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Old 24th October 2011, 17:07   #631
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Default HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

Day 5: Srinagar to Sonamarg 21st. August 2011

Not having a very long and arduous drive to undertake today, we decided to wake up a little late. The agenda was a little sightseeing around Srinagar in the first half of the day, pick up JeepCaptain around 2:00pm and then head towards Sonamarg!
I also received a call from RB early in the morning, who had left Amritsar and was hoping to catch up with us in Sonamarg by late evening!

Views from the Hotel room at Srinagar
HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)-img_2306.jpg
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Our Hotel Room
HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)-img_2318.jpg
^^^ Notice the fan in the corner. We actually had to use it in the night. It was really hot and sultry!

Police!
HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)-lake-police.jpg

Floating Post Office and Museum!
HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)-dsc06745.jpg
HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)-floating-mail.jpg

View of Dal Lake enroute to Shankaracharya Temple!
HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)-img_2321.jpg
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Waiting for Passengers!
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AR
HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)-img_2332.jpg
SSj
HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)-img_2333.jpg
^^^^ No it wasn't an uniform!
BolBolero
HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)-gautam-dal.jpg

Srinagar city from the road to Shankaracharya Temple.
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HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)-img_2341.jpg

Houseboats - Nowhere to go!
HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)-img_2349.jpg

Lone Shikara!
HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)-img_2353.jpg
HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)-img_2354.jpg

After visiting the Shankaracharya Temple and Hazratbal Shrine we returned back to the hotel by around 3:00 pm. Due to paucity of time couldn't visit the Moghal Gardens! As promised JeepCaptain landed at Srinagar Airport at around 2:15 pm and was directed towards Boulevard road, where we would pick him up for the onward journey to Sonamarg.

To be continued...
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Old 24th October 2011, 17:07   #632
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

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Originally Posted by BolBolero View Post

@akaush and JeepCaptain, I guess both of you must be sharing the same anguish that I am going through, not having done this wonderful drive from Kaza to Leh!

Sir, its not just the drive, I also missed the fun and fantastic team-work everyone has shown. I am hooked to this thread from here on to ensure I know everything about all places I need to cover the next time.

HVK Sir, Amazing narration of everything. Lets continue with the story. Also awaiting Laluks's photographs.
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Old 24th October 2011, 17:11   #633
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BolBolero,
I am going back next year to do this sector from Kaza to Leh via Kunzam La and back via Sach Pass. Anyone wants to joine me?
^^^^^^^
Do you have any doubts about my participation!
But promise me you will not run back to Cochin or wherever midway!

Last edited by BolBolero : 24th October 2011 at 17:16.
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Old 24th October 2011, 17:33   #634
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Originally Posted by BolBolero View Post
^^^^^^^
Do you have any doubts about my participation!
But promise me you will not run back to Cochin or wherever midway!
BolBolero, I have no doubts about your participation. Lets do it next year!
I promise I will not return to Cochin midway!
HVK Sir, Can we have the route plan and tentative dates for our Himalayan Odessey 2012! please.


Jokes apart, this Expedition was the result of months of planning and discussion by the IPHE team. But the end result was due to excellent execution under the leadership of HVK. I dont think anyone otherthan HVK sir could have pull this team from so many difficult situations and completed the Expedition on time as per our plan eventhough we missed 4 days in Kaza. His experience from previous expeditions, unlimited knowledge of the terrain and countess contacts.. all these helped us a lot in this IPHE 2011.


Hats off to you HVK Sir! You are a true leader and role model for many of us. Looking forward for many more such Expeditions with you
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Old 24th October 2011, 19:18   #635
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I salute each and every one of you guys who first showed the courage to go on such a tough journey and then cover it up so beautifully for all of us. I was getting bored yesterday evening and was hoping the Yeti gives us one of his travel blogs when I happened to see this thread and clicked. Less then 24 hours away I have covered it totally from page 1 to page 43 and now eagerly waiting for more updates asap. You guys have done a commendable job and I absolutely found it thrilling to read the whole story from each and every guys view right from there starting of the journey to the problems they faced. A very very unique way I must say. Kudos!

Just wanted to promise you guys that you will see me in your convoy for sure in the next 3 years.
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Old 24th October 2011, 19:35   #636
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Default HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

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Originally Posted by akaush View Post
Sir, its not just the drive, I also missed the fun and fantastic team-work everyone has shown. I am hooked to this thread from here on to ensure I know everything about all places I need to cover the next time.
^^^^^^
Have to agree with you on this one!
Was sad couldn't meet all the guys who started out from Delhi/ Kerala/ Hyderabad/ Ahmedabad/ Dehradun/ Etc.
Imagine what a convoy it would have been with the full complement of Cars and People!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by JeepCaptain View Post
Jokes apart, this Expedition was the result of months of planning and discussion by the IPHE team. But the end result was due to excellent execution under the leadership of HVK. I dont think anyone otherthan HVK sir could have pull this team from so many difficult situations and completed the Expedition on time as per our plan eventhough we missed 4 days in Kaza. His experience from previous expeditions, unlimited knowledge of the terrain and countess contacts.. all these helped us a lot in this IPHE 2011.
Hats off to you HVK Sir! You are a true leader and role model for many of us. Looking forward for many more such Expeditions with you
^^^^^^ +1 JeepCaptain!
@HVK, Sir once again a big thank you and a bigger round of applause on behalf of all the members of IPHE!
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Old 25th October 2011, 01:36   #637
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Day 5: Srinagar to Sonamarg 21st. August 2011.

Having returned to the hotel by 3:00 pm, we were just in time to pick up JeepCaptain from Boulevard Road. After a round of introductions, we were on our way to Sonamarg by around 3:15 pm.

A village along the banks of a river on the way to Sonamarg
HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)-img_2375.jpg
HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)-img_2377.jpg

First view of Snow in the Mountains!
HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)-img_2393.jpg
HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)-img_2394.jpg

A house - What wouldn't I give to have a place like this!
HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)-img_2408.jpg

SSj, JeepCaptain & AR
HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)-img_2426.jpg

SSj, JeepCaptain & BolBolero. What's so Funny?
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HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)-img_2448.jpg

JeepCaptain, BolBolero - Leh is still quite some distance away! Luckily we have to just reach Sonamarg!
HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)-img_2453.jpg

AR & SSj
HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)-img_2454.jpg

BolBolero, AR & SSj
HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)-img_2455.jpg

JeepCaptain in a very contemplative mood!
HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)-img_2461.jpg

We reached Sonamarg at around 7:30 pm. and finally settled into Hotel Royal on the main Srinagar-Leh Road.

Distance covered including the drive upto the Shankaracharya Temple and Hazratbal Shrine: 153 kms.


to be continued...
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Old 25th October 2011, 08:27   #638
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I have no adjectives here to write, as they have all be written and more than once!
To me the human spirit; youngest to the oldest comes out as the best of all.
(Driving just happens to take the back seat!)

@no_enthu_da in all the snaps I see of yours; always in shorts whether its sun or snow! Wow!


- Any issues on Petrol bunks on the Himachal side? Was it easy to get?
- Any plans of to do anything to resurrect the roads on the Himachal loop by the Govt?
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Old 25th October 2011, 08:36   #639
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- Any issues on Petrol bunks on the Himachal side? Was it easy to get?
- Any plans of to do anything to resurrect the roads on the Himachal loop by the Govt?
No, we did not face any problems with refuelling in HP, whether in the Kinnaur Valley, Spiti or Lahaul. We refuelled at Powari (the last pump before Kaza), Kaza & Tandi. On earlier occasions, I have faced fuel shortages where petrol pumps were either out of stock or were retailing only small quantities, but this time we has no problems at all.

NH22 used to be a narrow road, but now widening is almost complete in most places, and it is a wide 2-laned road with lots of broad road shoulders. Road conditions are also fantastic in comparison with what they used to be earlier. Places like Malling Nullah which were horror stories are almost "tamed". Small roads like the Karchcham-Sangla-Chitkul road are in great shape with tar roads throughout.

The road to Ladakh is in the best form I have ever seen. Hardly the "adventurous" road of yore, it is well tarred for long distances and in many sectors and the zing has gone out of it!! Driving to Ladakh is now possible for any car without any tension whatsoever - if any one tells you that it is the privilege of only 4WD SUVs, he must be either pulling your leg or unaware of current driving conditions. Having said that, there are a few bad sections undoubtedly - like Rohtang Pass, More Plains, etc, not counting the Lahaul Valley between KUnzum la & Gramphoo.

With initiatives like the Rohtang Pass Tunnel, I guess one can rate the efforts to improve roads in HP as among the best in India.

Last edited by hvkumar : 25th October 2011 at 08:41.
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Old 25th October 2011, 09:39   #640
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With initiatives like the Rohtang Pass Tunnel, I guess one can rate the efforts to improve roads in HP as among the best in India.
Nope, its a one off due to its strategic importance. And there is no initiative here. 30 years to build a silly tunnel is not called initiative, its called uselessness.
Thats why, while rohtang may be tamed with the tunnel, there will be countless other roads, totally neglected by authorities.
Every year apple growers go on protests demanding better roads(in some areas truckers refuse to ply, leading to rotting apple crop), but nothing really happens.
But carry on the t.log lets not get OT
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Old 25th October 2011, 09:58   #641
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GPS Track

Day 5: Srinagar to Sonamarg

HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)-5-srinagar-sonmarg.jpg


5 Srinagar to Sonmarg.kmz
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Old 25th October 2011, 10:17   #642
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@HVK or Anyone else from Team: Are GPS active-logs available of this tour? If its already posted or uploaded somewhere can a link be provided here?? Would love to see the actual route and fly over it on Google-Earth. Thanks in Advance -KS

PS: OK, just noticed a link in the previous post! So will search all earlier posts. Maybe a consolidated KMZ link for all days together will be useful - if somebody has that already
.

Last edited by kesri : 25th October 2011 at 10:22. Reason: added PS:
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Old 25th October 2011, 10:18   #643
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Nope, its a one off due to its strategic importance. And there is no initiative here. 30 years to build a silly tunnel is not called initiative, its called uselessness.
Thats why, while rohtang may be tamed with the tunnel, there will be countless other roads, totally neglected by authorities.
Every year apple growers go on protests demanding better roads(in some areas truckers refuse to ply, leading to rotting apple crop), but nothing really happens.
But carry on the t.log lets not get OT
I guess Tanveer you are right in saying that this for strategic reasons. However the improvement on roads in last few years has been tremendous.

I did observe this on our return journey from kaza. On NH22 at almost all places, starting with places near Kaza till Sarahan, we found about 30 different places where workers and BRO was working together on widening the roads. We were stopped at least at 10 places for a minute or two due to road widening. I never expected the roads to Chitkul to be so good. BRO / government whoever, must be given credit for trying to improve the roads as much as they can.

Rohtang Tunnel has really been an exception, with talks going on from last 30 years. The project was supposed to be started in year 2000-2001 and actual work just started a year back.
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Old 25th October 2011, 10:20   #644
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@HVK or Anyone else from Team: Are GPS active-logs available of this tour? If its already posted or uploaded somewhere can a link be provided here?? Would love to see the actual route and fly over it on Google-Earth. Thanks in Advance -KS
.
Yes, kesri, we have not one, but several GPS tracks, since we used a variety of GPS devices - in my car I had 6 (including my Garmin and a dedicated GPS logger too), BolBolero recorded his route and so did no_enthu_da. Many of them have already been uploaded here - as per the route so far.
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Old 25th October 2011, 10:53   #645
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^^^^^^^
Do you have any doubts about my participation!
But promise me you will not run back to Cochin or wherever midway!
Count me in for 2012; for sure, anyways according to the movie we should be heading to the Himalayas
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