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Old 28th March 2012, 13:05   #2041
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

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Originally Posted by Sunney View Post
Some knowledge for me.
Was seriously decided to fix fog lamps prior to my drive to Uttarkhand, mostly same route.
But when you experienced advise no use, at those foggy highs, where it is supposed to be useful: dont like to waste few 1000s.
With the kind of roads you have to drive around in the Himalayan region, the first casualty will be the fog lamps. The only occasion I ever tried yellow fog lamps was during my Matiz's North East drive in 2001. First, the yellow light provoked an elephant to charge at me near Alipurduar, then the lights themselves fell off during the bashing the car took in some bad sections.

Ask J E E P C A P T A I N, he lost his Bolero's fog lamps during this Ladakh trip.
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Old 29th March 2012, 12:10   #2042
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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
With the kind of roads you have to drive around in the Himalayan region, the first casualty will be the fog lamps. The only occasion I ever tried yellow fog lamps was during my Matiz's North East drive in 2001. First, the yellow light provoked an elephant to charge at me near Alipurduar, then the lights themselves fell off during the bashing the car took in some bad sections.

Ask J E E P C A P T A I N, he lost his Bolero's fog lamps during this Ladakh trip.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunney View Post
Some knowledge for me.
Was seriously decided to fix fog lamps prior to my drive to Uttarkhand, mostly same route.
But when you experienced advise no use, at those foggy highs, where it is supposed to be useful: dont like to waste few 1000s.

Where you mount the lamps makes a huge difference.

It has to be high enough from the ground and should not add to your overhang.

So in most OTR vehicles you will see that these lights are above the bumper for sure. (The bumper of an OTR vehicle is anyway higher than a road cars bumper to start with)

So the higher the lights are the safer they are.

On JC's Bolero the lights were mounted on the Bumper Guard rods. So the vibration would get magnified and shake the lights so much that the mounts became loose and broke. Knowing JC's busy schedule i am sure it would have been only a temporary last moment plan to fix the lights on the guard.

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The lights i had on my Gypsy were mounted on bracket which was fixed on the frame behind the front grill. The bracket was also closely supported by the bonnet and the metal section above the radiator grill. So the vibration was very low and they were high and safe.

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Old 29th March 2012, 12:19   #2043
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

Informative...
Method of fixing apart, my crucial question is, if Fog lamps of any kind are useful in foggy destinations to improve view at all.

As per HVK, it is no good(as I understand he said).

If at all not much use than 'cosmetic value', why bother to fix them first hand?

Last edited by Sunney : 29th March 2012 at 12:20. Reason: to prune
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Old 29th March 2012, 12:37   #2044
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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 1, 2011, Keylong-Chamba, 341 kms

Chamba Valley, 700-830 pm





The slush was terrible. In some places, the car was wobbling and trawling through rivers of mud.

Continuously, I could hear the water splashing under the car and the whiplash sound, not to miss out all the bashing the side steps and tyres took against the boulders.

I was driving like a maniac to keep up the momentum, nonetheless, speeds rarely exceeded 30 kmph. I simply let the car take the curves, almost in automated mode.

As we came down, the fog cleared and the headlights became effective, and by 715 pm we were below 3000 mtrs and descending into heavily-wooded jungles. We were looking forward to reaching Bhairavgarh, a relief from this unceasing madness that we had faced since we had left KHillar 6 hours ago!
.
I repeated my question to bull dozer driver – is it tar road from Bhairavgarh to Chamba?


Bhairavgarh – 2100 mtrs, 745 pm
The bulldozer guy gets off, he is looking relieved
Bhairavgarh itself is a 10-hut village which mercifully has some sort of PWD rest house, but nothing else beyond being a whistle stop for the Maxx taxis carrying their passengers to and fro Khillar & Chamba.
We decided not to stay here, but go on to Chamba which was now only 90 kms away

The road improves a lot, speeds increase to 30-40 kmph.

Mobile! We get connectivity, first time after Udeypur!
We immediately dialed the Mumbai Roadsters, but one after the other, none worked – as expected, since Khillar had only BSNL and none of them had a BSNL phone.
So we concluded they were in Khillar – and not back in Keylong, which had all networks.......

Next on the agenda was hotel acco in Chamba. You cannot arrive at midnight somewhere & expect to get food & board.
Grasping the limited connectivity that we got there, I called up HPTDC Chamba (I usually have details of all hotels en route in my detailed route plan prepared before the trip, hence I knew what number to call)
My usual style is to call up hotels 2-3 hours before scheduled arrival time.
We knew that we would not reach before 10 or 11, but I had to tell them that I was closer to Chamba than we really were. But the friendly hotel guy was good, he confirmed our 2 double rooms. Since the kitchen would be closed before we arrived. So we placed the order for dinner too, to be cooked and kept in our room so that we could have it on arrival.
Chappathis.
Baji.
Dal.
Rice.

So that was one thing out of the way, at least we will not have to starve. Remember we had had nothing to eat except that one roti at Tindi – at 11 in the morning,although I guess the cuppa tea we had at Bhagotu CP may have helped.

2 kms out of Bhairavgarh, I made my first mistake of the day, which I realised almost immediately – the “good” road suddenly became bad and the road started going up – and I knew we should be going down

But then I don't say die so fast and I kept going (what else could I do?) – behind me, BolBolero was also vaguely unhappy, but following without question (the Boss knows Best Principle). Road kept climbing and condition became worse. Lots of water in the road. Lots of mud. Water splashing all over the place. Almost as though we were in some water park!

But what do we do? No signages. No landmarks. No one around to ask. In between we went through a waterfall too. This was definitely not the road to Chamba!

10 kms we went on that road. Turn back and find what? I hoped, at least if we go forward, we could find some signage or landmark which could tell us where we were. But it was becoming more and more deep jungle. My Garmin GPS was already very tired and switched off, so I had no idea of even finding out which direction we were going – at least we hoped we were not going back to Sach Pass via a different route!

Finally, I ran into some major slushy ground in a grove of trees and found some space to turn the car which I did, not much to the surprise of BolBolero who was thunderstruck by the trend in proceedings! Tough turning there, all mud, no light

On the way back, we were peering down the darkness into what we imagined the Valley to be to sight any lights indicating human settlements and the road which we seemed to have missed somewhere after Bhairavgarh. No such luck, the countryside was ink-dark. We saw some wild dog (or fox/ wold/wild cat) which had chased us sometime before. At last, there was this house with some lights lit up and human beings inside, so I got off and asked them, and they confirmed that we were on the wrong road but to our relief the correct road was not too far off.

At last, 835 pm, we could see some lights and sighed in relief at getting back to the right road. We realised that at one point 2-3 kms from Bhairavgarh, the Chamba road curved sharply to the right, but there was a road to the straight which was going to Devikote – and that is the mistake we made.

Despite all the frustration of losing almost 1 hour in time, we continued to be cheerful - I am a great one at anecdotes, have a story for every situation, a joke at every adversity & some morals around every predicament, and Lalu was the hapless recipient of some of the juiciest ones during this Sach Pass-Chamba drive.

And yes, we are still going and going on........Chamba bahut door hain!!

Last edited by hvkumar : 29th March 2012 at 13:04.
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Old 29th March 2012, 13:56   #2045
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

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Despite all the frustration of losing almost 1 hour in time, we continued to be cheerful - I am a great one at anecdotes, have a story for every situation, a joke at every adversity & some morals around every predicament, and Lalu was the hapless recipient of some of the juiciest ones during this Sach Pass-Chamba drive.

And yes, we are still going and going on........Chamba bahut door hain!!
And once again I concluded HVK Scorpio always goes straight ahead, and we better dare not question the Chief
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Old 29th March 2012, 16:11   #2046
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunney View Post
Informative...
Method of fixing apart, my crucial question is, if Fog lamps of any kind are useful in foggy destinations to improve view at all.

As per HVK, it is no good(as I understand he said).

If at all not much use than 'cosmetic value', why bother to fix them first hand?

I think if you get the right set it should be of some use. it may not improve visibility drastically but it should help.
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Old 30th March 2012, 09:50   #2047
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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 1, 2011, Keylong-Chamba, 341 kms

Reaching Chamba, 830-1100 pm


Getting Lost. Finding the right way. 20 more kms, 1 more hour lost needlessly.

By 835 pm, we were on the road to Chamba. We had 100 more kms to go.
2000 mtrs – that is the lowest we have come down in so many days, and soon the heat of the plains will hit us. We look back into the darkness of the mountains with regret that the best part of our Himalayan drive is over, and hereon it is going to be a long journey back home.

The road is much better, lots of tar too for a change, not just slush & dirt track. Descent is gradual, no more steep cliffs and slopes. Or maybe there were.....except that we could not see anything beyond the road ahead!

Lots of towns listed on this route, but in the darkness, we could not decipher any. I stopped log-booking, preferring to concentrate on driving in these narrow roads, since I could not see anything outside anyway.

I took a handsome lead over the Bolero, which was lagging long behind. Calling him from time to time to ascertain his position since we could not visually sight him. Ultimately, I decided to speed away since it was becoming difficult to keep stopping for him to catch up. It was a straight road anyway to Chamba, no surprises or scope for confusion. And we knew if we get there faster, the chappathis & baji will be that much warmer too

The HPTDC guy called up in between wondering why we had not reached yet, so we had to give him some more confidence that we were only 30 kms away when we were actually 3 times more that! He himself predicted that we would take x hours to reach, so that was OK. HPTDC guys are very friendly, no denying that.

I was speeding now, crossing 40 kmph for the first time this day.
Some traffic too at last, mostly Bolero pick ups
Needless to say, if anyone is the tea-quaffing types, he will get nothing on this route during this time too.
No signboards, so I asked "Gramins" the way to Chamba, which was correct.
Tissa at 935 pm.
Nakrod & Madhuwad.
Some huge power project, lights all over the place, could not even find out which one.

At exactly 11 pm, we crossed the Ravi River bridge and entered Chamba. The town looks so different from the small place I first saw in the year 2000.

340 kms, 17 hours, average speed 20 kmph.

I am a great fan of HPTDC hotels and the HPTDC Iravati Hotel did not disappoint. The receptionist was ready for us, the rooms were clean and the food was already arranged in the table. Running hot water in the tap. What more can you ask for?

As we 4 assembled in BolBolero's room to have our well-deserved dinner, my mobile rang...........I said, O M G, O M G "What are you saying?" - and the group fell silent when I told them what had transpired.......we were all too shell-shocked, this was too much after such a long gruelling day
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Old 30th March 2012, 10:22   #2048
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

HVK Scorpio, Log Book Of Keylong-chamba

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Old 30th March 2012, 11:14   #2049
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C'mon, what happened?
You stopped at such a juncture a la Bollywood action thriller style, keeping us trembling?

Roti bhaji kutha kha gaya kya?
What worst misfortune than this to happen now?
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Old 30th March 2012, 12:08   #2050
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After checking into the hotel, I switched on my mobile only to receive an SMS. I almost fainted reading it. I sat there looking into that message for a long long time...speechless
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Old 30th March 2012, 12:30   #2051
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Hope, though gives an impression of something bad somewhere, this turns good once when the suspense is unveiled.
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Old 30th March 2012, 13:09   #2052
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

Following this thread is now like reading a suspense thriller. A new episode is turning up with every new post.
I used to appreciate H V Kumar's driving skills & Laluks' photography skills, but now it seems we will have to sincerely appreciate their writing skills. They have really made us remain hooked to this thread for latest update. This not only because of the great photos & information, but also because of the write-up that they have presented for each episode of the tour.

C'mon H V Kumar & Laluks, let us know quickly what was the bad news?

Was it somehing with BolBolero? Did his Bolero break-down somewhere on the road?

Thanks,

Last edited by Jignesh : 30th March 2012 at 13:11. Reason: spelling check
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Old 30th March 2012, 13:16   #2053
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

Come on HVK, don't stop now. Since your Sach Pass adventure leg started in this travelogue, I am checking this thread 5/6 time daily. Don't prolong the suspense now. Please post the next chapter of this leg at the earliest.
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Old 30th March 2012, 13:23   #2054
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If I can guess it right, the shock was that The Swifts had just crossed Sach Pass too.
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Old 30th March 2012, 14:23   #2055
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

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If I can guess it right, the shock was that The Swifts had just crossed Sach Pass too.
Even I guess the same. There could be nothing more shocking than this .
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