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Old 21st May 2012, 21:42   #2341
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

Day 23
3rd September 2011
Pathankot - Kishangad

After the midnight meet with IPHE team B, caught some few hours of sleep. Got up pretty early since HVK promised me that he will take me to the Golden Temple at Amritsar.

But as luck would have it, the battery played spoil sport. We took a long time to check it out. Finally we kind of jump started it from BolBolero's Bolero Battery.

HVK checking out the battery issue - You can see the entire convoy here now.
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Since it got so delayed, Golden Temple visit was cancelled.


Hotel Le Kingston where we stayed.
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The hotel is on the NH and is quite easy to find. I would not advise this for a family stay. Looked like a watering hole, and condoms were strewn all around in the bathrooms - for sure a shady place!!

There was a Touareg from Bhutan parked there
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Old 22nd May 2012, 13:06   #2342
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

Its really nice to read this log after a long time. Congrats to entire team though its close to a year now that the trip happened, for completing this amazing journey and also bringing it to us and making us feel like we were among the 13 who completed the entire Himalayan sector.
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Old 22nd May 2012, 13:33   #2343
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

Quote:
Originally Posted by laluks View Post
Day 23
3rd September 2011
Pathankot - Kishangad

After the midnight meet with IPHE team B, caught some few hours of sleep. Got up pretty early since HVK promised me that he will take me to the Golden Temple at Amritsar.

But as luck would have it, the battery played spoil sport. We took a long time to check it out. Finally we kind of jump started it from BolBolero's Bolero Battery.

HVK checking out the battery issue - You can see the entire convoy here now.
Attachment 930399

Since it got so delayed, Golden Temple visit was cancelled.
Yes, this was one of the "misses" of the trip - not being able to pray at the Golden Temple in Amritsar on the way back. Sorry, Lalu this was one of the disappointments for you in this trip (remember the sunset scene at Keylong?)

The battery problem!
I had resolved to leave as early as possible that morning to beat the annoying Pathankot-Amritsar NH15 traffic bottlenecks as well as have early morning visit to the Golden Temple before the rest of Amritsar woke up.
I come down & cranked the engine, it refused to start.
What! You may recall the problems I had been facing with my Scorpio's battery throughout Ladakh and I thought I had beaten the problem when I poured in distilled water into the battery at Keylong. The next day, the engine sprang into life at the first crank. Also at Chamba when we left the previous day. I had found that since the battery terminals were worn out (ever heard that? That is what happens in a Scorpio which has completed 3 lakh kms), I had to have an "insert" to hold it tight and conduct properly, which I did in the Mahindra service centre in Pathankot.
I opened up the hood and started fiddling with the "inserts" so that the terminal would hold tight & help the battery discharge full power. This lasted what - an hour or more? - and even the owner of Le KIngston sauntered in to find out if he could help (looks like he is also a roadie!).
Ultimately, I was saved by BolBolero who got up from his sleep looking for something and landed up in his Bolero and found a very frustrated me & an irritated Lalu unable to get the car going!
So here was our saviour again - back to using the Bolero's batteries to start my engine, which finally happened around 715 am, very late, beyond my planned time....and I started worrying about how much this delay would cost me the rest of the day...

It also reminded me of those olden-day ST buses whose engines were never switched off all day once they were started - much like the boiler of a steam locomotive - because they knew they could not start it again. I also became a vintage steam locomotive this day!

Last edited by hvkumar : 22nd May 2012 at 13:36.
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Old 22nd May 2012, 17:57   #2344
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
Yes, this was one of the "misses" of the trip - not being able to pray at the Golden Temple in Amritsar on the way back. Sorry, Lalu this was one of the disappointments for you in this trip (remember the sunset scene at Keylong?)
Golden Temple - I felt sad, that it was not happening. But I can always go back.

But the Sunset Scene was very disappointing. Had I got a chance to click that house on the cliff amidst the setting sun, it would have been one of the treasures for us. It was perfect setting, and such settings are rare. That was the reason why we both had that show down on the street

In our next trip, I'll make you drive me till there and wait till I click to glory, while you can get some power nap before we drive another few KM to stay at HPTDC for the night or much better Jispa for the night.
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Old 23rd May 2012, 00:06   #2345
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laluks View Post
Golden Temple - I felt sad, that it was not happening. But I can always go back.

But the Sunset Scene was very disappointing. Had I got a chance to click that house on the cliff amidst the setting sun, it would have been one of the treasures for us. It was perfect setting, and such settings are rare. That was the reason why we both had that show down on the street

In our next trip, I'll make you drive me till there and wait till I click to glory, while you can get some power nap before we drive another few KM to stay at HPTDC for the night or much better Jispa for the night.
Please explain: In Keylong where exactly is the location of the beautiful Sunset scene? (If you do not claim monopoly of the 'treasure' ). I may be going this August, will sure mail a copy of the shot...
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Old 23rd May 2012, 08:30   #2346
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunney View Post
Please explain: In Keylong where exactly is the location of the beautiful Sunset scene? (If you do not claim monopoly of the 'treasure' ). I may be going this August, will sure mail a copy of the shot...
Keylong town is surrounded on all sides by high mountains, some with snow tops. When we were entering Keylong bypass on our way to Leh on Aug 20, 2011, the sun was setting around 7 pm, and the fading light created magical light effects in the mountains (we were coming from Tandi petrol pump side). Lalu wanted to badly stop to get some spectacular shots, but....

- the road was very narrow at that point, there was no place to pull over, I would have caused a traffic snarl

- the rest of the team cars were following behind, had I stopped, they would have stopped too and the resulting melee of 15 enthusiastic photographers tumbling out of their cars would have caused more trouble in that road

- I was anxious that I should reach Jispa which was still over an hour's drive away - which was our destination for the night - and any delay (at least 10 minutes because of the stoppage, photography & reassembling in the cars) could have set us back in time.

It was indeed a very pretty scene, one of the loveliest sunsets we saw during the trip, and I am not surprised that Lalu is riling riling against me.

Do stay in HPTDC HOtel Chandrabhaga, Keylong. It is perched atop a hill overlooking the town, and the sunrise shots from there the next morning are something everyone should have in their album. During my 2009 trip, I took some great videos of the sun "gold-plating" the mountain tops, let me see how I can digitise it for all of you to see.
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Old 24th May 2012, 12:59   #2347
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For our long journey back home to Bombay, we had 2 route options, with 1 sub-option.

Route Option #1:
Going via Delhi & Jaipur
, on NH1 & NH8, the conventional route.
This would mean we go via Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Ambala, Delhi, Behror & Jaipur to Kishangarh.

That would mean we had to go through the most congested traffic corridor in North India, particularly with the roads between Jalandhar & Panipat being a mess due to road widening & a big time-killer. Theoretically, one could have done Pathankot-Delhi in say, 7 hours or so, but that is only by night, day traffic is annoying. Moreover, that would have also meant navigating NCR/Delhi which is not difficult, but can also sap time. The biggest hurdle on this route is the Delhi-Jaipur highway which has been quite a horror story thanks to road widening and can slow you down considerably.

Route Option #2:
Use the new Bhatinda-Kishangarh super highway
, via Amritsar, Faridkot, Bhatinda, Hanumangarh, Sardarshahr, Ratangad & Ladnun, bypassing both Delhi & Jaipur, besides driving through green green Punjab & yellow yellow Rajasthan, at very good speeds.

I had never been on this highway before, but people like dekhy & several friends had, and I had been recommending it myself as the fastest route connecting West & North India, particularly useful for those going to Kashmir or Ladakh.

This would also surely ensure that you are deep in Rajasthan by end of the day, if not more. And this was not yet a popular highway, so one could expect sparse traffic.

Route Option #2, Sub-Option:
Use the same new Bhatinda-Kishangarh super highway, but via Jalandhar
to Bhatinda

THis would mean you avoid Amritsar.

Pathankot-Amritsar was a sector to be worried about because it is a heavily-populated region and a dense traffic corridor, hence an early morning start was advocated so that the 100-odd kms could be driven in 2 hours, if not less.
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Old 24th May 2012, 17:54   #2348
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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
Sep 2, 2011, Chamba-Pathankot, 158 kms


Sep 3, 2011, Pathankot-Kishangarh, 877 kms

Good intentions to leave Pathankot early & reach Amritsar for a darshan at the Golden Temple evaporated as the Scorpio battery had its own mind that morning. Refused to give out power output, because the battery terminal was loose, and I had to put in "inserts" to clamp it tightly. But did not work, power output continued to be weak. Looking around for some metal "tukadas" - that ended up nowhere.

The owner of the Le KIngston was out there checking out what 2 guys - one looking extremely irritated & looking into the battery well, and the other clicking away some photos & keeping away from a bomb about to erupt! He also gave us some helpful hints, but obviously could not help much.

That is when BolBolero sauntered across the parking lot - looking for his toothbrush in his Bolero - and he almost backed out on seeing us fiddling with the battery, a sight he had got used to seeing all through the Ladakh trail. He must have thought - oh no, not again! But then he was welcomed with a lot of relief and the Bolero was parked side by side, and the Scorpio started with a roar. I was reminded of the olden-day ST buses which used to be started with just 2 bare wires being brought together to spark (in the absence of a switch or key!!) - and thereafter the engine kept running all day till it came back to rest for the night. So I also decided to follow the same principles since I knew I could not get a BolBolero every time I witched off the engine

The BolBolero team & Mumbai Roadsters team had decided to sleep more & leave late. The IPHE - B team with the Kerala Bolero and Baby Alto had arrived late anyway and obviously need to sleep more, and they were scheduled to leave much later that day. So only my Scorpio was leaving Pathankot now.

I had to gently break the news to Lalu that the delay caused by the obstinate battery meant that the Golden Temple could no more be part of the visit plan, and I could see that he was terribly displeased.

We started off from Pathankot at 725 am....
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Old 24th May 2012, 19:01   #2349
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

Day 23
3rd September 2011
Pathankot - Kishangad

We rolled out by 07:30Am

House?
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He is not bothered!
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Green Fields
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Pot Holed Roads are back
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Innovative idea
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Invention
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Colourful bikes
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Wagah and Amritsar is for another day
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We reached the toll road
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Somewhere here a Punjabi Cop was attracted by HVK's charm. He came running over and asked HVK for the papers. End Result - "Entry karo sirji".

continued...
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Old 24th May 2012, 19:12   #2350
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

Day 23
3rd September 2011
Pathankot - Kishangad

We move on
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Traffic Jams are back
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Nice Two Lane roads
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Sonalika
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Cycle Rikshaw
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Green Fields
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Punjab Ends, Enter Haryana
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Old 24th May 2012, 19:18   #2351
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

Day 23
3rd September 2011
Pathankot - Kishangad

Clicks of the two lane NH

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Old 24th May 2012, 19:27   #2352
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

Day 23
3rd September 2011
Pathankot - Kishangad

The two lane NH continues...
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Given the fuel hike - we need to seriously think about alternate modes
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HVK found a battery shop and switched of the engine for the first time today. He made them fit a small copper piece to make the contac alright with the battery terminal.

We were at 582 feet -
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Old 24th May 2012, 19:33   #2353
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

Day 23
3rd September 2011
Pathankot - Kishangad

Enter Registhaan
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It's a tough life
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Old 24th May 2012, 19:41   #2354
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

Day 23
3rd September 2011
Pathankot - Kishangad


More pictures from the two lane NH
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A deemed university
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Tuk Tuks
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Balcony Class
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continued...
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Old 24th May 2012, 19:49   #2355
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

Day 23
3rd September 2011
Pathankot - Kishangad


More pictures from the two lane NH

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We stopped at a level crossing. We saw the giant train approaching us. It was thundering and my heart was pounding with its engine. I stood there amazed and clicked her beauty - Guys just kidding. Just one picture
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