We planned to start the day early. So we started at 11 am, of course. "We'll be up top within an hour," my friend kept saying as we started. The incline was steep, and we were throwing our lungs out by the time we had climbed barely 300 metres. The decision to trek up from Mussoorie to Landour had seemed like a good idea in the start, but we changed our mind towards the middle and then changed it again once we reached our destination.
The Mussoorie Library road was the start of our journey, which winded us towards the Mall Road. We took a stair shortcut and passed through a morning market just being set up. A man in tattered grey clothes, looking part homeless, part drunk (if there were a difference between both) was humming an Arijit Singh song with enough aplomb to headline a one-person concerto. We kept walking. "Take them, warm gloves" vendors hollered at us as we passed under the bluish-yellow shade of the tarp above.
The windswept Landour road started at the end of Little Llama Cafe, marking the end of the Mall Road of Mussoorie. Another road that leads upwards is the "Camel Hump Road," which is supposedly shaped like a camel's hump, hence the name. However, it is an easier walk through Mall Road, and the views are amazing. On our way, I chanced upon a used, rare bookstore, an antiquities store and a hotel. A sign in bright Fuschia outside the London Hotel read Rent Rooms Scooters and Experience. We never went inside to find out about the experience.
We made a quick stop at the very well-known Lovely Omelette Centre for one of the fluffiest and lightest omelettes I have had in a very long time. Reviewed by popular travel and lifestyle magazines and websites, whoever passes by this side of the town should get a quick bite for some truly lovely omelettes. As we were leaving, the same humming man from earlier was swaggering towards the other direction, taking swigs out of a tiny, vial-like bottle, singing Kya Hua Tera Waada.
After walking for nearly two hours, we reached Lal Tibba scenic point. A balloon shooting booth, a gazebo cafe to take in the view of the valley, and the bubbling music of boiling Maggi greet you at Mussoorie's highest peak's topmost point.
We walked along the serpentine lanes of Landour and reached Sister's Bazaar. As usual, we expected a long queue outside The Landour Bakehouse, but we were surprised to see it deserted. The sign had been peeled off, the doors were shuttered and my heart sank to the pits of my being. As we went closer to check, we spotted a small sign with a pointer guiding travellers to the new location of the outlet. We let out a relieved squeal for the best bakery in Mussoorie was still there, just adjacent to its original spot. Afterwards, we haunted the holy grounds of the church near Char Dukaan&ndashwhich translates to "Four Shops", in English, that has expanded to nearly double the number now. After almost a couple of hours, a lot of breaths lost, a melt-in-the-mouth omelette, eccentric drunk/homeless people, and lots of friendly fluffy mountain mongrels, we reached our destination. And it was worth it. "I told you&ndashan hour tops" said my friend, very proud of his joke.
How To Prepare Take bottles full of water for the trek the walk can be long and arduous. If you have asthma or some heart ailments, rent a scooter instead of walking up all the way.
What To Carry Since we went during the last week of December, we wore all heavy thermals, but you will feel warm as you climb up. In the summers, carrying at least a light jacket is still advisable as it is always cooler in Landour. Take the required medicines as well.
What To Eat You can have a wholesome breakfast at Char Dukaan if you leave early and then head over to the Landour Bakehouse for some dessert. Do not forget to try their Lemon Curd and Almond Flake Crepes.
Rent A Scooter There are several shops lined up, starting from Mussoorie's Mall Road, that rent scooters and bikes at reasonable prices. You can also bargain, but make sure to bring it back in the same condition.
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