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Old 4th October 2011, 09:08   #286
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Default re: Humbleh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himacal Pradesh)

fantastic coverage Shibu, this is one hell of a travelogue
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Old 4th October 2011, 10:29   #287
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Nice photolog JC, keep them coming, finally got to see TS to complete the IPHE team
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Old 4th October 2011, 10:41   #288
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Quote:
Originally Posted by motomaverick View Post
Nice photolog JC, keep them coming, finally got to see TS to complete the IPHE team
IPHE team - this is the first part of the team, more members to come (.....and go too!).

TS managed to get his Inner Line Permits in the DC's Office at Recong Peo just before it shut down for the extended I-Day weekend. Formalities were simple enough, since he is a sole foreigner travelling without a conducted tour group, he has to personally appear at the office to get his permit. Ostensible purpose of the permit is to restrict foreigners from the "sensitive" border areas since between Akpa (check post) and Hurling (before Tabo), the China border is very close. Indian nationals don't need any permits, but we have to register ourselves at the Akpa Check Post some distance beyond Powari on the way to Pooh, and also register again at the Sumdo Check Post at the exit of Kinnaur Valley/entry to Spiti Valley.
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Old 4th October 2011, 11:52   #289
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fazalaliadil View Post
Shibu,

A very well done coverage of people, roads, terrain, life, landscapes and events in photographs. A comprehensive coverage.
The off roader in you could not be contained at that stream and you had to go in? Well I am not surprised.
Looking forward to more.
Regards,
Fazalsir , Thanks a lot. More to come from all of us. This is only 3 days of our 21 day Expedition.

Oh yeah I couldnt resist that stream. Infact that's a river called Baspa. It looks like a stream since its somewhere near its origin.


Quote:
Originally Posted by rkbharat View Post
fantastic coverage Shibu, this is one hell of a travelogue
rkbharat, Thanks a lot. This is gonna be mother of all travelogues here. How many have done a 12500 km Expedition from one end to the other end of India with 28 member team and some of the professional photographers like Lalu and TS. And which included 10 bhpians??


Quote:
Originally Posted by motomaverick View Post
Nice photolog JC, keep them coming, finally got to see TS to complete the IPHE team
motomaverick, Yes TS has just joined us. And you are going to see too much of him. I am glad to say from this day TS stole the show. He beat all of us in the team with his amazing knowledge of India and our landscapes and history and culture. This was his 9th trip to India and 4th to the Himalayas.


Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
IPHE team - this is the first part of the team, more members to come (.....and go too!).

TS managed to get his Inner Line Permits in the DC's Office at Recong Peo just before it shut down for the extended I-Day weekend. Formalities were simple enough, since he is a sole foreigner travelling without a conducted tour group, he has to personally appear at the office to get his permit. Ostensible purpose of the permit is to restrict foreigners from the "sensitive" border areas since between Akpa (check post) and Hurling (before Tabo), the China border is very close. Indian nationals don't need any permits, but we have to register ourselves at the Akpa Check Post some distance beyond Powari on the way to Pooh, and also register again at the Sumdo Check Post at the exit of Kinnaur Valley/entry to Spiti Valley.
HVK sir ,Thanks very much for making this happen. Without your contacts and network I dont thnk TS would have been able to reach Reckong Peo in exactly 24 hours after landing in Delhi Airport and get his Inner Line Permit just on time before the DC office was closed for 3 day long weekend due to Independence day.
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Old 4th October 2011, 12:05   #290
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeepCaptain View Post

Yes TS has just joined us. And you are going to see too much of him. I am glad to say from this day TS stole the show. He beat all of us in the team with his amazing knowledge of India and our landscapes and history and culture. This was his 9th trip to India and 4th to the Himalayas.
Invariably, joint sittings at dinner tables would descend into a quiz contest with TS playing the quizmaster and I playing his "scorer" and sometimes the spoilsport whenever I came up with the answers. So, I was relegated to the role of Obelix (of Asterix comic fame) being told all the time "No potion for you, Obelix" (because you fell into the magic pot when you were a kid, or whatever!) because the rest of the team got taken in by my pretending that I knew all the answers! Oh yes, this is one aspect of TS we got to know during the trip, more to come about this amazing person!
BTW, TS first visited Ladakh in 1976, when many of our parents had just left college!

Quote:
I dont thnk TS would have been able to reach Reckong Peo in exactly 24 hours after landing in Delhi Airport and get his Inner Line Permit just on time before the DC office was closed for 3 day long weekend due to Independence day.
For TS, that was quite a journey.
He hops off the plane from Europe at 7 am.
Smart enough to get a direct bus from airport to Chandigarh.
Switches to the only bus running from Chandigarh to Recong Peo, smart enough to get himself a seat through the night drive.
Arrives in Recong Peo by 9 am.
Runs to the DC's Office there and gets the permit.
WALKS 2 days separately 24 kms to Kalpa (and back too!).
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Old 4th October 2011, 12:14   #291
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Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
Invariably, joint sittings at dinner tables would descend into a quiz contest with TS playing the quizmaster and I playing his "scorer" and sometimes the spoilsport whenever I came up with the answers. So, I was relegated to the role of Obelix (of Asterix comic fame) being told all the time "No potion for you, Obelix" (because you fell into the magic pot when you were a kid, or whatever!) because the rest of the team got taken in by my pretending that I knew all the answers! Oh yes, this is one aspect of TS we got to know during the trip, more to come about this amazing person!
BTW, TS first visited Ladakh in 1976, when many of our parents had just left college!
1976? wow i was not even born then . Living in India and zero sourjons to the Himalayas and you have TS living in Europe already done 4 trips. Truely amazing. By the way if TS is a tbhp member then we would like to hear directly from the horse's mouth on this expedition.
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Old 4th October 2011, 12:17   #292
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Quote:
Originally Posted by motomaverick View Post
1976? wow i was not even born then . Living in India and zero sourjons to the Himalayas and you have TS living in Europe already done 4 trips. Truely amazing. By the way if TS is a tbhp member then we would like to hear directly from the horse's mouth on this expedition.
TS is not a tbhp member.
He has explored every part of India, and is a true Indophile. What he knows about India and the places he has been to will put most of us to shame that we have not seen or wonderful country
BTW, he has also visited around 80 countries, and seen some of the toughest parts of the world too such as Tibet, Chile, etc. A true globe-trotter!
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Old 4th October 2011, 12:35   #293
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Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
TS is not a tbhp member.
He has explored every part of India, and is a true Indophile. What he knows about India and the places he has been to will put most of us to shame that we have not seen or wonderful country
BTW, he has also visited around 80 countries, and seen some of the toughest parts of the world too such as Tibet, Chile, etc. A true globe-trotter!
No words would be enough to say about TS then, just one "Fantastic"

So we have the majority of the team at Pooh while Mumbai Roadsters at Tabo, gentlemen lets start your engines for the next portion, my popcorns are getting over
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Old 4th October 2011, 12:45   #294
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Originally Posted by motomaverick View Post
No words would be enough to say about TS then, just one "Fantastic"

So we have the majority of the team at Pooh while Mumbai Roadsters at Tabo, gentlemen lets start your engines for the next portion, my popcorns are getting over
motomaverick, Thanks for following us so closely. We promise, we will continue as fast as possible. You know this is probably the first and only relay travelogue where 9 bhpians are jointly writing one travelogue. And we are sitting in different latitudes and few in different coutries across different time zones. Plus all of us are working. So, please refill your popcorn be ready and we will be back with a big bang.
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Old 4th October 2011, 14:48   #295
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AUG 15

Drive from Chitkul to Pooh - Pics from NJ's Camera.



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JC & VB

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NJ Posing with the Tibetan Mounatains in the background.

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TS - So Happy & Relaxed to join the team finally.

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JP Trying to walk with my Crutches.

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TS Meeting rest of our team for the first time in Kinner Kailash.

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Lalu & JC

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Baby with his Alto (no_enthu_da)

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Akaush in his Innova

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AUG 15

Drive from Chitkul to Pooh

Pics from NJ's Camera Continues...


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That's all from NJ's Camera.

Over to you HVK , KSM VTec & Lalu for the rest of the Trip
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Old 4th October 2011, 14:58   #296
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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

Departure from Pooh was sharp 6 am, and the entire team was up and ready early morning. Getting a team of even cars out of the hotel gate is no easy task, but I guess the tonic of the "dangerous high-risk" roads ahead (as defined by "Captain" Gowri) propelled everyone out.

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The first 36 kms took us hardly 70 minutes with lots of photography thrown in. The roads were great tracing the pathway the River Sutlej was cutting through the cliffs but the greenery was fast disappearing.

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From 8375 feet at Pooh to 11900 feet at Nako makes it quite a climb - we knew that now that we were "air-borne", we were not going to back to lower altitudes for the next 15 days and we would only keep ascending!

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Nako (815 am) was fast asleep when we arrived there, we could not get even a cuppa tea.

After Nako, the landscape changes dramatically and the first challenge is the Malling Nullah, a water crossing which has a violent past history. Once upon a time, this sector used to be the worst landslide point in the NH22, with the road being closed down for months at a time - if I am not mistaken, in the year 2004 when I visited the Kinnaur Valley, it was closed for over a year too. But the BRO has done a commendable job here by realigning the road - making it climb up the hills instead of hugging the river banks - and you reach the height of 12,500 feet at Malling Nullah, now a benign point on the road. Water crossing there is, but that meant only taking a little more care so that none of the small cars hit their bottoms in the boulders that were sticking out.

That was the truck that had broken down because it could not climb up the last 50 metres to Malling Nullah.
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And that is our Bolero Stinger crossing Malling Nullah.
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Beyond Malling Nullah, you start seeing the sculptured mountain-sides which I am sure the ace photographers in our team will display to you in the next few threads. At Sumdo (1000 am), we say good bye to Kinnaur Valley, and greet the Spiti Valley, as we cross the bridges across the River Sutlej & Spiti, the River Sutlej guiding the NH22 to Kaurik on the China border (not permitted for civilians), and we stopping at the Check Post here for registration. TS, the lone foreigner in our group, also has to show his Inner Line Permit.

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Looking at the register, I see that the Mumbai Roadsters have crossed the check post the previous night at 835 pm, and now we are better informed than they as to our respective whereabouts!

In the usual fashion of the hills, we waited for around 30 minutes as an electric pole was being fixed on the road side, with traffic on both sides of the road being stopped. We passed the junction for Gue - a small Buddhist Village where they have preserved the 500-year mummy of a lama, something I would have loved ot visit, but they have stopped displaying it!

All along, our team had not even had a cuppa tea or food to eat, so at the first village - Hurling - we had a longish stop at around 11 am. The tea stall owner turned out to be an apple farmer and there followed a visit to his apple farm, and a meal of some delicious red and green apples.

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When we drove into the Spiti Valley, we also entered the Buddhist part of HImachal, so we see all over prayer flags, chortens and gompas.

We reached Tabo Gompa at 1245 pm, and spent a goodish time there going around both the old and new monasteries, but I guess what most of the famished members of the team remembered was the lunch at the small restaurant outside the gompa!

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By this time, we heard that the road ahead of Kaza (to Manali/Keylong, our subsequent leg) was closed indefinitely due to snowfall and consequent land slides and there was no saying when it would reopen. On hearing this, we altered our original plan to see Dhankar Gompa & Pin Valley on the way, now that we were not in a hurry, we decided to drive in a leisurely fashion direct to Kaza. The lensmen were not disappointed:

The mountain sides were terrifying enough - since stones were rolling down even as we drove past - in some sections.
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....but since the road wound its way along the banks of the River Spiti, there was the magic of waterscapes although the lack of greenery had already started making our eyes ache already

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We were in Kaza at 515 pm, and being the advance party I went towards Rangirik the next village, where we wanted to stay at the Spiti Sarai hotel, even as the other cars refuelled at the highest petrol pump in the world (at 3680 metres, the Kaza petrol pumps beats the Leh pump by 250 metres!).

After some stiff bargaining, we got ourselves some good rooms at Spiti Sarai hotel, and ended this day. Predictably, the hotel was empty and we snagged some good bargains on food & board that night.

Sunset from the hotel, with the Ke Gompa in the foreground.
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Note: All photos in this section are form the cameras of JP, TS and akaush.

Last edited by hvkumar : 4th October 2011 at 15:00.
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Old 4th October 2011, 15:05   #297
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AUG 15

Drive from Chitkul to Pooh

Pics from NJ's Camera Continues...


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That's all from NJ's Camera.

Over to you HVK , KSM VTec & Lalu for the rest of the Trip
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Old 4th October 2011, 16:45   #298
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Log Book of Aug 16, Pooh-Kaza Drive

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Old 4th October 2011, 17:10   #299
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WOW. Now the story has upshifted gear. JC (via NJ) and akaush, excellent pics. Knowing about TS's knowledge and love for India is really appreciable. Enjoying every bit of the story
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Old 4th October 2011, 17:32   #300
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wow . What a thread . These travelogs will be embedded for a life time .I am glued to this for some time now . Hope to go through the entire thread for the pictures . We have to say great planning by HVK & team . They have maintained travelogs of every day , every petrol pump , numbers and what not ???
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