloured glasses…

My spectacular dinner was made by the thoughtful chef at the Amritsar Ramada, where we’ll stay for three nights.

It was quite a day. Our good driver Prince drove perfectly on the treacherous roads as we made our way down the Himalayas. The traffic, the horn honking, the weaving in and out between cars, trucks, and motorbikes was quite a sight to see as well as many other stunning scenes along the way.

As we entered Amritsar after an eight-hour car ride.

India is known for its pollution, skinny stray dogs, and rundown structures as a part of life in many parts.

A herd of sheep moving on down the road.

Sure, we tend to sugarcoat these rampant realities with often rose-colored glasses in an attempt to paint a colorful view of our nonstop world travels. But what shall we do? Whinge about the fact we’ve yet to see a bright blue sky or a totally clear day? Hardly.

A historic building as we drove through crowded town after another.

This country of over 1.3 billion people belongs to its people, and they are proud and grateful for what they do have instead of what they don’t. We are humbled by their acceptance and kindness, not by everyone, but by most.

It’s easy to see how India had 1.3 billion people. They are everywhere, and little land is reserved for the countryside or farming.

And, what do we gain by exposing ourselves to these challenges? Exactly what we intended seven years and almost four months ago when we left Minnesota to explore the world.

Color is everywhere.

It was never about hedonistic pleasures pumping our veins with luxurious comforts. It was always about filling out hearts and minds with a new appreciation, a unique perspective of life outside the box we so freely occupied all of our lives.

Every area, every town is congested with people and “stuff.”

The meaning, the purpose, and the scope of our past experiences were limited to a tight circle around us. Today, it’s the world.

Shops are packed with colorful dresses worn by Hindu women.

Why, “they” may ask? Originally, curiosity. Now, this blissful opportunity has become about sharing this adventure with all of you, for those who traveled, for those who dreamed of travel, and for those who continue with their own goals of exploring the world.

People, cars and more shops.

Every day we plot, plan, and share the peculiarities, the nuances, the joys, and the challenges we encounter along the way. Not always pretty. Not always heartwarming and enchanting. But always, as real and concise as we can be from this long acquired perspective.

On a rare occasion did we encounter a more modern building.

Yes, in time, it will come to a close. In six days, I will be 72 years old with a precarious heart condition. Tom, five years younger, will only be able to haul the bags for so many years to come.

As we came down the mountains, we encountered snow.

But we’ll carry on, slipping on those rose-colored glasses from time to time to soften the blows of the many harsh realities we encounter in the world to share each perspective with all of you.

Dirty snow piled up on the side of the road.

We just returned from a fantastic dinner on Valentine’s night sans alcohol. No alcoholic beverages are served in Amritsar in the proximity of the golden temple, which we’ll see tomorrow morning with our new guide. We don’t mind forgoing happy hour for three nights to savor the local treasures of Amritsar.

Town after the town became a picturesque view as we wound our way down the mountains.

Tomorrow evening holds quite an adventure. We’ll share the following day.

Thank you, dear reader/friends, for your inspiration and your loyalty. You are always with us.

Happy Valentine’s Day to all the lovers out there…

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