The Struggle

During my recent road trip in the mid of October to places around Shivamogga and Chikkamagalur, I was reminded of the long drive I went in UK (way back in April 2009) for two particular reasons. Over the four days of travel we covered close to 1200 KMs. Being travelled in the Malnad region quite a few times in the past, I was familiar with most of the routes. One of the striking difference between driving in India and the UK (or be it any other country in Europe or the USA) is the way of getting directions. Its a must to have a portable GPS device in the west, where as here in India its just ‘ask’. On the second day of the journey, we were in Humcha (a Jain pilgrimage in Shivamogga district) and our next destination was Mandagadde (a small, less known bird sanctuary). The map book (print) I was carrying told me to go via Thirthahalli which was longer route. Couple of enquiries at Humcha and another couple of ‘asking’, our destination came very closer than what the map book said. One step ahead of these machines :)

The Struggle
After three days of driving around places in Shivamogga district, we were at base of Kundadri hill. The steep narrow climb to the peak which is wide enough only for a four wheeler immediately reminded me of the aptly named road ‘The Struggle‘* in Lake district. We were on A592, the highest pass in Lake District which is open to motor traffic. Somewhere near the Kirkstone Pass Inn which stands close to the summit of the pass, adventurousness got in to us. After fiddling with the GPS device, we set off by selecting shortest route instead of fastest route. We turned right off the A592 into a narrow road winding crazily all the way down to our destination Ambleside the Rothay Valley. More than zipping through the highways, we enjoyed the drive on this narrow road.

* Horse drawn carriages, which travelled on the unpaved road from Penrith, found it a struggle for the horses to make the climb from Brothers Water to the summit of Kirkstone pass and passengers were required to walk to the top. This part of the road became known as The Struggle. (source)

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