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Old 13th October 2011, 23:41   #436
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

Day 05
16th August 2011
Pooh - Kaaza

The roads ahead

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The bridge to Pin Valley, which we will take in the next days
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Some scenery enroute
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We reached Sichling by 16:00hrs.
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Population of just 87
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The road to Dhankar Gompa, which we will take in the next days. Please note the 8 auspicious symbols on the entrance gate
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continued...
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Old 13th October 2011, 23:59   #437
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

Day 05
16th August 2011
Pooh - Kaaza

The road ahead
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Colourful Mountains
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Some beautiful views en route
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We stop again
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Some views of the place where we stopped

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We move on - the roads ahead

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AP Swift always with HVK Scorpio

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We can go to Komic via Kakti, 13 Kilometers
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We reached Kaaza by 17:00hrs.
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We can go to Komik via Langza, 26 Kilometers. We will take this route in the next days
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The distances from Kaaza ahead
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We reached Hotel Spiti Sarai by 17:30hrs. HVK did some hard negotiations and got a good rate. Once that was settled and luggage unloaded to the room, I went for a walk around the place.


continued...
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Old 14th October 2011, 00:12   #438
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

Day 05
16th August 2011
Pooh - Kaaza

Since I had all the time to walk around with out the botheration of keeping any time to return or start, I took the zoom lenses with me to click Kee Monastery from a distance. Kee Monastery is atleast 12 Kilometers away by road!!

Kee Monastery - in various hues due to the setting sun
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Kee Monastery
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A Mountain

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Glowing in the setting sun's rays
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The setting sun colours the place
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Another Golden peak
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By 18:30hrs returned back to the hotel and freshened up. By 19:30 sat down with Jeep Captain, VB, NJ and TS for a good chat and getting to know each other well. By 21:00 had a beautiful dinner and retired for the night. For once I was happy since I need not get up early to travel the next day. Sleep came within no time....
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Old 14th October 2011, 09:37   #439
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What next, was the question on everyone's minds. The Spiti Valley is a nice place, but then we are just 7 days into the trip and we have another 17 to go! How are we going to get out of this place?

(BTW, all photos that follow are from the albums of VE and SPK of the Bolero Stinger team)

Our first hint that the roads beyond Kaza were closed had come when we received a SMS - followed by a call - from Ramkya1 when we were in Kinnaur Valley itself, alerting us that there had been heavy snowfall and roads were completely closed indefinitely. He constantly monitored the news and kept briefing us, since we had no access to news on what was happening in the outside world since we were in transit. Thanks a great deal, Ramky!

Here is the Bolero Stinger at the snow-bound Kunzum la

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On reaching Kaza, the news that we gathered after talking to many sources was:

The snowfall that occurred a few days ago brought all traffic movement to a total halt.
Kunzum la was under 3 feet+ snow, and the roads on both sides were not motorable.

The roads descending from Kunzum la
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Once they cleared Kunzum la, they moved on to Batal - which was the epicentre of the landslides, and the dhaaba there was the refuge for several motorists and trekkers who were stranded.

VE in deep contemplation at the Batal Dhaaba
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Once the roads around Batal were cleared, the centre of action shifted to Chota Dhara which had seen the worst of the landslides. Some deaths had also occurred there.

The "road" under rocks and water
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In the meantime....
I was calling up the taxi union chief's mobile number every day.
I stopped every taxi driver coming in from the Kunzum la side.
I sauntered across to the taxi stand to poll views of the taxi drivers loitering around there.
Jamaica of the Tashi Delek Guest House was keeping tab of the situation by calling up the dhaaba at Batal, which was at the centre of the action.
I met a Safari guy from Delhi in the bazaar, he had just come in from the Manali side after having been stranded for 2 days between Chota Dhara & Kunzum la (at Batala).
Another guy - a Swift from Delhi - actually did a reccee and drove upto the point where the road was open, concluded that his car could not take it any farther and returned to Kaza and went back via Shimla.

The Bolero Stinger decided to go on ahead of Kaza, and we received an useful update from him that several sections were affected by land slides, snow fall and water crossings, but the bull-dozers were on the job and making steady progress. It so happened that initially Bolero Stinger gang stayed at Losar and it helped that the bull dozers were from Losar PWD itself.

Road clearing work somewhere in Chota Dhara area, with the Bolero Stinger looking on
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akaush was tapping some governmental sources for authentic info on the progress with clearing the roads.

We heard both positive and negative news. I knew form past expereince that the Lahaul-Spiti Valley has some of the toughest terrains in the entire HImalayan region. Moreover, the Kaza-Kunzum la-Gramphoo road is maintained by the HP PWD DEpartment and not the BRO, and they were not as good as the army.

The oasis of Chota Dara, the "big" outpost of 2 buildings
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Thus, our wait continued in Kaza......

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Last edited by hvkumar : 14th October 2011 at 09:38.
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Old 14th October 2011, 09:50   #440
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

@HVK - Did we try this route to Komik? I guess this is still under construction.
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As I understand we took the route via Langza up and down, which was 26KM one way. The other route claims to be 13KM.

Last edited by laluks : 14th October 2011 at 09:52.
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Old 14th October 2011, 09:56   #441
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

Quote:
Originally Posted by laluks View Post
@HVK - Did we try this route to Komik?
Attachment 826567

As I understand we took the route via Langza up and down, which was 26KM one way. The other route claims to be 13KM.
No, I asked around, apparently this road to KOmik via Kakti is still being constructed and not yet ready.

I went via Langza and returned via Hikkim.

Kaza-Langza 15 kms-Komik Gompa 9-Hikkim 3-Kaza 9
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Old 14th October 2011, 11:28   #442
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IPHE Team,

Had you published this travelogue immediately after your return, I am sure that the Leh region would have witnessed visitors flood in the month of September 2011. But anyways you guys are preparing thousands (members + guests) of visitors for 2012 and may be responsible for traffic jams in 2012 (I can feel that).

@HVK Sir - Although I was not a part of your team starting 12th August but I am a part of your team since 12th September. Apologies for the 1 month delay!

@Laluks - There is a noticeable difference in your clicks this year. Simply Amazing and Superb !!

@KSM-Vtec, @BolBolero, @JeepCaptain, @Akaush & others - Good photographs with great Narration of the daily routine and other incidents (like lady captain!). You guys have made us feel that we are also with you.


Great Going!

Cheers!
Irish

Last edited by Irish : 14th October 2011 at 11:29.
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Old 14th October 2011, 11:40   #443
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Irish View Post
IPHE Team,

Had you published this travelogue immediately after your return, I am sure that the Leh region would have witnessed visitors flood in the month of September 2011. But anyways you guys are preparing thousands (members + guests) of visitors for 2012 and may be responsible for traffic jams in 2012 (I can feel that)[b].
Irish, by the time we are through with this TL, we should look at halving the traffic to Ladakh next year - as and when all the hardships, tribulations, etc get written about in the coming pages! Or some disclosures regarding our vehicle repair bills
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Old 14th October 2011, 23:44   #444
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

Final reminders to the Team before leaving their home bases:

1. Carry your vehicle documents in original – check PUC, Insurance
2. Driving License
3. Personal IDs
4. Your mobile charger
5. List of contact numbers of those travelling with you
6. Cash of at least Rs 25,000
7. Extra fuel can
8. Car helpline numbers
9. Food & Drink
10. Diamox tablets
11. Spare batteries for devices
12. Gunny Bag & newspapers for insulation
13. Yellow stickers in your car right side headlamps
14. Spare Car Keys
15. Remove sun film beyond tolerance limits
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Old 15th October 2011, 00:02   #445
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
Final reminders to the Team before leaving their home bases:

1. Carry your vehicle documents in original – check PUC, Insurance
2. Driving License
3. Personal IDs
4. Your mobile charger
5. List of contact numbers of those travelling with you
6. Cash of at least Rs 25,000
7. Extra fuel can
8. Car helpline numbers
9. Food & Drink
10. Diamox tablets
11. Spare batteries for devices
12. Gunny Bag & newspapers for insulation
13. Yellow stickers in your car right side headlamps
14. Spare Car Keys
15. Remove sun film beyond tolerance limits

What is the purpose of it ? I have seen on few of the cars from your group having it and no where in Ive seen it yet. Is that a rule kind of a thing in N India ?
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Old 15th October 2011, 00:04   #446
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Here is a collection of photos in Kinnaur & Spiti Valleys shot by TS:

Road descending from Malling Nullah towards Sumdo in Kinnaur Valley
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Sunset from out hotel Spiti Sarai near Kaza
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The Dhankar Gompa
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And here is a photograph by JP:

The Spiti River at Kaza, taken from the Komik-Kaza road
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Last edited by hvkumar : 15th October 2011 at 00:06.
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Old 15th October 2011, 00:10   #447
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13. Yellow stickers in your car right side headlamps

Quote:
Originally Posted by livyodream View Post
What is the purpose of it ? I have seen on few of the cars from your group having it and no where in Ive seen it yet. Is that a rule kind of a thing in N India ?
There is apparently some rule in Gujarat that all vehicles should have this yellow sticker in their right head lamps. Ostensibly to protect oncoming vehicles from glare!

Earlier, this used to be insisted upon in Punjab also.....and the disease appears t have spread to Rajasthan too.

This is the favourite ploy for cops to harass and extort money from out-of-state motorists when they find the car documents are all in order. It is a different matter that local cars get away with it!

Therefore, I started putting this sticker and thereafter I have not been harassed on this count.

The photo below was taken by TS, in the Zanskar Valley
Attached Thumbnails
HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)-305353_2533670387894_1437590672_2881977_264797917_n.jpg  


Last edited by hvkumar : 15th October 2011 at 00:17.
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Old 15th October 2011, 07:43   #448
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
Final reminders to the Team before leaving their home bases:

12. Gunny Bag & newspapers for insulation
One question bothering me. Here in USA where most of the country blanketed under snow most part of the year. Vehicles will be just left on the driveways or streets under snow. I have never seen anyone "sweatering" them and they just start at first attempt. What makes the difference in the cars from here to India?
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Old 15th October 2011, 08:12   #449
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Quote:
Originally Posted by idlebrain View Post
One question bothering me. Here in USA where most of the country blanketed under snow most part of the year. Vehicles will be just left on the driveways or streets under snow. I have never seen anyone "sweatering" them and they just start at first attempt. What makes the difference in the cars from here to India?
This "sweatering" is something commonly done by vehicle owners in the Himalayan states during winter - like in JK, UK and HP. It is meant to keep the engine bay warm insulated against cold winds and it works. In Ladakhi cold weather conditions (say, in Sep or Oct), most cars cannot start at first try, may take 5-10 attempts.
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Old 15th October 2011, 08:46   #450
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

What wonderful pictures? Certainly my next long expedition is going to be leh.

Note from the Team-BHP Support Staff: Kindly remove images from original post if quoting a reply. This causes inconvenience to the dial-up users.

Last edited by Rudra Sen : 15th October 2011 at 10:03.
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