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Old 18th June 2012, 08:30   #46
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Default Re: Reflecting on Driving Addictions - Bangalore to Spiti and Changthang

Dear Coolcat. Fantastic travelogue. Great photos reveal that its the eye behind the camera that matters. Beautiful framing. I served in shipkila and haunted those mountains for two years. Been planning to take my children on a trip there. Your writeup has rekindled the desire. Keep drivin-keep writing sir. Salutes. Sathya
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Old 18th June 2012, 08:42   #47
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Awesome Story. 5 Stars from my side.

How did the fortuner behave on the climb to Hatu? There are a number of narrow hair pins, where one must reverse and adjust in a large SUV.

Photos are very nice. Keep posting.
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Old 18th June 2012, 10:55   #48
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Great stuff coolcat, saw the Fortuner all dirty and was pretty pleased, SUVs look great that way. Somehow your travel is also following the IPHE team route we read earlier but I can see difference in pictures, its always nice to see a different perspective
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Old 18th June 2012, 15:56   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AbhishekB86 View Post
I am speechless ma'am. Kudos to you. Absolutely beautiful. I am sure the little one will remember this even when he's 25. Can't wait till I get a 4x4 to attempt this.

The narration is top notch and words can't do justice to your photography skills. A lot of credit goes to those who were driving too.

Makes me wonder. Why do we live in cities?
Thank you so much Abhishek. I hope my son makes many more trips to Leh before he gets to be 25, meaning I shall be hopefully doing these trips all over again.
The Person behind the wheel was my brother and thanks to him that this trip became a reality for us.

Quote:
Originally Posted by novice_alto View Post
This is not done Cooolcat. You are updating very slow.

Jokes apart, you narration and pics are just awesome. Also, please share if you needed to use your Fortuner's 4x4 capabilities anywhere. By any chance, any videos?? Your group had two formidable SUVs, one the largest selling and no pushover by any means and the other the best SUV (my opinion) in India.

And yes, please keep them coming, and fast.

Thanks for sharing.
Sorry got a bit busy shall try updating asap. Both the vehicles just did fine. We used the 4x4 only at very few bad patchs of Losar and Rotang La .
Will upload the videos soon.
Lots more coming so keep reading.

Quote:
Originally Posted by noidea View Post
Brilliant travelogue, Cooolcat. Terrific photographs. Great narration. Absolutely hooked.

Tell us the story of the landslide - seems you were really close !
Thank you

Quote:
Originally Posted by megazoid View Post
Brilliant thread. Great pictures and narration. Was on the kaza-shimla stretch around the same time and I almost got quashed under a rockfall at reckong peo. That landslide picture makes me shudder.
It is quite scary as every rock there seems like its ready to roll down.

Quote:
Originally Posted by psathya View Post
Dear Coolcat. Fantastic travelogue. Great photos reveal that its the eye behind the camera that matters. Beautiful framing. I served in shipkila and haunted those mountains for two years. Been planning to take my children on a trip there. Your writeup has rekindled the desire. Keep drivin-keep writing sir. Salutes. Sathya
Thank you for the kind words. You should make a trip with your children as you yourself have enjoyed the serene beauty of these mountains.
Quote:
Originally Posted by sen2009 View Post
Awesome Story. 5 Stars from my side.

How did the fortuner behave on the climb to Hatu? There are a number of narrow hair pins, where one must reverse and adjust in a large SUV.

Photos are very nice. Keep posting.
The Fortuner behaved well on the steep climb to Hatu peak. At one bend we did need to reverse and adjust. At some portions the road is just about the same width as the vehilcle itself.Thank you so much.
Lots more coming ahead.
Quote:
Originally Posted by motomaverick View Post
Great stuff coolcat, saw the Fortuner all dirty and was pretty pleased, SUVs look great that way. Somehow your travel is also following the IPHE team route we read earlier but I can see difference in pictures, its always nice to see a different perspective
Rightly said the SUVs look thier best when they have all the dust on them which silently narrates the story of having been on a great ride.
We were about a week behind the IPHE team .
Thank you!
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Old 18th June 2012, 16:38   #50
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On this road we experienced our lives first live landslide. While we were happily driving through the beautiful vistas suddenly we saw two policemen waving at us in haste asking us to rush ahead, which seemed a bad patch of road strewn around with small boulders and dry mud,while we noticed a few people were watching high up towards the mountain. We just drove past hurriedly while our other vehicle was asked to stop at a far of distance. We stopped and got of the car to see a very small demonstration of natures fury that haunts these mountains all the time.
The pictures in the earlier post show what we saw then.
After that landslide we just could not help looking up once in a way to look for falling rocks.
Continuing with our drive ..

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The road lit up just for us. It was an amazing sight.
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My son wanted us to drive through one of the waterfalls. This was how it looked from the inside.
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As it was raining I could not manage a better picture.
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The rain got heavier..
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Karcham at night looked a brilliant gold, shining through the dark and cold night.
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Old 18th June 2012, 19:45   #51
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Default Re: Reflecting on Driving Addictions - Bangalore to Spiti and Changthang

Awesome travelogue, Coooolcat21! Now you have inspired me to go on such a trip with my family

As earlier mentioned by the other members, you have some skill with the camera! We are hooked on to this thread.

Keep it coming
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Old 20th June 2012, 16:01   #52
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Finally a Fortuner TL in the Hills of North India. Very good photography i must say.

I went to Manali last April from Delhi where i live, but took the Simla, Narkanda, Sainj and Jalori Pass route which is longer but far more scenic than the usual Bilaspur-Mandi route.

Here is a pic of my Fortuner parked in almost the exact same spot as yours at the Hatu Narkanda
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Since the Fortuners are an All Time 4x4 SUV the roads were not a problem but did engage 4HLL on the steep decline from Jalori pass as it was rendered slushy and slippery due to snow.
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Looking forward to more from you soon.

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Old 20th June 2012, 19:02   #53
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Default Re: Reflecting on Driving Addictions - Bangalore to Spiti and Changthang

Quote:
Originally Posted by Coooolcat21 View Post
16th August. Time: 8.30 am. From Panchkula to Narkanda.

This was the part of the journey that had driven us across the country. A lovely morning, the rains had stopped, it was green and cloudy, a soft morning.




The Green Rain Soaked Countryside
Attachment 940557
Oh man!! brilliant pics. You have just ignited some thoughts in many of us.
The day i am don e with my job, i would want to travel all across India.
And by the way T-fort of yours is one of the most able companion for the long travels.
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Old 20th June 2012, 22:08   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Manuuj View Post
Finally a Fortuner TL in the Hills of North India. Very good photography i must say.

I went to Manali last April from Delhi where i live, but took the Simla, Narkanda, Sainj and Jalori Pass route which is longer but far more scenic than the usual Bilaspur-Mandi route.

Here is a pic of my Fortuner parked in almost the exact same spot as yours at the Hatu Narkanda
Attachment 943871

Since the Fortuners are an All Time 4x4 SUV the roads were not a problem but did engage 4HLL on the steep decline from Jalori pass as it was rendered slushy and slippery due to snow.
Attachment 943873

Looking forward to more from you soon.
Thank you Manuuj, you are right the roads though quiet difficult were no trouble in the Fortuner. Your Vehicle is parked exactly in the same place. Regards.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PrideRed View Post
Oh man!! brilliant pics. You have just ignited some thoughts in many of us.
The day i am don e with my job, i would want to travel all across India.
And by the way T-fort of yours is one of the most able companion for the long travels.
Best of luck on your plans and thanks.
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Old 20th June 2012, 23:04   #55
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19th August 2011. Kalpa to Nako.
We had a wonderful stay at the Kinner Kailash. As mentioned earliesr the rooms were large and beautifully made up with an stunning view. Sadly it was a cloudy day and we only had fleeting glimpses of the Peaks and the snow clad slopes.
After a good breakfast we were off at about 8 am and made towards the Recong Peo Monastry making it our first on this trip. It was beautiful and a visual pleasure to walk around. The photographs will do it better justice.
After this we set off towards our next stop-over to Nako, where we had not got a booking as it does not have a HPTDC Hotel. So we were a little apprehensive but finally it all worked out as you will see.
We had as on this day pierced the limits of the Green Line of the Himalayas. We were now into the 'Rock Crumble' region where land slides were the order of the day. It finally started feeling like an Adventure and we saw fewer vehicles from here on till the day we again rejoined the Manali - Leh Road after a few days.
It was with great joy and a sense of wonderment that saw vistas at every turn that we had mooned over in Pictures on this Forum.


View from the Hotel Balcony, Thats the Kinner Kailash Peak in the Clouds.
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Steep flight of stone steps leading up to the main building.
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Prayer flags welcome us to Recong Peo Monastry. Its situated Near to the BSNL station there and up a narrow steep road through a row of houses with Apple Gardens.
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Young Lama Boy.
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Pictures from the interior of the Monastry.
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Prayer Wheels and a Tourist
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Apples
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More Steps and Prayer Flags
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Golden Alcove.
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Exterior of the Main Building.
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A Golden Buddha Statue
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There were a lot of these Sunflowers growing in the Garden
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As seen through the Apple Orchard
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We started out of Kalpa and came across this beautiful Village. Simply Amazing.
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Our third land slide in as many days. The work of clearing the road was fascinating.
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Old 21st June 2012, 00:18   #56
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More of the Road Clearing Operation. It was amazing the amount of mountain side that had collapsed and more amazing the speed with which the machine cleared it up.
Reflecting on Driving Addictions - Bangalore to Spiti and Changthang-14b.jpg

Our theory was that they sat on the bonnet for the warmth. House flies on one of the vehicles that had stopped at the land-slide. They appeared to like the blue shade of the Car as the numbers on the other vehicles were much lesser.
Reflecting on Driving Addictions - Bangalore to Spiti and Changthang-14c.jpg

Drilling away the loose rocks.
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The fragmented mountain face. How can that possibly stay up ?
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The iconic AKPA Bridge
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Pangi Nallah. The Road was now rough and inter-spread with ferociously flowing Nallaha's and Metal Bridges.
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Parked for sight-seeing.
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Old 21st June 2012, 10:16   #57
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Post deleted by the Team-BHP Support : Please do NOT post one-liners that add little or no informational value to the thread. We need your co-operation to maintain the overall quality of this forum.

Please read our rules before proceeding any further.

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Old 21st June 2012, 12:05   #58
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@Coooolcat21
I'm Speechless. no words to praise these beauties. I wish there could be a better way of expressing our feelings on seeing her in pics, just like you did by capturing them in camera and yes of course sharing them with us! Thanks.
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Old 21st June 2012, 12:18   #59
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More Photographs on the way to Nako.
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Fortifications on a Mountain Top.
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Road maintenance in the Himalayas. In my mind the Women are the real heroes, I saw them toil endlessly with small children / toddlers in tow. Child labour seems rampant and the Government does not seem to have discovered modern/mechanised (even if minimally) road making techniques in this region.
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The newly painted Kiran Khud Bridge.
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These looked like the greening efforts by the Authorities near Dubling
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The local Water supply, in action. I think there may be bottled water available at the Pooh General Store.
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This nice stretch of road encouraged us to stop for a bite, after this the roads were good except for a few bad patches.
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And finally we were at this familiar sight, It was a great feeling to have dreamt of being in a particular place and then finding oneself there. There was a prevalent sense of deja vu in this entire trip. The Khab Bridge.
Reflecting on Driving Addictions - Bangalore to Spiti and Changthang-49.jpg

One wonders when the new bridge will be made operational. You think they are waiting for some local political satrap find time to do the honours?
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The famous Mountain supported by a telephone pole. Don't believe? Why else do you think they have not removed the pole after the wires have been?
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One of the few bad patches, from the front seat it looked like the road went off the mountain.
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The good patches, but the mountains were always menacingly leaning the wrong way.
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Beautiful Roads again. You climb away steeply from this Valley towards Nako. The River is the Spiti.
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Old 21st June 2012, 13:24   #60
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The Road Ahead.
Reflecting on Driving Addictions - Bangalore to Spiti and Changthang-58.jpg

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The Ride with Team Branding
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We found greenery again, contrasting against the rugged mountains it looked even more stunning.
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The Kazigs and the Spiti
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The Mountain Hugging Road. You are simply dwarfed by the surroundings. The Valley and the Mountains are enormous and empty. Most of us will find religion while travelling through here.
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A traction Winch used to transport material cross Valleys. I have seen a even more simpler version of this same contraption that uses gravity to transport Material. Its a looped wire running over two wheels one end higher up in the mountains across a valley and the other at a lower level. There are two buckets at each end. The one on top is loaded with rocks and the lower with a lighter load of grain or other essentials. Once the 'hand brakes' used to control the speed of the spinning wheels is slowly released the heavier 'Rock Load' rides the wire down thereby pulling the lighter load up the mountain side and this is repeated.
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The ORVM at work again.
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Driving through the Village of KAH
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Look at that Road, makes you want to go back immediately.
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Finally we reached Nako. Its a village that the Lama at the Monastery told us was a 1500 year old village. During this time it had been shifted around a couple of times due to the changing Topography of the area. We found the telephone number of a tented stay called 'The Monk' from a road-side advertisement. Called them up and found that tents were available, in fact it turned out that we were the only guests here. It was simply a stunning place, clean, neat, good food and a lovely location. Getting there was a little tricky and parking a little way away. There were other tented accommodations available a little further away. The Monk however was a new enterprise. The elevation had us a little breathless otherwise there were no other symptoms. The Care-taker gave us hot water with crushed garlic pods in it, said it would help dealing with the elevation and its associated problems. At that time and place it was a welcome glass of hot stuff. The next few are the photographs of this tented property.
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A field of Peas. The Nako peas are said to be the sweetest and the most sought after in the markets of Delhi. We had Pea Pullao for dinner and I can vouch for the sweetness of the Pea there, they were like sugar.
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The interiors of the luxurious Tent.
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The Parking Lot.
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The Heavenly Nako Lake in its various moods.
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Self-Drive Expedition Travel-Ladakh and cold desert Changthang in "off-season" Oct 10 adc Travelogues 232 28th April 2013 12:48
Reflections on Driving addictions - Valparai Coooolcat21 Travelogues 34 23rd October 2012 09:38
2 vw rides...a beetle & a golf; reflecting the ages (IVI) Post-War 28 3rd March 2009 17:08


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