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Old 7th October 2011, 14:16   #46
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Default Re: Bad Roads Lead To Good Destinations!

My hands have frozen while scrolling the mouse.
The last 30 minutes was as though I had been to K-top n your black beauty.
Amazing photos I must say. 5 stars to the person who can defy sleep.

The last two weeks I've only been reading travelogues to Leh/Ladakh.
J.Ravi's beauty and now your beast from Bangalore...Its like your rides are telling my beauty to take on this "Drivers' Dream" journey

Keep the photos coming. Hope the copyrights don't prevent me from making your photos as my desktop's wallpaper.
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Old 8th October 2011, 04:49   #47
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Default Re: Bad Roads Lead To Good Destinations!

Aviorp - I know most of the people already said, but I can't resist. Wonderful TL, excellent narration, awesome pics. Just simply superb.
Didn't you guys felt any altitude sickness? How do you people manage while reaching 18,000 ft altitude?
I did drive here in Colorado, USA upto 14,000 ft, but driving to 18000 ft is somewhat amazing. Wonderful travelogue again.
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Old 8th October 2011, 11:05   #48
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Default Re: Bad Roads Lead To Good Destinations!

Wow, another superlative, excellent travelogue, loved the narration and outstanding pictures ! Hats off to you and your neighbour 'uncle' - he deserves special praise for his spirit and for supporting you right through the journey.
Thanks for sharing and inspiring us to undertake a journey like this someday and convert dreams to reality.
I just mentioned on J Ravi's travelogue also that it is folks like you who show us that if we have the spirit, courage and determination we can definitely do such a trip
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Old 9th October 2011, 09:47   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hemanth.anand View Post
My hands have frozen while scrolling the mouse.
The last 30 minutes was as though I had been to K-top n your black beauty.
Amazing photos I must say. 5 stars to the person who can defy sleep
Thank you Hemanth.

Quote:
The last two weeks I've only been reading travelogues to Leh/Ladakh.
J.Ravi's beauty and now your beast from Bangalore...Its like your rides are telling my beauty to take on this "Drivers' Dream" journey
You'll rejoice this for your life. Hope to see a Leh TL from you soon.

Quote:
Keep the photos coming. Hope the copyrights don't prevent me from making your photos as my desktop's wallpaper.
Lot more to come. I'm glad you liked the pics.

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Originally Posted by idlebrain View Post
Aviorp - I know most of the people already said, but I can't resist. Wonderful TL, excellent narration, awesome pics. Just simply superb
Thank you idlebrain.

Quote:
Didn't you guys felt any altitude sickness? How do you people manage while reaching 18,000 ft altitude?
Unfortunately, uncle did have trouble at the top of Wari-la. It was a combination of leaving early/no food/long distance travel and 17000 ft.

The plan was go via Srinagar and come back via Manali was solely based on this reason : To avoid AMS. I had absolutely no problem.

Quote:
I did drive here in Colorado, USA upto 14,000 ft, but driving to 18000 ft is somewhat amazing. Wonderful travelogue again.
When you're here, give this a shot.

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Originally Posted by NPV View Post
Wow, another superlative, excellent travelogue, loved the narration and outstanding pictures ! Hats off to you and your neighbour 'uncle' - he deserves special praise for his spirit and for supporting you right through the journey
Thank you NPV. Yes, he was very supportive. Agreed to everything I said, though he felt the pinch at Wari-la and the night drive from Pang to Manali. He took everything with a smile (though he might have been cursing me from inside)

Quote:
Thanks for sharing and inspiring us to undertake a journey like this someday and convert dreams to reality.
I just mentioned on J Ravi's travelogue also that it is folks like you who show us that if we have the spirit, courage and determination we can definitely do such a trip
You'll not regret one bit, after completing this.
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Old 9th October 2011, 10:59   #50
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Originally Posted by aviorp View Post
I wanted to cross Zoji-la before dark, however there was a massive jam. Just as I thought, we would be stuck for the night, a truck driver said to go back and take an alternate route. Luckily, there was just one truck behind us. Somehow managed to reverse and took the alternate route. Lucky for the first time.
Which alternate route is this?

Great report and great going! Waiting for the rest to come up.
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Old 9th October 2011, 11:17   #51
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Default Bad Roads Lead To Good Destinations!

Last few pics of Pangong. Couldn't believe we had spent 3 hours looking at this beauty.

Bad Roads Lead To Good Destinations!-dsc_0430.jpg

One of those FB pics.. I too was there.

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No, I dint slip. Just trying to pose.

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This was much easier

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Cute little fellow.

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Thats where we stayed.

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Couldn't take a pic of this, on our way as it was dark. So, took some on the way back.

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Extra-ordinary!

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Wonder what uncle is doing?

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Well, the next time someone goes there, you know who did that.

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After a short drive, we had a wonderful surprise

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Someone offered biscuits

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Very soft fur

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Yup, he is munching that biscuit.

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I was really hoping not to see this, though we enjoyed it before. We were lucky a couple of times but I was not taking another chance at the Snow. So, decided to skip both Hanle and Tso-Moriri.

Bad Roads Lead To Good Destinations!-dscn1473.jpg

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Left Pangong around 10 AM and reached Shakti at 2 PM. Had a quick conversation with Kumar sir and he said Rohtang might be closed either on Monday or Tuesday. He said reaching Sarchu for the night halt will be a little difficult and asked to try reaching Pang. Well, I was wondering why it would actually take that long.

Filled up fuel at Karu and carried around 20ltrs of extra fuel in the can. The stretch from Upshi to Rumtse was pretty good but few kms from Tanglang La, it was unbearable. Now, I knew it would be tough for me to even reach Pang, however, I dint expect the 'expect the unexpected' thing to come up again.

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This is the last picture between T'lang La and Keylong.

It was around 6PM and I still had to drive down. Took me another hour or so and by now it was dark. The road just ended abruptly and there were no sign boards. The only thing I could see on the right was sand.

So, I thought this should be Mooreh Plains. We found a track for about a km and then it disappeared. The road is being constructed and the only thing I decided to do was, be as close to that road. However, some stretches led to many more tracks and some led to a ditch. I missed the tracks 3 times and had to find another.

Finally, reached Pang around 9:30 PM. We found a place to eat and after dinner I decided to drive through the night to reach Rohtang early in the morning. This was by far the worst decision I took.

It was unimaginably cold and the roads dint make my life any easier. Sarchu was around 75Kms and it took me 4 hours. The entire stretch I would driven only in 1st and 2nd gear. Lachung la and Naki la are passes definitely not meant to be done in the night.

I slept in the car for a couple of hours at Sarchu and left at 4 AM. Reached Zingzing bar around 7 AM. The lady at the tea shop said, Manali should be another 8 hours. I almost fainted.

The stretch between Darcha and Keylong is quite good. Somewhere near Tandi, a massive rock fell from the top and it was being cleared.

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He was just brilliant all through the journey

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Enroute to the worst pass - Rohtang

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Bad Roads Lead To Good Destinations!-dscn1490.jpg
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Old 9th October 2011, 11:26   #52
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Default Re: Bad Roads Lead To Good Destinations!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rudra Sen View Post
Which alternate route is this?

Great report and great going! Waiting for the rest to come up.
Thank you Rudra sir. As you climb Zoji-la, there is one road that goes to the right and one to the left. The one on the left looked like, 'under construction.

There are no sign boards or instructions any where. So, we took the one to the right and this was where the traffic was held up. We then came back and took the other one.
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Old 9th October 2011, 11:47   #53
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Originally Posted by aviorp View Post
Thank you Rudra sir. As you climb Zoji-la, there is one road that goes to the right and one to the left. The one on the left looked like, 'under construction.

There are no sign boards or instructions any where. So, we took the one to the right and this was where the traffic was held up. We then came back and took the other one.
Boss, I'm really getting confused now. Are you saying there's one more road coming up to cross Zojila Pass?

I was there last year and didn't see any other road unless they've started something new.
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Old 9th October 2011, 12:22   #54
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Default Re: Bad Roads Lead To Good Destinations!

Avinash, you really missed Hanle, that is absolute butter smooth road to drive, no pass, all tarred road and amazing views.

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Originally Posted by Rudra Sen View Post
Boss, I'm really getting confused now. Are you saying there's one more road coming up to cross Zojila Pass?

I was there last year and didn't see any other road unless they've started something new.
Rudra ji, yes, now there are two roads to cross Zozila, the old one is lower one and there a new road, which was under construction last year, opened officially this year, but we still preferred the lower one.

Last edited by rkbharat : 9th October 2011 at 12:25.
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Old 9th October 2011, 23:24   #55
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Default Re: Bad Roads Lead To Good Destinations!

Great account & fabulous photos!

This is the power of networking - we talking about route planning & rad conditions, you meeting rkbharat, I giving you feedback - I knew 4 separate Ladakh expeditions at the same time as you were there - wow, that is what this forum is all about.

You were lucky (or unlucky?) to get hit by snow fall in that region, we faced dry weather in Ladakh when we we were there just 2-3 weeks before you. Happily, the Wari la episode ended happily.

Yes, the Scorpio is a hardy car for this terrain, something I can testify for!

Rudra Sen, there is a steep alternative route on Zoji la for some distance which can be used by small cars (trucks cannot climb it, it is too steep), but it rejoins the main road.
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Old 10th October 2011, 09:35   #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rudra Sen View Post
I was there last year and didn't see any other road unless they've started something new.
Yes, its a new road. If the lorry guy had not told me, I would have not known either.

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Originally Posted by rkbharat View Post
Avinash, you really missed Hanle, that is absolute butter smooth road to drive, no pass, all tarred road and amazing views
I thought there is a pass called 'Tsaga La' enroute to Loma from Chusul. Is that incorrect? Or, is there an alternate route to Hanle?

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Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
Great account & fabulous photos!
Thank you sir.

Quote:
This is the power of networking - we talking about route planning & rad conditions, you meeting rkbharat, I giving you feedback - I knew 4 separate Ladakh expeditions at the same time as you were there - wow, that is what this forum is all about
Absolutely. To meet someone, who started off in Delhi could have been possible only through this medium.

OT : My uncle kept asking about t-bhp and how I knew you and rkbharat. Took him some time to understand the whole concept of this web-site. (He was like, things like this even exist?)

Quote:
You were lucky (or unlucky?) to get hit by snow fall in that region, we faced dry weather in Ladakh when we we were there just 2-3 weeks before you. Happily, the Wari la episode ended happily
Yeah, I think both. Lucky for the first time in K-Top and not so in Wari-la. Unbelievable, how the weather changes in that region. I did experience the 'Expect the unexpected' in its true sense.

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Yes, the Scorpio is a hardy car for this terrain, something I can testify for!
'Straight from the horse's mouth'. I can vouch for that too, Chief!
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Old 10th October 2011, 09:39   #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aviorp View Post

I thought there is a pass called 'Tsaga La' enroute to Loma from Chusul. Is that incorrect? Or, is there an alternate route to Hanle?
Tasaga la is in the Pangong-Man-Merak-Chushul-Tsaga la-Tasaga-Loma-Hanle route. You can reach Hanle directly from Leh via Upshi-Mahe-Nyoma-LOma without going to Tsaga la.
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Old 10th October 2011, 09:44   #58
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Default Re: Bad Roads Lead To Good Destinations!

As Chief said, you can do it from Upshi instead of Chusul, so no pass, no bad roads, no water crossing, fantastic views. And check with HVK on the roads, you can not get any better road than that in Delhi or Mumbai

Quote:
Originally Posted by aviorp View Post
I thought there is a pass called 'Tsaga La' enroute to Loma from Chusul. Is that incorrect? Or, is there an alternate route to Hanle?
Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
Tasaga la is in the Pangong-Man-Merak-Chushul-Tsaga la-Tasaga-Loma-Hanle route. You can reach Hanle directly from Leh via Upshi-Mahe-Nyoma-LOma without going to Tsaga la.
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Old 10th October 2011, 09:51   #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rkbharat View Post
As Chief said, you can do it from Upshi instead of Chusul, so no pass, no bad roads, no water crossing, fantastic views. And check with HVK on the roads, you can not get any better road than that in Delhi or Mumbai
Here is a photo of the superb Hanle-Leh road between Loma & Nyoma.
Name:  295811_2258145686531_1035037369_2491694_1111031959_n.jpg
Views: 1544
Size:  68.8 KB
Photo by my friend Nobin Jacob
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Old 10th October 2011, 10:33   #60
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Few pics of Rohtang Pass

View from the top.

Bad Roads Lead To Good Destinations!-dscn1491.jpg

Bad Roads Lead To Good Destinations!-dscn1492.jpg

Took nearly 3 hours to clear Rohtang Pass and finally reached Manali at 4 PM.

Bad Roads Lead To Good Destinations!-dscn1497.jpg

Bad Roads Lead To Good Destinations!-dscn1498.jpg

Bad Roads Lead To Good Destinations!-dscn1502.jpg

Bad Roads Lead To Good Destinations!-dsc_0443.jpg

Bad Roads Lead To Good Destinations!-dsc_0446.jpg

Bad Roads Lead To Good Destinations!-dsc_0472.jpg

Got my scorp washed and after washing ourselves, we headed to the Manali market. The plan was to leave at leisure the following day, as I intended to drive through the night. I now was hoping not to drive in the 'Ghat' section again, but Swarghat made me feel, 'you have to cross me first, to hit the highway'.

When I hit the highway, it felt like, I was back into the Civilized world, but at times, I do miss those roads. (Climax of Cast Away)

Tuesday, 20th September

Route :

Manali -> Kullu -> Bajaura -> Mandi -> Bilaspur -> Swarghat -> Ghanauli -> Ambala -> Panipat -> Sonipat -> Delhi -> Gurgaon -> Somewhere near Bilaspur

Distance :

631 Kms

Time taken :

14.30 hours

Wednesday, 21st September

After dinner, slept in the car and left around 3 A.M

Route :

Bilaspur -> Jaipur -> Kishangarh -> Chittorgarh -> Udaipur -> Ahmedabad -> Vadodara -> 40Kms away from Surat, halted for the night at a dhaba around 7:30 PM.

Distance :

1123 Kms

Time Taken :

17 hours

Thursday, 22nd September

Left Surat in the afteroon and reached Pune outskirts around 11 PM.

Route :

Surat -> Ghodbunder -> Thane -> Outskirts of Pune (near Kolhapur)

Distance :

547 Kms

Time Taken :

8 hours

Friday, 23rd September :

Left around 7 in the morning and reached Bangalore at 5:30 PM.

Route :

Kolhapur -> Belgaum -> Hubli -> Chitradurga -> Tumkur -> Bangalore.

Distance :

640 Kms

Time Taken :

10.5 hours

We had informed our family members that we might reach on Sunday and gave a small surprise by reaching Friday. Uncle's wife was quite excite to see us and this is how we looked.

Bad Roads Lead To Good Destinations!-dscn1510.jpg

That's the final pic

Bad Roads Lead To Good Destinations!-dscn1505.jpg

Total Distance :

8463.9 kms

Total cost for the trip :

Rs.32,575/-

(Including Fuel, Stay, Food, Toll)

Total cost on Fuel :

Rs. 23,475/-

For Toll :

Rs. 3,500/- (Rounded off)

For Stay and Food:

Rs. 5600/-

Stayed in the car :

8 days.

Uncle, who is an accountant, was taking care of the expenditure list, so I'm pretty sure its accurate.

Will share the maps and routes taken in detail, in the next post.

Last edited by aviorp : 10th October 2011 at 10:36.
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