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Old 16th September 2011, 20:47   #61
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Default re: Humbleh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himacal Pradesh)

Day 02
13th August 2011
Behror to Rampur

Another 80 KMs and roughly 1 hour later, about 2KMs after Karnal, HVK's left rear tyre had a puncture, a rupture of the side wall. Mean while the Innova and Baby Alto were asked to move forward, and to form the convoy with 4x4 Bolero who was ahead.

The changing of tyres with the spare took around half an hour. We continued to roll by 09:15hrs.
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Since the other tyre was useless due to the side wall cut, we needed to get another spare for the journey. HVK called up VB (Our great friend at Chandigargh, and the member of the convoy in 2009).

We met the 4x4 Bolero near Kurukshetra.
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Exchanged greetings and since Jeepcaptian's Bolero was loved by the cops, he was still delayed. 4x4 Bolero decided to wait for him and join us ahead. We any ways wanted to get the new tyre from Chandigargh. So we moved on.

The Ambala Chandigarh Expressway toll booth. I was amazed at the discipline shown to buy the toll tickets.
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By now, HVK's Front Right brake disc started giving some scoring noises. HVK called up VB to enquire about the possibility of checking that too. VB organised the required and called back.

By then we were 24 Kms to Chandigarh
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By 12:00 we reached Chandigargh after experiencing a small traffic jam under the flyover.


It was such a joyous occasion for me and HVK to meet VB. VB took us to his office, made us comfortable there, and went with HVK to the tyre shop, and the service centre.


We finished lunch and packed some lunch for HVK and rested in VB's office waiting for HVK. By 15:00hrs HVK returned and had his well deserved lunch at VB's office.
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Meanwhile VB surprises me by saying, I will join the trip. After all Glenn and SJ_Koova is at Chitkul. I will return with them. I was very happy to have VB with us. Called up Glenn and informed him. The plan was on.

By 15:30hrs JeepCaptain and 4x4 Bolero reached Chandigargh. HVK's Scorp still had some more sounds from the brake disc and we went again to check it up. Finally by 16:30hrs we started to roll from Chandigarh. By now Innova and Baby Alto were somewhere ahead negotiating traffic towards Shimla. Since VB was with us, we took some shortcuts to avoid the most common traffic bottle necks towards Simla.


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Old 16th September 2011, 21:42   #62
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Default re: Humbleh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himacal Pradesh)

Day 02
13th August 2011
Behror to Rampur


We had Rampur as the destination for the night, which is roughly 300Km away from Chandigarh. We wanted to stay at Narkhanda, but since this was a long weekend every hotels near Simla and Narkhanda were booked. This also made us to do advance reservations at HPTDC Rampur, which also happens to be the only reservation we had done in this entire trip.


Some pictures from the drive from Chandigarh.

A level crossing
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Toy Train?
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BM clicking
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A narrow street
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Discovery Bolero and 4x4 Bolero
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We were welcome
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Entry Toll for the Hills

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There were enough traffic due to the long weekend
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Elevation was 3340 feet. HVK's garmin 60C. The max speed of 1011Kmph is not HVK's Scorpio. He took the Garmin on a flight!
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The famous tunnels in the toy train route.
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Simla is very far! Rampur is still very far!!
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Old 16th September 2011, 21:54   #63
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Default re: Humbleh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himacal Pradesh)

Day 02
13th August 2011
Behror to Rampur

Nano is everywhere!
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Landslide prone area
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Serene smooth roads

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Clouds engulfing the valley
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Shimla is still a along way to go
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Some tourist place - may be next time
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Some resorts on the hill top

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The route was beautiful
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Suddenly this board confused me! Where is Shimla??

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Old 16th September 2011, 22:14   #64
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Default re: Humbleh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himacal Pradesh)

Day 02
13th August 2011
Behror to Rampur

It was slowly getting dark
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We were in Solan by 19:00hrs
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Setting Sun painted some spectacular colors on the sky
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The curvy roads continued...
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The darkness engulfed everything
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Chail was still 30Kms by 19:30hrs.
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We continued on in the Chail, Kufri route and reached Rampur by 00:10hrs the next day. Innova and Baby Alto had reached atleast 1 hour before us. Discovery Bolero reached by 01:30hrs and 4x4 still late by 02:30hrs.

HVK's Scorpio still had the scoring sound from the disk and HVK wanted to stay back in Rampur to check the brakes. HVK recommend others move on, and he'll catch up.


By now we have done 48 hours of travel, 2100Km clocked with just 3 hours of sleep. This was the ultimate test one had to go through and we all passed in flying colors.

Since there was a bit of uncertainty for the next day, and the hectic travel one had undergone till now, somewhere some emotions ran high. But I was dead tired and crashed for the night.

Last edited by laluks : 16th September 2011 at 22:17.
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Old 16th September 2011, 22:50   #65
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Default re: Humbleh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himacal Pradesh)

Engrossing narrative. We are enjoying reading this as much as you guys did driving. Great work.
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Old 17th September 2011, 09:17   #66
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Default re: Humbleh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himacal Pradesh)

August 13, 2011, Behror-Rampur
Behror-Manesar-Gurgaon-Delhi-Panipat-Karnal-Ambala-Panchkula-Kalka-Parwanoo-Solan-Kandaghat-Chail-Kufri-Narkhanda-Rampur

The first 2 days were very crucial - we had to overcome the plains as fast as we could and get to the hills. With the limited time at our disposal, it would never do to crawl to Delhi, hence the fast track drive of Bombay-Behror and now Behror-Rampur. We had originally planned to stop for Aug 13th night at Narkhanda, but a few days before the trip, we realised that being a long I-Day weekend, all resorts in the Shimla-Narkhanda region were likely to be full and so we wisely decided to push onto Rampur - and some confirmed acco at HPTDC there - however long the day would be.

Aug 13 was also a day of the first meetings - we coming in from Bombay, Jeep Captain & Bolero Stinger reaching from Kerala/Bangalore, the Swift from AP reaching non-stop from Hyderabad, the Baby Alto reaching from Bombay, Dr RK travelling to Delhi from Dehra Dun, PD flying in from Ahmedabad and finally akaush doing an admirable job of getting the Delhi team together and moving towards the first meet at Murthal!

Hapoily, at that early hour, the Behror-Gurgan NH8 was empty and we were relieved not to be bogged down by the terrible traffic jams in this Jaipur-Delhi corridor which is seeing road widening for some time now. The road was not that bad and we could maintan steady speeds to cross Delhi IGI Arport at 6 am moving to our rendezvous at Murthal - to move ahead of the outgoing traffic from NCR as early as possible. While we had a smooth passage through Delhi, Jeep Captain had a rough time with the cops who were already jittery due to the I-Day security issues.

We like to go through Delhi, avoiding "short-cuts" like the Rewari-Panipat since we like dual carriageways, towns to be bypassed and good facilities en route. Going through Delhi early morning - which is why we like to halt in places like Behror just before - is a pleasant experience, but this long I-Day weekend, there was heavy outgoing traffic of revellers heading presumably for the hills too and we had a tough time zig-zagging through the Altos, Ventos, Pajeros & Innovas.

At Murthal, after the first meeting, we proceeded towards Ambala. Road widening after Panipat means that it can sometimes be a tight squeeze at the many spots where flyovers are under construction, but road condition is good and we luckily did not get stuck in any jams (although later during the day you can). The tyre puncture & brake problem meant we had to take a quick decision to get some purchases/ repairs done in Panchkula thanks to VB. We also ran into Sudev in Panchkula - that was a wonderful meeting we had, sir.

The pleasure of driving on the Ambala-Chandigarh expressway is blunted by the long lines of vehicles stuck at the Zirkapur flyover junction, but we managed to reach Panchkula just 30 minutes late. The repair work in my car took longer than expected and this was to be the big time-waster of the day as it threw our drive schedule completely off gear. We heard that the road ahead was choked up - traffic jams of 2-3 hours long thanks to brothers and sisters remembering each other on this Raksha Bandhan day - and we were worried about further delays, but that is where VB's expertise saved us as we weaved in through some interior roads away from NH22 at Pinjore & Kalka. I wonder when the narrow roads through Kalka & Parwanoo are going to be skirted once the bypasses are commissioned, but for now this is a nightmare. Roads were great as the hills began, but at Dharampur we again got stuck in traffic jams caused undoubtedly by the Chandigarh/
Delhi cars which must have caught up!

We did not want to go via Shimla - why face more jams - and took the route via Chail as the sun set. What a lovely rad that was, although from Chail to Kufri, the road has seen better times. We were driving now at high speeds along the narrow winding roads, desperate that we are to dock into HPTDC Rampur before the next morning! A telephone call to the hotel got them to prepare our dinner ahead of our arrival.

Roads from Kufri towards Narkhanda are undescribably bad, ridden with pot holes throughout, but once past Narkhanda, they were great. My car was in Rampur at 1215 am, but since the convoy had broken up, the last car arrived only at 3 am.

What a relief it was to be finally in the hills, however tough the 2 days had been.

The workshops at Panchkula offer a better alternative than to go into Chandigarh for those in need of some sudden repair work in their cars on NH22 between Ambala & Shimla.

Lots of dhaabas en route all the way from Delhi including famous ones at Karnal, Ambala & Dharampur, but we were hard pressed for time this day - Aug 13 - and were gunning to reach our destination Rampur by end of teh day. We would have comfortably reached Rampur by 7-8 pm but for the delays caused by my car's problems.

To avoid a House Full situation, we had booked the HPTDC hotel in Rampur online in advance, but since we knew their kitchen closed early, we took care to order our dinner ahead of our arrival and the HPTDC guys were kind enough to oblige. HPTDC itself is on the NH22 itself just before you reach the Rampur town bus stand and you cannot miss it.

Those going through NCR may remember that fuel is cheaper in NCR and tanking up in Gurgaon/Delhi would be a sensible decision.

Last edited by GTO : 17th October 2011 at 15:10. Reason: Removing Mod note
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Old 17th September 2011, 12:06   #67
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Innova's Take on 13th August 2010.

HVK informed us that he is going to be late and it is upto us to ensure everyone meets together and continue towards Chandigarh. He would catch us on the way.
I called Jeepcaptain and Dr RK to ensure they reach Karnal Bypass at 5:00 am. Passengers of Baby Alto (RK and VK) and AP Swift (BM, CV and PD) were all staying together at Pahargunj. They all slept late due to various reasons.

I left Faridabad at exact 4:00 am to fill in fuel and reach Karnal Bypass on time. I called Dr RK at 4:45 am and told him I have almost reached Karnal Bypass and if they have started. He said they are starting in 5 Minutes.
After 30 Minutes I again called them only to realize that they haven't started yet. I still had to pick my co-passenger PK, who is also my cousin brother from Bahalgarh, Sonipat. I decided to push on to pick PK and wait at Murthal. (may be have some breakfast and keep things ready for everyone else)

I picked Pk and reached Murthal at about 5:30 am. We had a couple of parantha's and tea at Pahalwan Dhaba. The idea was to wait for Jeepcaptain, Baby Alto and Swift and move forward, while HVK catches up. I also took a leg massage at Pehalwan Dhaba, not bad for 20 bucks.

Jeepcaptain's bolero was being stopped multiple times by cops and they were delayed by this. HVK was catching up at a fast pace. Somehow Baby Alto and Swift decided not to take outer ring road and decided to come via Azadpur which had a big traffic Jam, soon HVK also got struck in the Jam. At 7:30 am Alto and swift reached Pehalwan Shaba at Murthal. 5 minutes later HVK's scorpio arrived, we had a quick chit chat with HVK and our convoy moved towards Chandigarh. HVK's scorpio leading the way, followed by AP Swift, Alto and finally our Innova. PD now decided to shift to more comfortable Innova from Swift.

When HVK's Scorpio's tyre got punctured, Innova and Alto were asked to go further towards Chandigarh. We faced a 2 km long Jam at Zirakpur and faced another horrible jam as we crossed Panchkula towards Pinjaur. The cops asked us to take a left at the HMT factory. We went through some very narrow village roads and finally reached Parwanoo at about 3 pm. Stopped for Lunch at about 4 pm around Solan. We updated HVK about the traffic situation and came to know that he was going to be late by 3-4 hours. Alto was sometimes struggling for pace on hilly tracks, to avoid Shimla traffic we took Kandaghat -> Chail -> Kufri Road.
Got some nice pics at Chail.

Finally reached Kufri at about 9 pm. By this time we realized we are running behind schedule and need to hurry to ensure all members of the team got food and the HPTDC does not give rooms to someone else. After Kufri it was straight road we left Alto behind to make a run towards Rampur. We were the first to reach Rampur at about 11:15 pm. Took possession of all 5 rooms booked by us, took our Dinner. PD decided to take a nap, his stomach was starting to give him trouble.
I checked on the progress of others and realized that HVK's Scorpio and Swift were together around Kufri, Alto had crossed Narkanda, Jeepcaptain's bolero was around Chail and 4X4 bolero was kind of lost on Kandaghat - Chail road.

PK and I decided to wait on the main road so that other cars do not pass the Hotel. Alto was the second to reach and 5 minutes later HVK and Swift arrived. HVK decided to sleep and while others after having dinner, started to chit chat with each other (at 2 am) sitting on the road. Jeepcaptain's Bolero arrived at about 2:30 am, they did not find accommodation in our hotel, had their dinner, packed dinner for 4X4 Bolero team members and left for their hotel at about 3:30 am. This was the first time we met SV, VB, JP and NJ, however they were too tired to socialize at that hour.

That was quite a ride for first timers VK in his Alto and BM & CV in their swifts, driving for the first time in Himalaya's. 540 Kms, with almost 300 kms on winding roads.
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Last edited by akaush : 17th September 2011 at 12:17. Reason: Adding a few more lines.
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Old 17th September 2011, 12:45   #68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akaush View Post
I called Jeepcaptain and Dr RK to ensure they reach Karnal Bypass at 5:00 am. Passengers of Baby Alto (RK and VK) and AP Swift (BM, CV and PD) were all staying together at Pahargunj. They all slept late due to various reasons.

I left Faridabad at exact 4:00 am to fill in fuel and reach Karnal Bypass on time. I called Dr RK at 4:45 am and told him I have almost reached Karnal Bypass and if they have started. He said they are starting in 5 Minutes.
After 30 Minutes I again called them only to realize that they haven't started yet. I still had to pick my co-passenger PK, who is also my cousin brother from Bahalgarh, Sonipat. I decided to push on to pick PK and wait at Murthal. (may be have some breakfast and keep things ready for everyone else)
That was quiet a task you had rounding up the guys, Ajay!
Some were tired I guess, but the team had perhaps not familiar with early morning on-schedule starts, which they were to get used to in the coming days - and how!


Quote:
PK and I decided to wait on the main road so that other cars do not pass the Hotel. Alto was the second to reach and 5 minutes later HVK and Swift arrived. HVK decided to sleep and while others after having dinner, started to chit chat with each other (at 2 am) sitting on the road. Jeepcaptain's Bolero arrived at about 2:30 am, they did not find accommodation in our hotel, had their dinner, packed dinner for 4X4 Bolero team members and left for their hotel at about 3:30 am. This was the first time we met SV, VB, JP and NJ, however they were too tired to socialize at that hour.
Absolutely a wonderful gesture, Ajay.
Ajay took total charge of the food & board that night - a task he was to repeat several nights on - and that made our team's stay very comfortable.
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Old 17th September 2011, 14:33   #69
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Originally Posted by akaush View Post
Jeepcaptain's bolero was being stopped multiple times by cops and they were delayed by this.
Wonder what was special about the Bolero that caught the attention of Delhi cops so early in the morning..
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Old 17th September 2011, 14:35   #70
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Wonder what was special about the Bolero that caught the attention of Delhi cops so early in the morning..
His Bolero had dark sun films all around and a few hella lamps with KL registration. Delhi cops aren't used to see such bolero's.
A HR registration with a VIP/Semi-VIP number and no one would have stopped them, even with the sunfilms.
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Old 17th September 2011, 14:56   #71
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hello all from the "Baby Alto" of the group!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by akaush View Post
That was quite a ride for first timers VK in his Alto and BM & CV in their swifts, driving for the first time in Himalaya's. 540 Kms, with almost 300 kms on winding roads.
for someone who's not done a roadtrip longer than 1300km, quite a drive - actually!!


So, i had left Mumbai on 8th and reached Delhi on the morning of 10th August (after having taken the out-of-shape NH8 from Udaipur to Kishangarh instead of NH76/79). The sunset post Jaipur was too beautiful and i stopped to click it.
HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)-0.jpg

I was put up at relatives' place in SouthEx-2, and just the night before catching up with the other guys (Dr. RK + PD) at Paharganj, I got a major kick watching Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara! On the 12th, I joined them and the AP Swift guys (BM and VC).

The morning of 13th August, we started from Paharganj taking the nearest exit from there (through a crowded bazaar, where you'll find too many people through the day and too many trucks through the night). The long weekend meant we faced another mini-jam at the entry point of NH1. All through this, AK was guiding us to the rendezvous point (Murthal).

After crawling through two other jams (as AK mentioned above) we finally hit the hills! This is when my Alto started struggling. We stopped around Solan for lunch. There had been a drizzle while we were happily gorging and this is what i saw just outside the restaurant.

HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)-1.jpg

At one point, there seemed to be another major traffic jam in formation. I soon realised it was not an ordinary traffic jam - it was a railway crossing for the Shimla toy-train!!

HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)-2.jpg
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HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)-4.jpg

We had to stop again at Chail 'cause Dr. RK was having tummy troubles! I was beginning to curse him for frequent stopping by the road for bodily functions when i spotted this::

HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)-6.jpg

which eventually turned into this::

HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)-7.jpg

i also spotted this bug clinging to a flower

HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)-8.jpg

The road beyond Kufri was not exactly good and i kept a slow pace fearing i might damage my tires. Not far from Narkanda, i started feeling sleepy and noticed it was 10:30pm then! I stopped at a road-side tea stall and spent a good 20 minutes drinking tea and paying with this dog beloning to the stall-owner.
HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)-9.jpg

The owner told me "do kadam aage chalo, achha road milega aapko". And yes, there it was... beautifully smooth tarmac!! Eventually, we reached Rampur at around 1130pm with some amazing dinner waiting for us (thanks to Ajay!)
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Old 17th September 2011, 15:04   #72
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Eventually, we reached Rampur at around 1130pm with some amazing dinner waiting for us
Did you reach at 11:30 pm? As far as I remember, you guys reached at around 12:30 about 5 minutes before HVK's Scorpio and BM's Swift.
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Old 17th September 2011, 16:03   #73
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Did you reach at 11:30 pm? As far as I remember, you guys reached at around 12:30 about 5 minutes before HVK's Scorpio and BM's Swift.
Aah my bad.. I would've reached around that time .. just 5 min before HVK sir :-)
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Old 17th September 2011, 16:06   #74
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Hi Guys,

Sorry for posting so late in the day. Was caught up with some work and family matters. Firstly a big thank you to laluks for starting this thread and allowing us to contribute and add to to it. @ HVK, laluks, KSM-Vtec, akaush, JeepCaptain, no_enthu_da lovely write up and wonderful photos to go with it.

A brief background on how I came to be part of this wonderful team The Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition.
Having been unsuccessful in my quest to drive to Ladakh last year http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...handratal.html (Rohtang Didn't Let me Pass; Spiti & Chandratal It Was!) I was itching to drive to Ladakh this year, come what may.

Towards that end, I was constantly in touch with HV Kumar from the beginning of the year! As the days progressed, we were sort of finalizing on the dates and route plans along with JeepCaptain and a few others. Somewhere in mid May the route plan and the probable dates were sort of fixed. After going through the plan I realised that the IPHE was planning to drive through the Shimla, Kinnaur, Spiti and Lahaul Valleys and from there towards Ladakh. Having already travelled through these areas last year, I was kind of reluctant to drive through again this year. On further discussions with HVK, he was kind enough to suggest another route plan for my drive, which would take me to Amritsar, Srinagar, Sonmarg, Kargil and then Leh. A very nice alternative for me, which would give me chance to visit the Golden Temple at Amritsar, the border at Wagah and the Dal Lake in Srinagar. It would also mean that I would be able to join up with the IPHE at Kargil and then undertake the rest of the journey with the group.

I was assuming that both my co-travellers of last year would be joining me this year too, with the addition of SS from Bangalore, who had already informed me of his desire to join me this year, at the beginning of the year. As luck would have it both my co-travellers had to drop out due to various reasons, so that left SS and me as confirmed. Somewhere towards the end of June and early July, HVK suggested that there was another person from B"lore who was interested in joining us on the drive and would we be able to accommodate him. After a quick discussion with SS, we decided to welcome the third member AR into the Bolero (Mumbai).

So there we were the Bolero(Mumbai) consiting of BolBolero(Me), SS and AR
SS and me would be leaving Mumbai on the 17th of August. AR would be joining us in Amritsar on the 18th of August.

I will be posting the details of our journey from the 17th Aug. onwards, once the posts on this thread reach that date. Till then am going to sit back and enjoy the detailed posts and the wonderful photos that are sure to follow, by all the others!
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Old 17th September 2011, 17:14   #75
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Eagerly Waiting for this Travelogue..
Vow What a great event.
Just switched off my cell to read all the threads in one go.
Just Awesome. Hope, I too will be a part of it next time with my Manza QJT. Got enough added boosting now.
Will accumulate the leaves from now it self.

Wanting more snaps and experiences from this thread.

Infact, tried to acompany a fellow BHPIAN from Pune with his Safari. He too dropped in the first week of Aug it self due to work commitiments.

Kudos to the Spirit called - Driving!!
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