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Old 27th May 2011, 14:08   #31
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Default Re: Self-Drive Expedition Travel-Ladakh and cold desert Changthang in "off-season" Oc

Quote:
Originally Posted by ampere View Post
Asking the same question again:

Is there a route from Chandrataal to Hanle via Tso Moriri or Kyon Tso?
This was one gets to do a Himachal circuit via NH22 instead of Manali.

Since snaps of both Hanle and Chandrataal are posted, I was assuming there would be a route!
Chandertaal is in Spiti, which is not connected directly to Changthang by a road.
you have to do
Chandertal - Keylong (Manali Leh highway) - More Plains - Tso moriri - Kyun Tso (Direct route from Tso moriri to Kyun Tso exists, but is 4x4 only)-Hanle.

Hanle-Kyun Tso (the closer one) is doable in 2WD. From there if you want to go to Nyoma, you pass through some real treacherous sand traps. Its basically a "marsh' track.
In months of september it dries significantly, and locals do it in their Sumos etc., but then they are aware of where to go and where not to go.
Moreover, in the month of September and late august, there is significant traffic on that route (1 vehicle/day), so you have good change of rescue.

our adc did the whole ladakh circuit, and then came to spiti to do chandertal..

However, I am not sure whether he came to Punjab after finishing his leh leg, and then again went to the hills, or he did chandertaal before attempting the Leh circuit.

From what he has posted, I think he finished ladakh leg, came back to PB, and then came to Chandertaal.
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Old 27th May 2011, 14:37   #32
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Default Re: Self-Drive Expedition Travel-Ladakh and cold desert Changthang in "off-season" Oc

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Originally Posted by kaushik_s View Post
Loved the photographs and waiting eagerly for more and ofcourse the story.
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Originally Posted by sanjoy50 View Post
Pl accept my respectful "Nomoskar".
Thanks a lot.

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Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
On a related note, we need to petition Tata to start releasing 4x4 in LX trim also
Absolutely, that would make 4wd again affordable for quite a few. Many would also be surprised what Tata Safari 4wd with the GC and torque can do, also myself seeing its capability with a 2wd.

As for petition, I will now do that -- a 4wd Safari from Tata Motors, they have got enough free publicity from me.

At least if not the Merlin or Darling that they are taking out, at least one of the old stock 4wd from the EX series would even do! Other than that I do not think can ever afford a 4wd or else have to stop all travels and thats not an option as of now.



Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
our adc did the whole ladakh circuit, and then came to spiti to do chandertal..

However, I am not sure whether he came to Punjab after finishing his leh leg, and then again went to the hills, or he did chandertaal before attempting the Leh circuit.
We did the Chandrataal before the Leh circuit. It was like this, were going happily to Jispa when at Koksar, heard from the local sumo driver that Chandrataal, even though it was October, had no snow - but he warned it would be desolate.

That was the trigger, we missed Chandrataal on our Spiti loop travel due to snow in Oct 2008. About turn and we were on the Gramphoo Kaza road, then took the turn from Batal.

Due to this detour, we had to stay one day at Chota Dara, before going back for a halt at Jispa enroute again to Leh.

Last edited by adc : 27th May 2011 at 14:53.
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Old 27th May 2011, 14:40   #33
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Default Re: Self-Drive Expedition Travel-Ladakh and cold desert Changthang in "off-season" Oc

Daring and awesome is the word. Hopefully we will be able to do sometime soon. Thanks for this informative TL. Fully deserved 5* .
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Old 27th May 2011, 17:43   #34
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Default Re: Self-Drive Expedition Travel-Ladakh and cold desert Changthang in "off-season" Oc

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Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
On a related note, we need to petition Tata to start releasing 4x4 in LX trim also
+1 to that. It would make the 4x4 Safari a lot more affordable. Its on my priority list for the next vehicle that comes home to us, should have 4x4 and lots of space. This makes it a perfect adventure tourer. But the 10+ Lakh price tag puts me off.
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Old 30th May 2011, 12:11   #35
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Default Re: Self-Drive Expedition Travel-Ladakh and cold desert Changthang in "off-season" Oc

Earth calling adc, Earth calling adc, come in adc. Please get out of the Ladakh reverie and continue with the log.
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Old 30th May 2011, 12:37   #36
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Default Re: Self-Drive Expedition Travel-Ladakh and cold desert Changthang in "off-season" Oc

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Earth calling adc, Earth calling adc, come in adc. Please get out of the Ladakh reverie and continue with the log.
good one, I did want to start this weekend in the free time but for the last 2 days, [sat-sun], I was going across some maps of an absolutely less travelled place, the sat and sundays free time was lost pouring over those map tracks - they were riveting. And when places are named as Weyhong, Mayzar, Pare meghu, you know you have struck a goldmine!

Starting from today, I have to finish this log and another 4 more, at least for my own sake too!

Last edited by adc : 30th May 2011 at 12:54.
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Old 30th May 2011, 13:21   #37
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Default Re: Self-Drive Expedition Travel-Ladakh and cold desert Changthang in "off-season" Oc

Sir,
Glued to this thread!.. May your tribe increase..
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Old 30th May 2011, 14:13   #38
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Default Re: Self-Drive Expedition Travel-Ladakh and cold desert Changthang in "off-season" Oc

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Originally Posted by adc View Post
good one, I did want to start this weekend in the free time but for the last 2 days, [sat-sun], I was going across some maps of an absolutely less travelled place, the sat and sundays free time was lost pouring over those map tracks - they were riveting. And when places are named as Weyhong, Mayzar, Pare meghu, you know you have struck a goldmine!

Starting from today, I have to finish this log and another 4 more, at least for my own sake too!
I can totally understand the feeling of getting lost in those maps mate.

Please let us know where these exotically named places, Weyhong... are located. I tried googling but no luck.
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Old 30th May 2011, 18:01   #39
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Default Re: Self-Drive Expedition Travel-Ladakh and cold desert Changthang in "off-season" Oc

Certainly one of the most adventurous trips undertaken to Ladakh.

Appriciate your family for their untiring support through out the journey.
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Old 30th May 2011, 21:27   #40
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Default Re: Self-Drive Expedition Travel-Ladakh and cold desert Changthang in "off-season" Oc

Tussi great ho adc sirjee

Thanks for the beutiful TL. Now the destination (Ladhak) is on my cards. this oct or next may 12 for sure.. Some how only south & west india needs to be done.. but this my dear friend can be done again and again..

I wish to see the beauty captured through your camera lenses with my own eyes..sigh so interesting

Voting 5 stars

Thanks
Rahul

Last edited by Rahulk76 : 30th May 2011 at 21:28.
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Old 31st May 2011, 00:52   #41
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Default Re: Self-Drive Expedition Travel-Ladakh and cold desert Changthang in "off-season" Oc

Hi Sir,

Hats off to all three of you for completing this amazing and difficult journey. Its a great experience to visit different places of India through your blogs. Keep them coming.

The places that you are talking about in your previous post like Pare Megu, Wey Hong etc are in Sikkim somewhere ?

Naman
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Old 31st May 2011, 12:34   #42
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Default Re: Self-Drive Expedition Travel-Ladakh and cold desert Changthang in "off-season" Oc

Sir , I am glued to this one . Its a superb effort and the I am still reading . Was just curious to know , there weren't any issues with the Safari idling continously for such a long time (48 hrs). Least to say , Superb captures

Last edited by jealousdiamond : 31st May 2011 at 12:35.
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Old 31st May 2011, 16:38   #43
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Default Re: Self-Drive Expedition Travel-Ladakh and cold desert Changthang in "off-season" Oc

Quote:
Originally Posted by mayankjha1806 View Post
Daring and awesome is the word. Hopefully we will be able to do sometime soon. Thanks for this informative TL. Fully deserved 5* .
Quote:
Originally Posted by MohsinRoadster View Post
Certainly one of the most adventurous trips undertaken to Ladakh.
Appreciate your family for their untiring support through out the journey.
Thanks again, I should now be going to day wise experiences.

Quote:
Originally Posted by A M View Post
But the 10+ Lakh price tag puts me off.
And seeing the trend, unfortunately the whole situation is not going to change. Thar is not a touring vehicle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lordofgondor View Post
I can totally understand the feeling of getting lost in those maps mate
Quote:
Originally Posted by naman07 View Post
The places that you are talking about in your previous post like Pare Megu, Wey Hong etc are in Sikkim somewhere ? Naman
Here you go mountain lover, LoG! Naman, yes they are in Sikkim. It is the other way of going to Goechela, but a round about way and it requires trekking. But what I see is that in between while the right turn goes to the Goechela track the left one give some great high altitude lakes. You have names like Chewa, Weyhong, Meghu, Se Se Warok, and a number of high lakes.

The map is this one and for more details go to Welcome to Uttarey Eco-tourism Development and Service Co-operative Society Limited:: Home . I did call the contact person of the website, let's see what happens.

Self-Drive Expedition Travel-Ladakh and cold desert Changthang in "off-season" Oct 10-4.jpg


Quote:
Originally Posted by Rahulk76 View Post
Thanks for the beutiful TL. Now the destination (Ladhak) is on my cards. this oct or next may 12 for sure.. Some how only south & west india needs to be done.. but this my dear friend can be done again and again.
You will go, surely one day - and good to hear from you too.

What we went about was just normal. Let me explain. We name our travelogues like "expedition" or even Leh'd this or that [BTW what do we call if go do Changthang - Changthang-ed - nah it would bounce back as you know what] - its definitely one high point of our driving history and the satisfaction is there. But all said and done, the locals taxi fellows are doing it day in and day out. So whatever situation we were in, so was some 80 odd trucks, buses and sumo drivers.

But again as I say, it is one high point in our travels and it gets reflected in the fancy heading/title.


Quote:
Originally Posted by jealousdiamond View Post
Was just curious to know , there weren't any issues with the Safari idling continously for such a long time (48 hrs).
On the contrary, seeing so many broken trucks and busses, my resolve was not to put it off - and anyway it had to be put on as it was freezing outside and with child the heater was always on. In fact inside it was quite comfortable if you ignore the other things, like confined space and just a chair car type of seating for 48 hours!

We also had a rear tyre puncture and slowly air was coming out, but who cared about that too. Jack would slip on that slippery hard ice, with handbrake, I slipping forward slowly even on standing.

I was trying to take out all the videos, it is taking too much time to edit and upload in youtube. Starting with daywise incidents as we went through the full month of October 2010.


This is one video of the Zojila 48 hours.

Description: It was around -3 like outside but the cold was big due to winds. The first part taken at 11 pm of the 1st night, wife dozing and child is sleeping, heater running, engine rumbling, myself mumbling, the next part is at 3 am of the same night - in 4 hours we have advanced 1 km, child is up and having buiscuits and playing games on the mobile, the next part shows the day 2 morning as overcast clouds passengers, all local, starting the 4/5-hour walk to Sonmarg - people were really worried about any sudden snowfall, everyone would have been burried - only the drivers and essential helpers were there left with us and the last part shows when we finally were free somewhat and trucks still going up. There were no authorities anywhere and this whole jam was manmade. The jam finally ended on the 3rd day evening.


Last edited by adc : 31st May 2011 at 16:59.
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Old 1st June 2011, 14:02   #44
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Default Re: Self-Drive Expedition Travel-Ladakh and cold desert Changthang in "off-season" Oc

Just an intro

Whenever one buys a car or bike, the one and only ligenering idea that is always there is when do one go over there, ride or drive, and see it all. Similary Ladakh was all over in the mind the day I had my Enfield, but that did not happen, so when Safari came up, it was that has to be done. But the years went by, proper Ladakh travel is costly and easily expenses are almost always over budget if you self-drive to a place for so many that days.

Reading all the wonderful travelogues over here and all over the net, the overwhelming feeling is "when do we go over there?" 2008 we travelled through the Lahaul Spiti loop and it did give a very small glimpse of what bare and rough mountains could be. The next year, 2009, came and went, and again due to finances brought up other travel ideas - we went to some great less known places, like the North Sikkim travel, Tribes and Falls of Orissa and Chhattisgarh and the fantastic travel to Western Arunachal including Eagle Nest, Tawang and Bumla India-China border.

Safari VTT went from tubed to tubeless on the Arunachal trip end Dec 2010 trip. Now the reasoning went out like this:

The Safari VTT will be 3 years old, the same 3-year-old battery but running absolutely fine with new tyres and good engine, so it has to be in 2011, all mechanicals and parts of vehicle are put into stress in mountain areas, particularly when there is over 8000 km of travel. One thing that was decided was that it had to be October, as we get 2 big holidays due to son's schooling nowadays, May/June and October, summer and Durga Puja holidays. May or till mid June is out of question due to the just beginning of season and also since the Leh side of the road opens only by 1st week of June and school opening by 14th of June, there are just not enough days also to go. Plus it all season time and that we avoid in most places as much as possible. October has always been the perfect month for us, but start of Durga Puja holidays vary from last week of September to middle of October - and this year, 2011, it started from 1st October. That gave just enough days to go in and get out before the road closes.


But major calamity struck Ladakh in August 2010 with ovewhelming floods destroying lives, property and infrastructure. As Ladakh recovered slowly with grit and determination, a thought still lingered among the tourists - what is it like, what were the conditions.

And the next limiting factor being the finances. Big and small travels and the Safari VTT EMI, particularly for the last few months for the last 3 years, have been draining.

Safari VTT was bought with a 3-year EMI loan period, my reasoning being to complete it as fast as possible, the 3-year period also matched in that way that we would be requiring funds once the child goes to school, i.e, admitted to class 1. But a 3-year EMI shows it colour[!] during the last few months, it was really exacerbating and we pulled through selling our mutual fund holdings with the last EMI going out in October 2010.

So the good news was that no more EMIs, no more than 21k's going out every month from the bank, but the reality still was that the funds were less for a Ladakh travel. Smaller travels can be done, but a Ladakh full travel with Changthang is costly.

So things were put in the balance, the Safari VTT was as much in its prime as it can be for its 3 years - A/T tyres just around 10 months old, battery 3-year-old but good, and most importantly the extended warranty still in force. And what if we did this next year, i.e. October 2011 - the tyres will around 2 years old, the battery will surely be at the end of its life, and very importantly the extended warranty will be over [4-year warranty ends in October] - so any unintentional damange would have come directly on to us.

So as the month of September went by and as I read the unique travelogues of Ladakh and Changthang, particularly by Tanveer and vardhan harsh, and discussed with others, the decision time was still not there.

Another unusual of blockade for this tour was a lens, a wide angle lens. Photography had always been a passion along with travel [a natural extension for most travellers] and it had to be kept under big wrap with huge mental force, not to spend a dime on any lens or anything until the VTT EMIs are over. The Tokina 11-16 mm 2.8 was bought for the Canon 450D around August, that too also put out some good amount of money out of the system.


The final and biggest hurdle of all was the work situation. With each and every work account being vital to my existence as freelancer and did ask them[client] for a 15-20 day break around October - that many days was dicey this year and that if possible will be confirmed later on - was what was said to me. So finally after all the finance, VTT, and finally lens story, the last block was that of clearnce for 15-20 days and the dates from which they can give. As we went to the last week of September, there was no email, nothing was said, and but every time I do take a big leave off in October, so they know, and thought the leave would be granted eventually if not easily.


But then with no email even by Sept 29th night, we knew this is not happening. Sept 30th came and went too, no emails granting my 15-20 day leave - and even if they did give me a leave it would by late 1st week of October and by the time we were in Manali it would have beenthe 2nd week of October, October 1st itself is late and every day after as it advances, it becomes more and more dangerous and dicey to go to Leh via Manali, we were already late for Ladakh by trying to go in October.


Oct 1 morning came and went, no mails. Work continues as usual, and then it happened at around 11:30 am - the mail came and the best news possible was in it. Just when we given up all hopes of going out in 1st Of October 2010, Friday, on 11:30 am we start our preparation for Ladakh and we have exactly 8-9 hours, with deperature set around 9 pm in the night for Asansol, where by cousin sister lives.

Called up wife, that we are leaving today, the panic sets in, what to take, no luggage packed - said we will pick up suitcase that has our winter clothes, and whatever other clothes just to stuff them in the bags and other suitcases. Finshed work as soon as possible, by 6 pm and went out to collect groceries and as wife returned back from office and started packing whatever she can lay hands on. Around 7:30 pm, call up Sutripta -da and literally snatch the GPS - only he can elaborate on this - but a whole lot of thanks to him for taking all awkardness and what not in stride. And BTW, we conked out the GPS midway in travel too!

8:30 pm I reach home, collecting all eatable groceries and diesel to brim, tyres to correct pressure, and by that time, Asmita [wife] has almost all packed up. Whatever clothes which were in sight was put in suitcase along with our winter clothes were in put in, and by 9:31 pm exactly we set off. And what was the most unusual item among luggage, a printer! There wasnt enough time for me to printout the maps even on the night with myself coming home at 8:30 pm.


So thats it, we finally made it, after all the hurdles, ignoring rather than overcoming the hurdles, from finances to holidays to whatnot we were heading towards Delhi for Ladakh with a 8-9 hour notice. My cousin sister stays in Asansol, some 300 km from Kolkata, and like what we did during the Spiti loop trip, we left for the night for her home, so that we are ahead by 3 hours at least and also we get a decent night sleep. We reached Asansol late night, around 2:30 am, on October 2 and we all crashed to bed, setting a start time of around 9 am for a direct shot towards Delhi/Noida, where one of my cousin brother stay.


So this was our preparation and as can be seen there was no schedule, we just wanted to roam about in Ladakh, Nubra and Changthang. As a result we moved around hapazardly in the days that we stayed over there. Some days were lost due to trying to repeat places, some days were lost as we over and over again tried to go towards Kyun Tso, and later on days were lost due to bad weather and being stuck at Zojila.

All in all instead of the planned 20 days, we spent 31 days, exactly to a month we came back home to Kolkata. And yes, I lost that work account too - the excuse mail [they sactioned a max 18 days], giving some fictitious reason to the client, did not cut much ice. The good thing was, due to the good work that I did and the work again came back after a gap of 2-1/2 months, thats karma for you!! So everythings good now.



As again, for everyone planning Ladakh and Changthang, there are absolutely good travelogues that you must go through among the others. And of course HVK's books,


hvkumar
LADAKH Sep 2009 - hvkumar | Google Groups


tsk1979
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...oof-world.html (5000kms and 12 Passes, a 20 day wild wild ride to the roof of the world!)

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...hronicles.html (Ladakh and Changthang : The Wilderness Chronicles)


vardhan.harsh
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...ri-ladakh.html (4500 km, Two Idiots & a Wild Safari in Ladakh)

ramkya1
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...eh-docked.html (Leh-docked)

suman
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...-lifetime.html (Better Leh'd than Never - a 3,004 kms round trip of a lifetime!)





Please follow the directions from there - all the directions and those maps created painstakingly by those members, please follow them. Though I carried a GPS, I dont know when it was on or not. It helped a lot in Noida to find out my cousin brother's house but otherwise when it said too much of up-down-turn left-turn right, I put it off, also i am not much comfortable with the light - it discomforts the eyes in the dark and I cover it with a hankerchief or put it in standby.

Many a times I went through areas exactly the opposite what it was trying to say, like somewhere in Himachal it said to go one side for Manali but I went towards Shimla, as it was a better scenic route before again going towards Manali and went through most beautiful back roads of Jammu but many military installations and going pass a great dam to finally connect the highway to Punjab. And in Ladakh there is only 1 road/track and most of the times I did not monitor it actively. So for all GPS tracks and any details please go through those travelogues.

All maps are collected from the net and are of respective creators.Self-Drive Expedition Travel-Ladakh and cold desert Changthang in "off-season" Oct 10-63593.jpg

Self-Drive Expedition Travel-Ladakh and cold desert Changthang in "off-season" Oct 10-mapversion3.0.2.jpg

Self-Drive Expedition Travel-Ladakh and cold desert Changthang in "off-season" Oct 10-fffa.jpg

Self-Drive Expedition Travel-Ladakh and cold desert Changthang in "off-season" Oct 10-bigmap.gif

Self-Drive Expedition Travel-Ladakh and cold desert Changthang in "off-season" Oct 10-lehmap.bmp.gif

Self-Drive Expedition Travel-Ladakh and cold desert Changthang in "off-season" Oct 10-srinagarlehmap.jpg



And dont miss this attachment too
ledakhramkyupdate7-july2010.pdf


Into over, photos and text of the days as we went through starts now.

Last edited by adc : 1st June 2011 at 14:30.
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Old 1st June 2011, 15:05   #45
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Towards Delhi, Oct 2, 2010, early morning, beautiful empty NH2 in Jharkhand
Self-Drive Expedition Travel-Ladakh and cold desert Changthang in "off-season" Oct 10-img_1799.jpg

Self-Drive Expedition Travel-Ladakh and cold desert Changthang in "off-season" Oct 10-img_1805.jpg


And due to the 9-hour decision, a drum for extra diesel was soon bought on the highway itself.
Self-Drive Expedition Travel-Ladakh and cold desert Changthang in "off-season" Oct 10-img_1810.jpg

Reached Delhi/Noida in around 23 hours early morning and that day was spent at cousin brother's house.

Next day, Oct 4, early morning, spirits are high and all ready towards Manali
Self-Drive Expedition Travel-Ladakh and cold desert Changthang in "off-season" Oct 10-img_1814.jpg

But beware of the Commonwealth games lane, they were active then.
Self-Drive Expedition Travel-Ladakh and cold desert Changthang in "off-season" Oct 10-img_1815.jpg

Reached Manali after some detours and late evening. Got a good hotel by Beas River. A decision was then made to spend another day at Manali, as wife wanted to see a bit of Manali this time.

Beautiful Beas by hotelside.
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Safari VTT-TMT as it conversed with the river
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Son has seen a no. of u-turns in terrains from Arunachal to Chhattisgarh for not having 4wd, here obsessively was checking each SUV whether it had a that big dabba, front and back
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Self-Drive Expedition Travel-Ladakh and cold desert Changthang in "off-season" Oct 10-img_1874.jpg

That day was spent roaming around the Mall road and going to the temple.
Self-Drive Expedition Travel-Ladakh and cold desert Changthang in "off-season" Oct 10-img_1878.jpg

Self-Drive Expedition Travel-Ladakh and cold desert Changthang in "off-season" Oct 10-img_1891.jpg


That's how the day was spent in Manali and we are already on Oct 5, its about time we start on the Manali-Leh Road.



contd...

Last edited by adc : 1st June 2011 at 15:27.
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