Going to Andretta is like going to your grandparents’ home. It is dated but it had once been young and vibrant, Bohemian even. The ride itself is fun. It is 54 Kms from Dharamshala and the roads are good. Our host, Denis Harrap, has a beautiful natural house and set of cottages that he runs as a hotel.
Walking through the village you can hear leftover echoes of laughter, music, parties and conversations. It used to be an artists’ village where a few famous painters and writers retreated to make art and live their lives in peace. The houses have been taken over by new management and, in some cases, descendants of those famous names. All that survives of its former glory are a couple of houses of famous personalities turned into museums and the famous Andretta Pottery.
The joy of riding in the Himalayas has no bounds. If you can see past the Kamikaze bus drivers, cell phone-using car drivers, jeeps stopped in the middle of the road, pot holes the size of your 19 inch tyres, cows, dogs, pedestrians, priests, sadhus… did I say it was a fun ride?