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Old 29th May 2010, 22:17   #76
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no vikram , no sms, call me, my screen has gone blank so no texts
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Old 30th May 2010, 01:13   #77
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Your phone is not reachable so sending the info through pm here.
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Old 31st May 2010, 06:02   #78
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day 1:
reached mashobra from delhi.
435km
time taken 7hrs
road till karnal was good thereafter till kalka it was under various stages of repair and construction. first the karnal jaladhar widening process then the zirakhpur kalka 4 laning.
had stops at karnal: savoy suites
at dharampur: mc donalds
weather has been fantastic, in shimla in the evening it was a little chilly.
shimla as expected was crowded and noisy. mashobra is a good quieter alternative.
starting now for kalpa.
i believe the roads have opened till kaza, tjough kunzum is yet closed. hope the roads open up .
next update frm kalpa.
cheers
deepam and sharat
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Old 3rd June 2010, 12:09   #79
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As posted earlier, I am doing Delhi-Rampur Bushahr-Sangla-Kaza (2 nights)-Chandratal-Jispa-Leh (with trips to Nubra, Pangong)-Tso Moriri-Jispa-Manali-Delhi.

To my knowledge, we require permits for Pangong and Tso Moriri. Do we require permits for any other place on the route.

As I am first time traveller, any suggestion on places to visit (or skip!) are also welcome.

Thanks

CDM
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Old 6th June 2010, 06:11   #80
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back at manali today, time of a lifetime we had, driven through exceptionally bad weather and had even more exceptional fun .
i have been writing my daily entry , will be posting it day wise with the pictures, very soon .
thanks to everybody who have helped us in this trip, specially to you vikram(wandering nomad).
plans already on to return in sept on our cycles. had great fun mountain biking this time .
sharat
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Old 6th June 2010, 14:56   #81
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Just back at Hyd today from lahaul & spiti loop,
pretty hectic week with lot of travelling.
As akshay mentioned, should have skipped kharapathar but had to stay as we had already booked. almost 7-8 hrs of additional driving & bad roads.
passed Kunzum la on 3rd June. extremely bad weather. we were stuck right at Kunzum top due to puncher & again after chota dhara. as we had single spare tyre & no where to go, we had to move both families to a Dhaba at Chatru & finally had to stay there that night.
extremely lucky to get help from a cab who took me to Sissu to get the puncher done(both tyres burst because of stone hit). put some old tube into tubeless tyres & managed till Delhi.

At manali, we heard that Kunzum is closed again. I think ours might be one of the last vehicle to cross at this time. around 50km road (from 10km before Kunzum till Chota Dhara) is extremely bad & you will scrape the bottom most of the time. I think it was open for just 2 days before it got closed.

those 40-50kms drive at kunzum & batal is the toughest drive in my life. with limping innova, heavy snow fall, extreme cold, high altitude, 3 kids & almost no one around, we were extremely lucky to have reached chatru.

will try to post travalouge during next week.
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Old 6th June 2010, 21:48   #82
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Tiger and docfreak kudos to both of you for making this wonderful trip. As you chosen the marginal time, some adventure and fun was expected and that happened. Eager to see your travelogue and snaps soon.

I am planning it very soon with kid but definitely not that hectic, I would cover the whole circuit in 17 days and should cross kunzum around 21/22 June and I expect it to be better by that time.

It was exceptionally bad weather this year but your successful trip would surely motivate many like me.

Please update if you have any info on Chandratal Link Road, when it is supposed to open and whether PWD has started any work on that road. Normally 21st/22nd is manageable for Chandratal but it's an exceptionally bad weather this year, so keeping fingers crossed.

Look forward for Chandratal info if you have any and your travelogues.

Cheers
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Old 8th June 2010, 08:32   #83
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hi kshil,
just reached simla, the speed of my broadband is slow , so not uploading any pictures or the daily notes as yet, that will wait till i reach delhi.

as far as the planning is concerned, 8 days we took for the simla to manali leg, the roads are not as bad as they are said to be, u need some basic rules to be followed , the kunzum was supposed to be closed the day we crossed , but it was great fun, there are wonderful places to stay and if planned well it will not be a trip that will tire u but rejuvenate u , also do not be scared of the road or anything there.

chandratal road will not open this year, it will be a trek only , camping will be allowed only 2 km before chandratal.

will fill in details soon.

sharat
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Old 8th June 2010, 21:31   #84
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Quote:
Originally Posted by docfreak View Post
hi kshil,
just reached simla, the speed of my broadband is slow , so not uploading any pictures or the daily notes as yet, that will wait till i reach delhi.

as far as the planning is concerned, 8 days we took for the simla to manali leg, the roads are not as bad as they are said to be, u need some basic rules to be followed , the kunzum was supposed to be closed the day we crossed , but it was great fun, there are wonderful places to stay and if planned well it will not be a trip that will tire u but rejuvenate u , also do not be scared of the road or anything there.

chandratal road will not open this year, it will be a trek only , camping will be allowed only 2 km before chandratal.

will fill in details soon.

sharat
Thanks Sharat, we all would wait for your detail update and snap.

Thanks for the assuring words about roads. I fully agree with you that its rejuvinate you at the end of the day whatever may the road be.

Chandratal is now a concern for me, This was a big confusion since Feb 2010 whether the road would open or not. Whenever I called Forest dept (DFO Spiti) and PWD Kaza, they always said they have no plan to block the road, but they said car won't be allowed beyond 2 km from lake (camping site). But few tour operators there insist that it would be closed from Batal bifurcation itself for car.

Anyway let us know the truth and the source, even if it needs trek, I would be prepared and plan accordingly.

Cheers!!
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Old 9th June 2010, 10:26   #85
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reached back home today,some general info which will be usefull to all , i am posting in here:

availability of fuel:
last reliable fuel bunk is at rekong peo, there are 2 , one a pvt and the other a govt bunk. beyond from here availability is unreliable and frequent shortages prevail. last pump would be at kaza, where the tanker refills it at approx once in 10 days, so if enroute u see a tanker coming back then first head to the fuel statin at kaza , it opens from 10 am to 5pm, after that u get fuel at manali. but in case u are stranded most of the towns and villages have one or the other grocery store selling fuel at higher prices, quality cannot be vouched so its best to stock up at rekong peo. and then at kaza and then at manali, before and after these stations there isnt any problem

atm :
there are 2 atm at rampur , sbi and pnb then the next atm is at kaza ,yes atm at kaza , its a sbi atm and it works well. many computerised banks are there all along the route. but best is to carry a sum of cash with you.

ideal route:
nighht halts : shimla, kalpa/chitkul, kaza, manali,
i suggest these as the travelling times between these points is approx 6-8 hrours each, except the last leg between kaza and manali where it takes approx 8-10 hours.

accomadation and food:
shimla: spoilt for choices.
kalpa: golden apple resort , is what i suggest , we stayed there, it was neat , hygenic and food there was excellent. other places suggested to me were the kinner kailash(hptdc), it was shabby and unclean with the staff them selves very untidy , another place that can be seen are the kinner kailash cottages. also at roghi village , 6km ahead of kalpa there are 2 guest houses which are relatively ok.
kaza: the best place to stay is sankyo abode, very clean and warm , with hot water and good food. its a great place to meet world travellers and have fun. places to eat are many , i suggest dragon and sachen kunga in the market
manali: again the places are many , we stayed at mayflower and had a great time.
contact numbers and other details can be taken from me, if anyone wants them.

phone coverage:
uptil kalpa airtel will work but beyond that only bsnl, between kalpa and kaza very frequently u will be out of coverage , so reliable point of coverage will be kaza, which has a pco booth as well, next pco at losar, then manali.

repair facilties:
last good mechanical repair shop at rampur:bittam agencies, if i recollect correctly , then at manali, enroute some small mechanics there , mostly for trucks though.
tyre puncture shops at rampur then very few, one at kaza , then sissu , then manali. so best is to carry ur own pouncture kit and 2 spares, we had 4 punctures , which we repaired ourselves didnt need the spare till gramphoo.

misc:
take the entry clearance frm samdoh and before nako.
at malling there is a army det which can be contacted beforehand for road conditions.
carry water and essential medicines including diamox fr altitude sickness
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Old 9th June 2010, 10:31   #86
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kshil :
the chandratal is going to be closed for vehicles this year.
walk is about 13km from battal and 23km from kunzum , it easier from battal
camping allowed 2km before chandratal
route not opened as yet , will take atleast 15 days frm today.

all this info is first hand as i had planned for it , but couldnt go . from battal we met a army group of 20 guys for chandratal , they had all drone pics and gps cordinates with them and they advised against it.

for best info here on contact dorjee at battal .
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Old 9th June 2010, 10:40   #87
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[FONT=Times New Roman]Day 2 :[/FONT]

[FONT=Times New Roman][SIZE=3]From mashobra to kalpa.[/SIZE][/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman][SIZE=3]250 km[/SIZE][/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman][SIZE=3]8hours[/SIZE][/FONT]
[SIZE=3][/SIZE]
[FONT=Times New Roman][SIZE=3]the route from mashobra to kalpa , was routed through narkanda, Rampur, karcham, rekong peo . [/SIZE][/FONT]
[SIZE=3][/SIZE]
[FONT=Times New Roman][SIZE=3]the route till Rampur was good but after that on account of the many dams being built the route was very dusty , rough and difficult. [/SIZE][/FONT]
[SIZE=3][/SIZE]
[FONT=Times New Roman][SIZE=3]From Rampur we tanked up and filled 15lts of fuel in our jerry can , withdrew the last money from the atm and off we were. Till the roads went bad we were making good time but suddenly the road turned for bad and were left in clouds of dust and craters on the road. As soon as we left karcham the scene started to improve, the roads became better and the surroundings more pleasant. After phuari we were mersmerised by the kinner kailash and the apple orchids interspersed with the pine forests, after peo the scenery was breathtaking and the kinner kailash felt at an arms distance. We checked in the Bengali , golden apple hotel , to some excellent hospitality and rooms with amazing views. We had food as if there was no tomorrow. Before cheking in we also went and inspected the kinner kailash hotel and were very disappointed with the hygiene levels and cleanliness there. [/SIZE][/FONT]
[SIZE=3][/SIZE]
[FONT=Times New Roman]Day 3:[/FONT]
[SIZE=3][/SIZE]
[FONT=Times New Roman][SIZE=3]We loafed around kalpa, went to roghi , went to jaka, washed the scorpio and enjoyed some amazing views from our room as a storm bellowed. [/SIZE][/FONT]
[SIZE=3][/SIZE]
[FONT=Times New Roman][SIZE=3]The morning trip to roghi and beyond was very heart rendering where a shepard took me along to the pastures ahead of roghi, told me a lot of the kinnauri life, their philosophy and was an excellent company, he took me back to roghi and there a lady whom he knew met us and insisted that I have tea at her home. I did after a lot of insistence from her, I was moved by her hospitality and especially when she sent some walnuts for deepam, these are most tasty walnuts we have ever had. These gestures and hospitality have re affirmed my belief in the inherent goodness of humans and made me more welcoming myself. [/SIZE][/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman][SIZE=3]Then we went to jaka, after a torturous climb through some spectacular views we ended up in a pine forest with the wind whistling through the pine leaves and the cold tickling our neck. [/SIZE][/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman][SIZE=3]We then headed back, had a hearty lunch and then went off to the closest mountain stream to wash the scorpio which was very dirty by now. There a small child kept troubling me for a toffee and then while he was about to leave he asked me to ask my “savari” for toffee and give it to him when they came. [/SIZE][/FONT]
[SIZE=3][/SIZE]
[SIZE=3][/SIZE]
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Old 9th June 2010, 11:13   #88
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Default travelouge day 2 - day 6

Day 2 :
From mashobra to kalpa.
250 km
8hours
the route from mashobra to kalpa , was routed through narkanda, Rampur, karcham, rekong peo .
the route till Rampur was good but after that on account of the many dams being built the route was very dusty , rough and difficult.
From Rampur we tanked up and filled 15lts of fuel in our jerry can , withdrew the last money from the atm and off we were. Till the roads went bad we were making good time but suddenly the road turned for bad and were left in clouds of dust and craters on the road. As soon as we left karcham the scene started to improve, the roads became better and the surroundings more pleasant. After phuari we were mersmerised by the kinner kailash and the apple orchids interspersed with the pine forests, after peo the scenery was breathtaking and the kinner kailash felt at an arms distance. We checked in the Bengali , golden apple hotel , to some excellent hospitality and rooms with amazing views. We had food as if there was no tomorrow. Before cheking in we also went and inspected the kinner kailash hotel and were very disappointed with the hygiene levels and cleanliness there.
Day 3:
We loafed around kalpa, went to roghi , went to jaka, washed the scorpio and enjoyed some amazing views from our room as a storm bellowed.
The morning trip to roghi and beyond was very heart rendering where a shepard took me along to the pastures ahead of roghi, told me a lot of the kinnauri life, their philosophy and was an excellent company, he took me back to roghi and there a lady whom he knew met us and insisted that I have tea at her home. I did after a lot of insistence from her, I was moved by her hospitality and especially when she sent some walnuts for deepam, these are most tasty walnuts we have ever had. These gestures and hospitality have re affirmed my belief in the inherent goodness of humans and made me more welcoming myself.
Then we went to jaka, after a torturous climb through some spectacular views we ended up in a pine forest with the wind whistling through the pine leaves and the cold tickling our neck.
We then headed back, had a hearty lunch and then went off to the closest mountain stream to wash the scorpio which was very dirty by now. There a small child kept troubling me for a toffee and then while he was about to leave he asked me to ask my “savari” for toffee and give it to him when they came.

Day4:
From kalap to kaza
230 km
7 hours
we started early morning after tanking up at peo. We moved on to nako then tabo then finally halted at kaza at sangkyo abode.
When we left from kalpa, after phuari the road suddenly turned for worse and we were left thinking of what the future holds for us, slight apprehension at seeing the ruined road, mighty sutluj and the precipitous falls. But regardless we carried on; there were numerous halts for landslides, seeing the bro work relentlessly was inspiring.
At. …………Where there was a checkpoint to enter ur name and other details a couple approached us for a lift uptil a point near nako. We were more than willing to have them in, it turned out to be so that he was a teacher in a school who was posted to the village near nako so was going to formally join in the new role. His wife was accompanying him for an outing. They were very considerate and we felt more than happy to have them along, it was a reassurance and good company. Enroute he explained a lot about the topography and the people. Close to nako, near the spiti, Sutlej sangam a bro tanker had broken down, so we all pushed it out and resumed our journey. It is nice to see and share the feeling that when anyone is stuck in the hills everyone pitches in and there develops a unspoken underlying camaraderie between all.
From there started the loops, then we dropped off the teacher couple and headed to nako, made a decision there that we move on to kaza as against the original plan of halting at nako as we were making good time. At nakoa foreigner couple hailed us down and very pleadingly asked for a lift to tabo, they had been waiting for a bus for long and none was in sight. Deepam was apprehensive, so we asked some village elders if was fine to do so, they gave the green, and so the new sawari boarded on. We headed to tabo now; they were from Israel, worked as waiters and were taking a yearlong break to see india, Cambodia, magnolia and china. Enroute we stopped for ladies pee break, and then at samdoh for the checkpoint, there was some tension regarding having foreign nationals in our jeep, but the railway doctor worked its charm and we cruised through. The scenery was turning more and more spectacular with steep cliffs, snow peaked mountains, vast open spaces, odd shaped mountains and cliffs all under a clear blue sky and biting chill. We crossed the ill famed malling nala, it was obvious that it deserved its ill fame. The cliffs on the side was loose and slipping as we passed, it almost seemed at unexpected landslide will carry us along. At tabo there was an oasis of green. There is the oldest monastery, almost 1000 years old. But we did not stop to see it as we wanted to reach kaza in time and did not know what lay ahead. So the Israelis went off and we sped on. The road then touched some flat valley space and we could speed up to 80kmph for long distances. The snow-covered mountains, which seemed far away, were coming closer and we were heading directly into them. Some fascinating rock faces we saw and photographed and then we enteres kaza , much to our relief at 5pm, we met ishita and checked in and had a pleasant dinner of thupka and spring rolls . Then we warmed up our room and slept off.

Day 5 :
After a fitful sleep, I was awake at 5 am and quietly slipped out of the room with my camera and trekking shoes. As soon as you exit from sankyo abode there is a monastery and above that a mandir, I decided to walk up to the mandir , as soon as I was approaching the mandir I was looking with trepidation for the angry hill dog who would attack me , but fortunately for me there was none. Then I headed on to the top of the hill that I could see , on which this mandir was located, it was a tough climb but as soon as I reached the top that I could see, I realized that this was not the top rather a step to the top that was visible now, so I pushed my self further to the new top , and behold the same story repeated , it was another step ,so trudged further , but when the hill gave me the same fare the third time, I headed back. Coming down the loose gravel was a tough job but safely finished.
Then at the lawn we met dr ashish , a 50 odd year old gentleman , who is avid birdwatcher and gave us some valuable tips .
Back at the room we both had a nice hot bath, a good breakfast, which we shared with ajay, another traveler who had been walking a lot around this area. Then with deepam as driver we drove off to dankar monastery. It was a tough drive in parts but very well driven by deepam , for a person driving in hills for the second time , it was a commendable job , initially I was a little tense, trying to act cool but then as her confidence grew she scolded me for being tense and then I was as relaxed as I could be. Spotted few birds, I was poor at spotting and in my methodology of identifying the characteristics so was dressed down by her highness, I sulked and fought but better sense prevailed over me and I was normal again. (Birds identified: Eurasian yellowfinch, blue rock thrush, hoopie, plumbous redstart, some others that could not be identified due to my great support)
When we reached dhankar, we reached a new looking monastery unlike the 1000-year-old structure we expected. Then we directed on to another cluster of old buildings on the hill behind as being dhankar, the route we went on for there was a thin long road, made of sand cut in a steep mountain which seemed would collapse as we pass on it, the wheel were kissing both sides of the road but we pushed on, parked and then after a stiff climb came across the monastery, it was closed as this structure is fragile so shifted to the new swanky building which we had reached earlier. The boy who informed us of this invited us in for tea; we refused and drove back the same path to the new structure. The place was closed, as every one in spiti was off to pin valley to get blessings from the reppoche for a long life, so the lonely monk there opened the gates for us we paid our obeisance and out we were. There in the courtyard few boys were playing and deepam clicked some wonderful pix of them and named them salman and aamir and this set of the spark for a new game of leg pulling of the newly named boys from the beautiful girl in the scorpio by the other not so fortunate boys.
Reached back to our room, had lunch at sachen kunga namyo restaurant, planned our fiuture course of action for the route and the viability of the route and accn , as of now things seem to be working out in favour of the manali leg .
Then we had a nice dinner with ajay , thirak(mexico) and himalaya (Australia). Shared some experiences touched some controversial topics and back in the sleeping back we are. Been told I was not civil and polite in my conversation, sorry everybody, did not mean to be so, just wished to hold my opinion. But amends shall be made.
Day6:
Today morning as planned I left on my bicycle to ki monastery and deepam as my rescue left an hour and a half later by the jeep. Then we saw ki together, came back, had a nice Israeli lunch with aj, tried fr accn at manali, came back, had a big dinner and slept off.
When I left for ki today morning, I realized I did not have gloves or earmuffs or a cap under the helmet and man did the chilling wind bite. But only for the initial 10minutes after that it was pure ecstasy. The first incline down and the first climb got me familiar with the gears and the rhythm came. The fun of incline down with the wind in ur face and the whistling in ur ears was great. The climbs up were not as difficult as I imagined but yes they do take the breath out of u if ur rhythm aint getting it right but if it is then its just some determination and enjoying the hard work. I did take 4 maybe 5 breaks enroute to sit alone in the sun and brood over many things that had got me all wired up , and remarkably I was able to get my answers and the plan ahead for all of them , I came and shared these moments of thinking with deepam dearest. The first break I took I was yearning to have my mazza but as soon as I took it off the bike it slipped and in slow motion went down the cliff with the taste that I had already started getting in my mouth. My limbs were cold and reactions slow so I could not catch it before it had its final fall.
Then deepam caught up at ki, and man was it a big moment for me to have her coming up all these steep slopes alone, driving herself, listening to her music and beaming with her lovely smile, she does bring warmth in my heart and a smile to my face when ever her thought also occurs to me. Congrats buddy on becoming an expert in hill driving now.
Then we saw the monastery, it was quite unlike dhankar, it was vibrant, alive and throbbing with energy. The monk over there took us all around for a guided tour. We saw the prayers in progress, the 800 year old thankas , as a matter of fact the monastery is 800 years old. Then we saw the various prayer rooms, the poooed in Dalai Lama’s room (one to u t2). We had some tsampa sweet, said our adieu to the monk, loaded the bike back in the scorpio and started back.
For lunch we went to the dragon with aj had falafel, humus, pizza, pomodero pasta (man did we have all that). Aj turns out to be a very interesting person; he gives us lots of ideas, which we can adapt to our life to make things better. Then we went and bought some souvenir and had egg fried rice (eating again). Made some calls to get us a place in manali. Aj too called dharmendra negi in mayflower, hopefully things will work out.
Made our plans for tomorrow, leaving at 5 am, the swiss 4 also leave at 6, we will have a head start of an hour, swiss also have an interesting story they are 2 plus 2 , met in simla now going along together.
Today we met quite a few new people, the French sailor, the Viennese architect who is working on tabo monastery, Himalaya and Thirak again, infact bumped into them enroute to ki as well, the Israeli couple is back in kaza, and so on, so many varied experiences with so many people who are seeing the world and making it richer, my mind opened up to a lot of new things, some things I had never even thought of, talking to such people does actually open up ur own world and very interesting they are with a clarity of communication . We talked of biases, prejudice, religion overbearing, star gazing, sailing, survival tactics, the love of travelling, the thing of minimizing needs, method of travelling and so on and so forth.
We had a nice dinner and then we slept off after packing our stuff and some loading up the jeep
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Old 9th June 2010, 11:28   #89
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Day 7:
We started 5:30. There had been fresh snow and all the surrounding hills were covered in fresh snow, seabuckthorn had frost on them, and we started off. Taking the last pictures of kaza at the bridge we headed off to manali with a deep love for spiti . Soon the snow and ice were around us, and we planned a breakfast break at losar, we were excited with the prospect of new snow making the drive better. When we reached losar we had paratha, magi, tea, and made conversation with the nurse there who was going to manali, the lama from Bangalore and jcb driver whose tire fell into the river and was in the recovery mode. The people are very friendly and welcoming and one feels nice even to talk to any of them, why can’t all of us be so nice to each other?
Then as we sat in the jeep a lama asked for a lift till kunzum, and aj and he squeezed up in the back, it was all along a nice company with interesting talk. We started to climb and snow and ice started to close in, the roads gave away to gravel and the cliffs became steeper. Soon there were snow walls on the sides, ice on the gravel track, which made it very slippery, and the continuously melting ice made torrents of water flow sometimes over the ice and sometimes under the ice. It was snowing continuously and the snow was so soft that it felt lighter than powder, we played snowball and saw icicles all around, and wherever there was water it had ice layers on top. The snow gave way to snow storm and clouds enveloped us reducing visibility but that further pepped up the mood inside the jeep and we loved it. When we reached kunzum the mandir was like a spot in white carpet of feets thick snow. The lama got off and we continued. Next we stopped at battal and then the route was lost, it was under a glacier so this section was not opened as yet, we went off roading along the river in midst of snow walls and deep snow ruts, in an amazingly spectacular landscape. Then we hit the road again and continued on, the snow gave way to green pastures, we stopped for a pee break in a meadow, surrounded by snow, with river in the middle and numerous waterfalls on the surrounding cliffs. There was a herd of sheep, some dogs and two shepherds there as well to give us company. As we were sitting back in, I heard a hissing sound, the front tire was punctured, I and aj took it off , fixed the puncture and mounted it , yet the hissing continued , we found another puncture, the procedure repeated , then yet the hissing continued and then we found two more punctures, and that was it . The puncture kit and the pump came in handy. In the meanwhile deepam was playing with the dogs, clicking the sheep and enjoying the lovely ambience.
We then continued to chatru, had lunch of wonderful magi and rice with daal , vegetables. The rain continued on. Then we came to gramphoo, and then close to rohtang on the suggestion of aj we both posed around a heart made by me in the snow with our names on the top. Had fun doing this silly exercise. We came across some dancing drunk fellows near rohtang, had fun at their expense. At rohtang we saw the rohtang mela, poked more fun at these regular tourists and spotted Himalayan griffon eating their dead prey, clicked lots of pics and were excited. Then aj got off at the bridge to go to the bus stop and we moved on to mayflower, a quaint old world charm hotel where we are and enjoying it.
Aj was very good company, lots of things to talk about, lots of sense, lots of nonsense, liked him as a person and learnt many things from him. It was a pleasure and a reassurance to have him with us in this journey of a lifetime.
We are already planning our next visit to spiti, with mountains in my blood and hormones in the headphones I am a very happy man at peace with himself again.
Performance of the scorpio has been excellent, only things I would ask for more would be a oil sump guard, anti roll bars, winch, front fender water splash protectors, stiffer suspension and a roll cage.
Day 8:
Reached manali last night, checked in the mayflower, got a surprisingly good deal for the heritage room , mr dharmendra has been very helpful and good. The room is actually homely and very comfortable . we had a nice late morning sleep, then we went for a relaxed brunch to johnsons , trout and pasta, came back , soaked the sun in the porch , slept more, had some mushy fun , the got ready , got the punctures checked, and voila they are ok. Had a heady barbecue dinner at johnsons again. Later we slept off.
Day 9:
By 9am we started from manali, stopped at sulabh works for t2, and then we were on the road again. Stopped at chotey bhai ki dukaan for some plums, green badaam, and apricots, then factoring in the mom dad angle bought a lot more than we planned. I won a rare bet from t2 regarding sundernagar, she promised me 1000 rs spl sanction . from a village called ……..10km before bilaspur we took a small direct route that goes to shimla. It was a narrow winding road till daulaghat , after which it opened up. The road was cute, and it kept drizzling non-stop. In comparison to manali Delhi, manali shimla delhi is just 100km longer but much better and worth it. We stopped at a dhaba had parantha and daal, after that we had orange soan papri , which was lip smackin, lip smacking specially for me. Entered simla, checked in Mahindra, and then we went malling around, had soup, picked up some gifts, had more soup, had some choco brownie, and banana walnut cake. Headed back to Mahindra, by now the rain was heavy and it was dark. In the room we switched off the lights saw simla by night and had a lovely time together. Had dinner, which the poor chef messed up, and it was on the house.
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Old 9th June 2010, 22:43   #90
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Quote:
Originally Posted by docfreak View Post
kshil :
the chandratal is going to be closed for vehicles this year.
So this is a confirmed news that they won't allow vehicles on the link road. Have you spoken to any Forest/PWD official on this? Or this is the info you got from guys in Batal. Why I am confused, still DFO, Spiti, the person under whose jurisdiction Chandertal comes, confidently says, car would be allowed just 2 km before lake (where you meant the campground would be) unlike last yr when car could go even bank of the lake.

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Originally Posted by docfreak View Post
walk is about 13km from battal and 23km from kunzum , it easier from battal
camping allowed 2km before chandratal
Yes Batal Chandratal link road is 13 km but when you say 23 km from kunzum, do you mean the Kunzum-Batal- Chandratal? As I know there is another trek route exists between Kunzum and Chandratal, that is all downhill, more scenic and shorter. So if I have to trek, I would trek from Kunzum to Chandratal and would return by Batal.

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Originally Posted by docfreak View Post
route not opened as yet , will take atleast 15 days frm today.
15 days from your visit, means from 5th/6th June you mean? Does it mean the link road from Batal to Chandratal is not even walkable presently as you already said it won't be open for cars in 2010.

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Originally Posted by docfreak View Post
all this info is first hand as i had planned for it , but couldnt go . from battal we met a army group of 20 guys for chandratal , they had all drone pics and gps cordinates with them and they advised against it.
Interested to know the reason for their advise, was it just because of poor condition of link road or bad weather or something else?

Quote:
Originally Posted by docfreak View Post
for best info here on contact dorjee at battal .
Is there anyway to contact dorjee before reaching Batal?

I am sorry for so many questions at one go, but as I would be leaving day after tomorrow, little anxious to get as many info as possible

Travelogue is wonderful, please add some snaps too.

Cheers
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