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Old 1st March 2012, 18:28   #1831
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

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Originally Posted by KSM-Vtec View Post
It was only Sach Pass which .....
Wondering why the mods are not into action for refraining you from 'typing like this ....'

Please refrain from this Kaushikji and let the travelogue proceed to descend/ascend the Sach Pass
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Old 1st March 2012, 18:36   #1832
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

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Originally Posted by JeepCaptain View Post
Dear motomaverick, HumbLeh'd III is very much in the pipeline. Plans are there. Nothing finalized, nor the team!!

Only difference I can think of is .. It will not be Indo Polish Expedition, But could be a Indo Turkish, Indo Egyptian or even Indo Brazilian Himalayan Expedition.

Watch this space or my FB page Shibu Varghese | Facebook for updates.
I do have you on FB Shibu but don't see much talk only Himalayas Nonetheless waiting eagerly for a proper trip discussion thread.
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Old 2nd March 2012, 09:47   #1833
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

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Originally Posted by laluks View Post
Day 21
1st September 2011
Key Long - Sach Pass - Chamba



This hotel guy was very helpful. One of our friends had stayed here earlier during the season and given me his number. When we were stuck in Kaza, we heard that the Gramphoo-Keylong road was also closed due to land slides, so I called up this hotel guy and queried him on the road status and got some good updates which helped us plan the journey towards Jispa/Leh. This hotel was also our second option for stay had we not got rooms in HPTDC. Cheaper, but I was not happy because Rupchen did not have car parking space, you have to park on the road.

By 06:30AM we reached the turn off from Manali Keylong route to Sach pass.
The convoy before the turn off to the great adventure



You can see the contrast between the Keylong-Tandi road and the Tandi-Udeypur road - the latter was very good for some distance, but first looks can be deceptive, the rest of the route was treacherous.
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Old 2nd March 2012, 10:00   #1834
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

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Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
HVK Scorpio
Aug 12, Bombay-Behror, 1402 kms
Aug 13, Behror-Rampur, 692 kms
Aug 14, Rampur-Chitkul, 144 kms
Aug 15, Chitkul-Pooh, 207 kms
Aug 16, Pooh-Kaza, 178 kms
Aug 17-19, Kaza, 291 kms
Aug 20, Kaza-Jispa, 236 kms
Aug 21, Jispa-Leh, 374 kms
Aug 22, Leh-Kargil, 343 kms
Aug 23, Kargil-Padum, 248 kms
Aug 24, Padum-Kargil, 275 kms
Aug 25, Kargil-Leh, 259 kms
Aug 26, Leh, 148 kms
Aug 27, 2011, Leh-Turtuk, 241 kms
Aug 28, 2011, Leh-Pangong Tso, 445 kms
Aug 29, 2011, Pangong-Hanle, 203 kms
Aug 30, 2011, Hanle-Tso Moriri, 188 kms
Aug 31, 2011, Tso Moriri-Keylong, 375 kms


Sep 2, 2011, Keylong-Chamba, 341 kms
On being asked for his views, doctorque said,
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Ladakh was a voyage that i wanted to accomplish since years. Thanks to IPHE providing the right platform (including the incredible participants of the trip)and good fortune with the dates at work, resigning from one job and joining the other and the trip in the middle of it all.

Amongst the 4 from Mumbai Roadster Team (Kaushik, Kunal, Yogen and Ankit), only Kaushik had done Ladakh earlier in a Gypsy. Right from the beginning i was the only one in the group questioning KSM on the routes – maps etc. I had a keen interest in knowing about what are the various routes we are going to take and the ones that we won’t. Even today when the stalwarts discuss about the journey i do get confused time and again with certain locations. I just had One thing clear in my mind as told to me. There are 4 routes to make it to Leh (please forgive me as i can be wrong here) and we are supposed to take 2nd most difficult route towards Leh and the most difficult route to come back from there. When i heard difficult, i did not have the slightest of Hint on what am i getting into here.

I was just trying to convince the boys in my group to choose the Srinagar route (being told that this one was the easiest of it all and i wanted to pass through that place). Throughout the trip i was pestering Hvk Sir for a clearer picture end of drives each day, and then used to get on to discussing the same with my team (as they were hardly interested in knowing anything about route plans).

All this while, it was almost as if KSM was hell bent on trying out Sach Pass (2 Reasons behind it. 1. He had never done it before 2. He did not know of any Maruti Suzuki Swift making through from there. I was trying to avoid Sach pass for the same reasons) and finally it was decided that we will indeed join HVK Sir and Bol Boleros cars from Debring.

Going through everything expressed above, it was not going to be a very good night’s sleep for me. I wasn’t scared, but nervous for sure. As none amongst us had ever attempted Sach pass, and all i had to imagine or picture in my mind were terrifying stories. And i do take things a little too seriously sometimes. Fortunately, i got some sleep (and i had no clue how important that sleep was going to be for me at that point).

Like any other morning from the trip, it all started of course with fewer cars around this time (Sir HVK’s Scorpio, BolBolero’s needles to mention and the 2 Swifts of the Mumbai Roadsters). We left more or less on time as suggested by HVK Sir as we had to cover a lot of distance. Things started looking better at first as the cars were moving at decent pace with lush green, very typical of Himachal Pradesh mountains around us. For us, especially for me, even Himachal was a great experience as all that we have here in Mumbai is better known as a concrete jungle. All the initial beauty and roads did a good bit in helping me forget about whatever appalling things i had in mind till now about this days drive. We covered 50kms in the first 2 hours of the day. Great.
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Old 2nd March 2012, 10:48   #1835
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

HVK Scorpio
Aug 12, Bombay-Behror, 1402 kms
Aug 13, Behror-Rampur, 692 kms
Aug 14, Rampur-Chitkul, 144 kms
Aug 15, Chitkul-Pooh, 207 kms
Aug 16, Pooh-Kaza, 178 kms
Aug 17-19, Kaza, 291 kms
Aug 20, Kaza-Jispa, 236 kms
Aug 21, Jispa-Leh, 374 kms
Aug 22, Leh-Kargil, 343 kms
Aug 23, Kargil-Padum, 248 kms
Aug 24, Padum-Kargil, 275 kms
Aug 25, Kargil-Leh, 259 kms
Aug 26, Leh, 148 kms
Aug 27, 2011, Leh-Turtuk, 241 kms
Aug 28, 2011, Leh-Pangong Tso, 445 kms
Aug 29, 2011, Pangong-Hanle, 203 kms
Aug 30, 2011, Hanle-Tso Moriri, 188 kms
Aug 31, 2011, Tso Moriri-Keylong, 375 kms


Sep 2, 2011, Keylong-Chamba, 341 kms

Turned off the Manali highway at 630 am.
Mobile connectivity still great.
Calls keep coming, many relieved to know we are still around, Google Latitude updating our locations.
Narrow 1-laned road, but only birds twittering, no other signs of life around.
HVK Scorpio zooms off – often rounding the corner in the adjacent hill, and has lots of rests like these, waiting for the others to catch up.

Roads were quite good, little bit of rubble here and there.
Well-populated region, village after village goes by – Tholang, Lote, Shansa, Phura, Jahalman, Mooning, Thirot.
Looks like today is a wedding day – many groups of people congregate in fine village costumes, awaiting the bus.

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BolBolero
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Good day to get married.
Lots of people in wedding finery across many of the villages we passed by.
In hindsight, we should have stopped and taken some portraits.
Schools, apple trees, palatial houses.
Imagine this economy – cut off from the rest of the world for nearly 6 months every year as the snows blockade the only roads out of the Lahaul Valley. They have no way out but to take a chopper. Tempeatures dip down to the Minus 30s in these parts too.
So many health centres & hospitals, they have to be self-sufficient during the bitter winters, if you fall ill…..

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Road runs along the River Chandra Bhaga winding with its course.

Sometimes there is lots of slush & some water crossings.

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Occasionally, there are some lovely bridges like these. Quite a red contrast to the alpine greens around us.

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It is turning out to be the prettiest part of the drive so far – bewitching greenery, panoramic views & the violence of the water flow in the river way below in the valley.

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The River Chandra Bhaga – remember Kunzum la, forgotten Chandra Tal?
The “Chandra” part starts in Chandra Tal which is watered by the snows melting from the mountains around it, including the Kunzum la.
It is the Chandra we followed from Kunzum la to Tandi via Batal, Chota Dara, Chhatru, Gramphoo, Kokhsar to Tandi.
The “Bhaga” starts near Baralacha la and that is the one we followed via Darcha, Jispa & Keylong.
Both these exciting rivers have a sangam at Tandi (not just a petrol pump, you know), and then they go on as the “Chandra Bhaga”.
That is not the end of the story. They go on to Kishtawar in Kashmir & then become part of the Chenab River!
Today, the River Chandra Bhaga will keep us company till Khillar.


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Not a single inch of land is wasted, cultivated with grain & vegetables.
Across the river are also many small villages perched up on the precarious mountain tops………..

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HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)-img_1507-2.jpg




…and one of them is the Triloknath temple, which is very famous in these parts, one of the presiding deities in the Lahaul Valley.


It is 810 am and we have driven 50 kms in the last 2 hours, not bad at all.
The sun has still not come out and the air is heavy with dew, and the cattle are not yet out to graze in the meadows.
And the clouds are lazily drifting down to touch the tarmac.

There is a bend in the river and here comes Udeypur, the largest town in this entire circuit.

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Quote:
BolBolero
says

Road not so bad at this point in time, some water crossings though.
Mumbai Roadsters were having a tough time keeping pace with the Chief’s Scorpio.

Scenery more than compensated for the lack of tarred roads.
Beautiful! Picturesque villages, Chandra Bhaga flowing tempestuously.
Maybe we should spend some time on our next sojourn.

If this is the condition of the roads, this is going to be one of those lovely drives. Complaints about bad roads, anyone?
All photos used in this post are from the albums of Lalu KS, KSM-vTEC, SSj

Last edited by hvkumar : 2nd March 2012 at 10:51.
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Old 2nd March 2012, 11:28   #1836
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

One of the benefits of having a large team with multiple vehicles is the ability to take more calculated risks than being on your own, even then attempting Sach Pass in the Swifts at the end of such a long and difficult trip is foolhardy. But it is also such foolhardiness that opens up less travelled and difficult roads (Manali-Leh used to be one such road years ago) for lesser vehicles.

That said, it really takes some courage to take the Swifts there and it is a testament to the vehicle. Yes, it has the legendary phantom rattle problem and space is lax, but it is one tough well-built car. The fact that two cars made it without any problems so far also says a lot about the drivers, they've done an exceptional job. Hats off to them and to the 300K HVK Scorpio.

I actually don't like Keylong much. It is rapidly turning out to be one of those dirty crowded Himachali towns and it gets worse every year. But after the horrors or Rohtang or Spiti it is a welcome sight.
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Old 2nd March 2012, 11:44   #1837
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

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Originally Posted by codelust View Post
I actually don't like Keylong much. It is rapidly turning out to be one of those dirty crowded Himachali towns and it gets worse every year. But after the horrors or Rohtang or Spiti it is a welcome sight.
Keylong - oasis in a desert after the desert of Ladakh & battering of Rohtang/ Spiti

Keylong - great HPTDC Hotel Chandra bhaga, location & hospitality

Keylong - Wah, Tandi petrol pump after driving 350 kms from Leh side without one

Keylong - at last a garage to do some welding or buy distilled water!

Luckily, I have not gone into the narrow allies of the Keylong town since the year 2003, always preferring to take the bypass over the top of the town. I am told that the hotels inside Keylong town are nothing great.
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Old 2nd March 2012, 12:34   #1838
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

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Originally Posted by codelust View Post
One of the benefits of having a large team with multiple vehicles is the ability to take more calculated risks than being on your own, even then attempting Sach Pass in the Swifts at the end of such a long and difficult trip is foolhardy. But it is also such foolhardiness that opens up less travelled and difficult roads (Manali-Leh used to be one such road years ago) for lesser vehicles.

That said, it really takes some courage to take the Swifts there and it is a testament to the vehicle. Yes, it has the legendary phantom rattle problem and space is lax, but it is one tough well-built car. The fact that two cars made it without any problems so far also says a lot about the drivers, they've done an exceptional job. Hats off to them and to the 300K HVK Scorpio.
Please do not come on to any conclusions yet, there is a lot that needs to unfold here before we really know exactly what support the swifts got and what did they really have for company?
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Old 2nd March 2012, 14:33   #1839
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

Quote:
Originally Posted by codelust View Post
One of the benefits of having a large team with multiple vehicles is the ability to take more calculated risks than being on your own, even then attempting Sach Pass in the Swifts at the end of such a long and difficult trip is foolhardy. But it is also such foolhardiness that opens up less travelled and difficult roads (Manali-Leh used to be one such road years ago) for lesser vehicles.
Quote:
Originally Posted by doctorque View Post
Please do not come on to any conclusions yet, there is a lot that needs to unfold here before we really know exactly what support the swifts got and what did they really have for company?

Sometimes such adverse conditions can force a team to split...just like the previous day of this trip when we were at Debring.

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Old 2nd March 2012, 18:53   #1840
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

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Originally Posted by doctorque View Post
Please do not come on to any conclusions yet, there is a lot that needs to unfold here before we really know exactly what support the swifts got and what did they really have for company?
Quote:
Originally Posted by KSM-Vtec View Post
Sometimes such adverse conditions can force a team to split...just like the previous day of this trip when we were at Debring.
Ah, OK. I made the assumption that, like the previous episodes of troubles, the team would prevail over adversity.

With that hint the stage gets set even more dramatically for the pass over Sach Pass. Do update soon
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Old 2nd March 2012, 20:44   #1841
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

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Originally Posted by KSM-Vtec View Post
Sometimes such adverse conditions can force a team to split...just like the previous day of this trip when we were at Debring.
I could not come to terms with that scenario, even today. I felt so helpless since there was nothing much I could do to help.

I was silent for the rest of the day, till...
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Old 3rd March 2012, 12:59   #1842
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Udeypur is a small town, but the largest in this circuit. It looked very clearly a 1-street town, I did not see any big hotels, but saw some small signs indicating a couple of lodges. There may be some small workshops but largely assume that there are no facilities here. You have the usual grocery stores. Mobile connectivity is good. Being a place cut off from the rest of the world during winter, I saw some hospitals.
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Old 3rd March 2012, 15:48   #1843
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

Day 21
1st September 2011
Key Long - Sach Pass - Chamba

We drove towards the unknown territories

River ChadraBhaga gave us company
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Greenery all around
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Udeypur - Kullu Bus service
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This lady was not amused at seeing our vehicles - Which made me think is it just a hype?
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This doesn't look all that bad!
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We drove on
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continued...
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Old 3rd March 2012, 15:57   #1844
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

Day 21
1st September 2011
Key Long - Sach Pass - Chamba

Swifts following
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BolBolero
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Road ahead
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Fairy Tale Granny
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Lovely Bridge
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Some Bridge photo shoot with our drives
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Udeypur Territory starts
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Convoy regrouped
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continued...
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Old 3rd March 2012, 16:08   #1845
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

Day 21
1st September 2011
Key Long - Sach Pass - Chamba

Mountains
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Chadrabhaga
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Convoy far away
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All green
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Another bridge
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Gushing Stream
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Private Investment - Wow, a Hydel Plant
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continued...
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