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Old 2nd April 2014, 21:21   #16
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Default Re: Riding beyond the Snowed Out Vistas!

Lobzang (Chundu's brother), Lobzang's wife and daughter accompanied me in their Tata Sumo till the sunrise point. I purposefully did not take the motorcycle because I would be retracing the same route later.

Lobzang pulls over and parks his car on the grassy stretch.
"Sir, we have reached the sunrise point", he says.

But I feel that we have JUST ARRIVED!

The orange of the horizon seems to have spread almost everywhere.

Riding beyond the Snowed Out Vistas!-_dsc1189.jpg

I open the door of the vehicle and the first thing that hits me is the cold. The vehicle cabin had become warm and comfortable, and the sudden whiff of the cold appears a shock. Everything seems calm on the face of it, but, bent a little low and you will observe that the dew laden and somewhat frosty grasses sway in the wind.
The light increases fast. It resembles a dynamic scene - the colours are ever changing. You just need to press the shutter to capture it.

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The autumnal cold in these high hills, the golden hour and the pristine backdrop of the mountains hoist me to a surreal feeling. I balance the tripod, mount the camera and then frame the photo. But operating the shutter with gloved hands proves to be cumbersome, so I plug in the shutter release cable and shoot this rare and luxuriant landscape.

Just, when I had felt that life can be so good, Lobzang's daughter runs towards me and in broken English she says "Here’s your tea."

It is bliss!

Initially the sunrays appeared much like search light beams that seemed to light up only a few hill tops. But now they have spread everywhere - the sky has turned into a pristine blue colour, the frost from the grasses have started to melt into water droplets and the blue rows of hills have turned into green forests.
A split second goes by and as I concentrate into the view finder, I see a faint, golden semi circular arc of light, lit up the Kanchendzonga.
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The first lights have dawned on the mountain. Click goes the shutter release cable.
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Gradually the golden hue increases in size and moves down the mountain and engulfs the pearly white snow.
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Little crests of shadows appear to break the golden colour.
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The sister peaks in the range get lighted up and after sometime half of the entire range appears golden, whereas the bottom half is in a shadow.
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After a while the golden aura disappears and the sunrays strengthen.
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Old 2nd April 2014, 21:45   #17
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Default Re: Riding beyond the Snowed Out Vistas!

There are things which you have really wanted to get in life. You worked really hard to get them, but somehow they proved to be elusive.

You don't get them. So you try to get them.
And then you keep trying some more. But still it leaves you wanting.
But you don't give up. And await your turn.

And then one day.

One day, the flood gates open. And, there happens to be a deluge of your wanting.
It soaks you.
You want it more.
And it washes you.
You still want it more.

You drown in it. Imbibe every part of it. And then you feel that its all that you wanted.

This event is almost saturating. It has twists and turns and has something new every where to offer.
Riding beyond the Snowed Out Vistas!-_dsc1226.jpg

And at the rear- of this Himalayan theatre, the sun pips in, and the rays scatter and dazzle us.
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The pearly white mountain, which had changed to orange, then golden, now appears so bright white that the white penetrates my eyes.And then it is sunny every where. The valleys are bathed in the light.
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While coming down the slopes, I remain in a daze, still struck by the magnitude of the beauty.
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I switch on the camera and scroll through the photos and relive the moments spent. The descent is much faster and almost in no time we reach the home stay.
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Coming up tomorrow. The ride from Zuluk to Gangtok through the Old Silk Route.
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Old 2nd April 2014, 21:59   #18
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Originally Posted by sayakc View Post
There are things which you have really wanted to get in life. You worked really hard to get them, but somehow they proved to be elusive.

You don't get them. So you try to get them.
And then you keep trying some more. But still it leaves you wanting.
But you don't give up. And await your turn.

And then one day.

One day, the flood gates open. And, there happens to be a deluge of your wanting.
It soaks you.
You want it more.
And it washes you.
You still want it more.

You drown in it. Imbibe every part of it. And then you feel that its all that you wanted.

This event is almost saturating. It has twists and turns and has something new every where to offer.


Coming up tomorrow. The ride from Zuluk to Gangtok through the Old Silk Route.[/i]

Wonderful. Keep it coming. Lovely pictures and beautiful write up. Must have a great feeling to experience the sunrise. Needless to say the journey itself would have been amazing.
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Old 3rd April 2014, 09:08   #19
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Back at the homestay..

Blades of sunlight seem to pour into the dining room through the glass windows. I draw the curtains and soak in the sunshine. A shadow of the window frame rests on my jacket sleeves. My hosts have sent a cup of tea and biscuits to my room. I hold the cup with my one hand and open the door leading to the balcony with the other.

I shave my two day old stubble in the running hot water from the geyser. The steaming hot water has made the mirrors foggy and I need to wipe the glass frequently. I take a hot steamed bath and put on a clean pair of jeans and a t-shirt. When I leave the room finally, I can see that the breakfast has already been laid on the table. Masala omelette, butter toast, an apple and a cup of coffee. I have the coffee, toasts and omelettes in turn and finish them up almost at the same time.

I see the motorcycle parked at the rear of the home. Its chrome and steel gleams brilliantly in the sun. I adjust the tank bag on the motorcycle and start the vehicle. It’s time to leave for the long journey to Gangtok
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Old 3rd April 2014, 09:21   #20
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Default Re: Riding beyond the Snowed Out Vistas!

We soar over the snowed out vistas.
Lean over the sweeping curves.
Hear the sweet metallic note of the running cycle.
And march along the winding roads.

Skies so blue.
Waters so clear.
Sceneries so verdant.
And nature so virgin.

Riding beyond the Snowed Out Vistas!-_dsc1272.jpg

We are standing at one of the several steep hairpin bends, from where the Kanchendzonga appears just as majestic as it appeared during the sunrise. It has been an hour of steep climb from the Zuluk military base and the place where we stand now has a rich and vivid view of the entire range.

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I ask the driver of the support vehicle, to shoot a few photos of myself in the backdrop of the mountain range to say that we have been there, done that and I get a fantastic shot. For a moment I feel really satisfied.

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We cross over an iron railing bridge into an Army training battle ground, and the sight ahead shocks me. I still get goose bumps when I think about it. The road through the valley, which has by now completely disintegrated into a dirt track rises almost vertically up the mountain in the form of consecutive 4 "Z"s. I switch to the first gear, hold the accelerator on a high and rise along with the track. The first couple of turns are dangerous and I feel that I might be pushing the motorcycle too hard. But turning back isn’t an option now as we have travelled quite a distance. The steep Zs have become steeper in the upper reaches and the cycle almost stops under the rarefied air. I pause for a moment and balance the cycle with my stretched legs to give a little amount of rest to the strained engine.



I pull over at the Old Baba Mandir, remove the gloves and take a little rest. The Halwa Prasad of the Mandir is flowing with ghee, raisins, almonds and cashew and I take two heavy dips of it. The prasad is heavenly, and the cold and the journey make it a real treat. I get the feeling that satisfaction is something which can never be purchased - it is an intangible byproduct of a process.

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The road winds down in a steep incline past the huge Kupup Lake. I pull over at a small café. From the end of the café, I can see a small hut that lies beyond the lake at the far end. It is situated on a hill top, but its view is dominated by the massive peaks that stand past it. More than the lake, it is the solitary hut that stands out.

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These high plains are dark and lonely. And add to it the unreliability of disruptive weather. I can only listen to the sound of the rumbling engine and at times Lobzang’s vehicle appears in the mirror. Sometimes I wish secretly to cross over to the lower altitudes.

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But the road is tough. And it lingers on. The gusty winds shake up the ride. And at times it is only the winds that I can hear.

And on the side of the road, a few feet below, lies a beautiful lake, so strikingly blue and captivating that it appears like an oasis in this lonely land.

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It is a small lake, not more than a 100 ft across, whose shores end in walls of the mountains that border it. I get down from the motorcycle to take a few photos. The shores are wet and marshy and the wind that comes down from the face of the snowed mountain creates small ripples in the water, and they hit the shores where I stand.



Riding beyond the Snowed Out Vistas!-_dsc1322.jpg
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Old 3rd April 2014, 21:32   #21
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We pause by Tsomgo for a few photographs. On the way down from Tsomgo I encounter some really wide stretches of good roads. But there are times when the road is a feet deep stream over rocks and boulders. There are some narrow escapes when I just get away from dipping my shoes in the water. I expect the weather to turn worse, but it holds steady.There are waterfalls which appear on the way. The motorcycle by now is all washed in colours of brown and black. Its tyres have deep cuts and furrows from the sharp edged stones.
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The sun grows weaker and its rays hit my eyes. At the 17th mile Lobzang indicates me to pull over. We break for lunch. I tuck into a plate of steaming momos, whereas he prefers rice. The momos are warm and fulfilling. I hold the momo with my fingers delicately and bite into the half of it. As I bite into the momo, I watch the vapour evolve from the other half, in my fingers. Lobzang, the shopkeeper lady, her assistant are all a relaxed lot. They share a lot of mirth and laughter during the half an hour that we spend there.
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On the way, further down a slope, a road construction company has blocked the road. I sit on the saddle for a while and ponder about reaching the hotel early. But my wait gets extended. It seems that the construction will take a little longer than anticipated. So, I push down the side stand of the cycle and get down. And as I do so, the motorcycle rolls and falls down. I had not expected this to happen. Two of us, Lobzang and me, pick it up and rest it on the main stand. The headlamp cover gets mangled due to the fall. But what it also does is, it burns a hole in my confidence.

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After the road opens, we resume the remaining journey. At the 3rd mile police check post, I show the permit papers. It is time for Lobzang and me to separate.

I breakaway.
With the sinking rays in my eyes.
With the gripping cold that it brings with it.
With the feeling of success that floats in the air.
With the happiness that I must have got in a long, long time.

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I descend fast along the sweeping roads. Ask a few people for directions to my hotel and with the setting sun that casts an orange hue along the hills everywhere, I reach the hotel.

Later that evening, I spend a couple of hours in the library.
Transfer the photos to the laptop.
Write down the trip diary.
Have a tall drink of whisky and a quiet dinner.

The hardships of the day has given away to a calm and peaceful night. Back in the room, a lot of tiredness and the fatigue overcomes me. Through the glass windows I can see the lights of Gangtok town filter through and create a mosaic on the glass. I turn off the light and go to sleep. But I see the lofty ranges and the snowflakes in the semi slumber. It is almost dreamy like and I doze off.

Riding beyond the Snowed Out Vistas!-_dsc1344.jpg

Tomorrow is the big PERMIT day!
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Old 4th April 2014, 12:11   #22
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Default Re: Riding beyond the Snowed Out Vistas!

Even the word 'awesome' will have identity crisis to justify your thread! What an epic travelogue! I virtually traveled with you free of cost while reading this! The pictures are really breath taking. And of-course you made me more greedy, so waiting for more to come.

Rated 5 star.
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Old 4th April 2014, 15:14   #23
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Thank you Samba for the nice words! I am still to master the art of photography, but yes, you can definitely read the snippets and writings - thats what I really love to do. Heres hoping you can spend sometime on the trip diaies too

P.S - Your travelogue on the Andamans has been a great one indeed!
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Old 5th April 2014, 14:53   #24
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Default An Idle Day in Gangtok Town

Motorcycle as a mode of vacation never really occurred to me earlier. I have been part of self driven holidays before, but the idea of touring the mountains over a vacation on a motorcycle was completely revolutionary to me.

When you stop to think that a motorcycle is only a piece of moving machinery, think about this - its feline like eyes, predator like stance, a stealing thunder and its eagerness to prowl - only make it a glamorous living beast. A motorcycle is a culture; an expression of emotions; a showpiece of artsmanship and an icon of innovation - which has been moulded into metal. When you sit on the saddle of a running cycle with the tarmac whizzing past, remember that you are essentially bearing years of history, decades of ideas and experience between your legs.

And then comes out the best act of a motorcycle - it can race - fast and furious - like a leopard hunting down its prey.

Racing down the highways, at night, in the cold, with the headlights turned off, with the nose tip having frozen cold and jets of tears flowing out of the corners of the eyes due to the reflex from the cold – a motorcycle has always been associated with sheer acts of rebellion during the youth – but gradually it has turned into a premise of vacation, a whole new way to see life!


Back to the hotel room.
Its another bright morning.

On my way to the breakfast, at the door of the dining room, I am greeted by the owner. She was not even a day older since I last saw her, which was around a year back.

"Good Morning", she says, smiling and cheerful as she watered the orchids that dotted the resort almost everywhere.

"Good Morning to you too. How do you do?", I reply.

"I am good. Thanks for asking. And it is especially the weather. Just take a look at the valley, how beautiful it looks?",she says, watering the orchids.

A variety of wild orchids, flowers and vegetables appear every where. It is all so fragrant and colourful that I dont even need to look into the valley. I pull up a chair and open up the newspaper that am carrying.

The breakfast and dining area is a creation of wood and glass. There are floor to ceiling glass windows from where you can look out at the vegetable garden. Small cauliflowers, cabbages, broccoli, bell peppers peep out from the several corners of the garden and that looks fresh and soothing. In the dining table, a lavish spread has been laid out. Omelettes, milk, cornflakes, toasted bread, coffee, butter, jam feature in a myriad cups, plates and bowls.
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Old 5th April 2014, 15:02   #25
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There are a couple of activities high on my list of priorities today.
One, is to get the motorcycle checked.
Two, is to get the permits.

The idea is again to take a support vehicle for the trip of 3 days and 2 nights.

At the garage, he analyzes the problem. He manages to open up the brake shoe finally and shows me that the brake shoe has worn off completely – the culprit which was causing the clanking sound of metal on metal. The lack of the brake shoe surface meant that the movement of the motorcycle could not be arrested even after pressing the brake lever to the maximum limit. And the only solution to the problem seemed to buy a new brake shoe.

I head into one of the cafes at the mall. The mall is abuzz with shoppers and tourists. The vibrancy of the crowd of shoppers is a welcome change from the loneliness of the previous two days. Often you try to escape the mad rush of the city, but after you spend a few days in the wilderness, the same feelings haunt you down. That’s what city life does to you. The sight of so many people in colourful dresses flocking to the main centre of the town; women in fur lined over coats, high heeled shoes; men in jeans and smart leather jackets; couples walking, holding their hands; some seated in the old world styled iron chairs sipping coffee. There is so much of action everywhere you look at. At the distance I can see cars ambling along slowly downhill, shops doing brisk business. All in all a very colourful and energetic setting.

I take a seat in the overhanging balcony of a cafe and have a cup of coffee and donuts. In between the sips of coffee I make some phone calls back home. A few magazines have been laid out on the table. The feeling of freshness that I had on the first day, is stronger now and there is a feeling that the journey will reach its tempo over the coming few days.

I meet Dorjee, who will arrange the permits for the North Sikkim trip, the next day.We work out the formalities.

The dining area is very quite that night. Even the sound of spoon and fork seems to reverberate against the wooden walls. Food is light: steamed vegetables fresh from the garden, dal, rice, roti and chicken with vegetables; and the dinner is quick eaten. I walk around for a while and then retire back to my room and go to sleep.

In the sleep, the ice and boulders slip into my thoughts at times, but by now, the dice has been rolled and there was no looking back. Some of the simulated rides which I had envisaged earlier, flip in and out. And an eager anticipation builds through the night. I wake up only once that night, but then the ride calculations and fears play too much in the mind. I try to beat the thoughts, knowing fully well that there is no antidote to a clear head for the long day ahead.
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Old 5th April 2014, 16:08   #26
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Default Re: Riding beyond the Snowed Out Vistas!

Your travelogue is a dose of Nostalgia for my soul.

Went to Gangtok in 1994 and 2006. So, its time to re-visit. Both, the nature, with trees, mountains, snow, lakes and rivers but without crowd, and also the city with the crowd, have their own charm.

Sikkim coupled with Darjeeling, beckons.

Please kindly share the details of the persons who helped in permits / homestay and also the details of the hotels, if possible. Will help a lot in planning my next trip in my vehicle.

Thanks for the wonderful travelogue and the mind blowing photographs.

- Sai
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Old 6th April 2014, 11:56   #27
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Default The Day of the long Day.

The wind whistles through my helmet.
My collars flutter against the wind.
And on my face is a grin, courtesy the wide, paved road.

I am in the outskirts of Gangtok, on the North Sikkim Highway - the road that connects Gangtok to the North district headquarters of Mangan and beyond. The city traffic has thinned to only highway traffic. It is notorious and infamous for being a highway, with no asphalt.

Riding beyond the Snowed Out Vistas!-_dsc1405.jpg

I can see clouds on the mountains and their shadows in the valleys. There are flower beds on the road sides in all colours, red, pink and violet. Then there are shrubs and bushes, shadows of trees on the road and everywhere else. There are small hamlets, an odd grocery shop situated at the further end of the village. I can see people bent low carrying dry wooden sticks on their backs. Talk about harsh conditions of living! There are dark green forests, curved roads, snowy mountains, streams and waterfalls. The traffic is empty, with the occasional tourist vehicles that cross me - they seem to be in a hurry. Then there are farm lands, dotted with green and yellow colours.

Riding beyond the Snowed Out Vistas!-_dsc1421.jpg

Sometimes the wind picks up, sometimes it dies down.
Sometimes it feels a little warm, so I let the jacket zip lower to let in a little more of the air and then it feels a little cold and I move the zip up.
There are school children walking on the roads, possibly returning from their school. I give a cursory glance at them. Some smile back, some run after my moving cycle. Whereas I leave them behind and ride ahead.

Riding beyond the Snowed Out Vistas!-_dsc1423.jpg

At the noddles break, I hear
"Your noodles is ready"

I spring up to the counter and he serves it in a big bowl. The noodle is steaming hot. There are small pieces of tomatoes, green chillies, beans, carrot floating in it. The water vapour rises from it and I try to blow the noodles cold. But the temptation to eat is too high. I dip the spoon into the soup and try to fetch some of the noodles but what comes out is only the soup. I taste it, and it almost burns my tongue. I need to wait, I think to myself. Instead I focus on the tea and wait for the noodles to reach a soother temperature and chat up a conversation with Tashi, the driver of the support vehicle.

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The taste of the noodles lingers as I ride through the switchbacks, leaning and revving. The green luxuriant forests grow thicker and the shadows grow colder. In the high altitudes, these forests would be gone. First there would be trees. Then conifers. Then shrubs. Then meadows. And finally beds of rock and ice. But that is a gradual transition. What is constant in all this is the beat of the running engine that seems to carry on and on.

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The engine fires itself into a consistent periodic beat. And the motorcycle seems planted on the road. The motion is uniform. No brakes, no cutch and no gear alteration. And the speedometer reads the same 30 km/hr. There is only one act associated with the rider: that of steering the handle bar in the direction of the road. It is an absolute delight that I feel inside. It’s the typical wind in the head experience that goes hand in hand with riding a motorcycle.

Riding beyond the Snowed Out Vistas!-_dsc1432.jpg

We had an extremely late start and by the time we reach Chungthang, the sun has already started to go down. And the darkness brings with it, an unprecedented chill.
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Old 6th April 2014, 12:24   #28
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Default The Night of the Long Day

We break for tea at a small tea shop in Chungthang. The road branches its way across to Lachen. It is almost dark, but the road from Chungthang to Lachen,a distance of 33 kms is better than the horrendous condition of the last 40 kms.
There are not many photos due to the darkness, so I will reprise some of the photos from my opening post.

The distant scenery looks pristine. But the near scenery appears hostile. At one point, I come across a water fall that falls down from a great height. It starts from cavernous rock and keeps falling down for a couple of hundred feet. But I am not able to see its end. There are some larger rocks in the vicinity which blocks the sight. It does not have a name, but it looks lonely. The cascading fall appears in a stark contrast to the rocky walls of the mountain from which it has emerged. In the harsh winters, when the temperature dips low, it will be frozen into a vertical sheet of ice.


This was the last photo that I had taken that day.

Riding beyond the Snowed Out Vistas!-_dsc1444.jpg

That day after I had managed to reach the hotel, it was past 7.30 in the evening. And when I sat down to write the trip diary, I had the following to write.

"The visibility started to shrink rapidly and I put on the parking lights first. They were not meant for visibility, but to make my motorcycle visible to the oncoming vehicles. My senses were alarmed and I knew that the rest of the journey was to be completed under the cloud of darkness. Beside the road were pine trees and conifers, which no more appeared beautiful. And then there was the river that kept company all along. Sometimes the road ran so high that the river appeared to be speck. But there were times when it almost touched the river bed.

And then as I eagerly rode on, waiting for Lachen to arrive, I was elated when I first saw the "Welcome to Lachen" gate. In the cold, I sensed some beauty because I had felt that the hardship was over. Visibility was poor, but the moon light shone on brilliantly and the stars glittered in the sky. It was straight dipping road that cut through the valley. And the valley was surrounded by huge snow covered mountains on either side that shone in the moonlight. It was a small village and there were agricultural fields, small thatched huts, wooden fences, grasses swaying in the wind bathed in the moon light that looked magical. I could see the lights of the support vehicle in the rear view mirror and signaled the vehicle to stop. The ask was simple: Which is the way to the hotel?

When the vehicle stopped, to my dismay, I saw that it was not my support vehicle, but a fully loaded tourist vehicle. He rolled down the foggy windows of the passenger side that was blocking the conversation, and found out that I had lost my support vehicle. But he assured me that I was on the correct path.

And then as I felt, I was running out of options, a Mahindra Bolero appeared and I could not thank God more when I saw it was my support vehicle. The driver engaged the high beam and I rode in front of him and the sighting of any collection of lights seemed to be Lachen to me. But it was not and the journey was not yet over.

“Bas thodi hi dur aur”, was the reply that he gave me everytime I stopped to ask him how far was the hotel. "

Riding beyond the Snowed Out Vistas!-_dsc1422.jpg

"Out of the several things during the last one and a half hours that I remember is a suspension bridge.As I entered the bridge, its iron sheets creaked under the load and the metallic sound made me go off balance. There were prayer flags that draped the bridge and the way they fluttered in the wind, made me shiver. Everything seemed vastly different from the world of the morning, when I sat enjoying the hot bowl of noodles.

The buff that I was wearing initially from Gangtok to save myself from the dust and the sun, I had to use it to protect myself from the cold wind. I was riding as mechanically as I could possibly. The jeans never really protected the legs and the leather gloves did not pass the grades. The cold cut through the leather gloves that offered little protection. At times it got unbearably cold that I needed to slow down the motorcycle to escape the wind chill but it was a futile effort which only hampered the progress. I rubbed my hands over the jeans for a little comfort but it didn’t work. Initially I had presumed that I would be reaching Lachen within an hour with the remaining twilight, but when the last light faded from the top most snow covered peaks I could foresee the unforgiving chill. So, I rode fast, and my legs felt even more freezing temperatures, and my fingers grew number by the minute, as I waited for Lachen to arrive, but to no luck. The cold appeared to needle through the denims that I was wearing. The legs had reached a state of suspended animation. At some point I remember, I was not feeling the cold anymore. It felt like the skin had worn off and was exposed directly to the fierce cold wind. It felt sizzling hot that the veins were throbbing with blood. Much like you would feel, if you expose a gaping wound to a box of fiery chilies - the cold ate into the fingers and it turned insensitive after sometime.

There were numerous water crossings that came in the way. There were stars that lit up the sky and there was the moonlight which was so brilliant that I could see a shadowy, flickering reflection over the cascading waters. At one such long water crossing, I had to dip my shoes that resulted in wet socks. The wetness added to the discomfort and the chill. It further aggravated the difficulty of riding the motorcycle. "


Riding beyond the Snowed Out Vistas!-_dsc1424.jpg

As I finish up writing the diary I hear a knock on the door. It must be the bowl of soup and the second cup of tea which I had ordered. The bed feels warm, over which I sit cross legged, with a blanket spread over me. The soup acts as the much needed energizer.

I have an invaluable lesson at the back of me. There cannot be bad weather, only bad clothes. And if I am to conquer Gurudongmar, I need to conquer the cold. I need to put on my full suit of armour and fight out what comes in the way. And as I rummage thru the belongings, there are quite a few interesting and versatile items that I bring out.

I call it a day soon after dinner, but that night I dont get much sleep.
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Old 6th April 2014, 12:37   #29
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Default The Ride to Gurudongmar

I hear a knock on my door. But it appears to come from quite a distance.
I ignore it and go back to sleep.
I am awake, yet I feel immobile. I am in that state of sleep, where I can only feel, but cannot react.
I hear another knock. The second knock pushes me out of the light slumber.
I roll over and check my watch. Its 3.40.
They must be knocking on the door for quite some time now.
I blabber out something like “Yup….coming” to stop those persistent knocks. And try to sleep a little
longer.
It takes some time for me to fully comprehend where I really am, and what is the task for the day. And when the urgency hits me, I feel that I am running against the clock! I sit bolt upright.

I open the door first.
Tashi is standing and beside him is the waiter who holds a cup of tea.
“Good morning sir.”
“Yes, good morning.”, I reply as I take the tea cup.

The Thangu Valley

Riding beyond the Snowed Out Vistas!-_dsc1453.jpg

Peaks that rise from the river bed at Thangu

Riding beyond the Snowed Out Vistas!-_dsc1456.jpg

Some of the more prominent ones

Riding beyond the Snowed Out Vistas!-_dsc1457.jpg

The Motorcycle, somewhere between Thangu and Giagong. The only time I paused for a photo break. A few kilometers ahead, and we couldnt proceed further

Riding beyond the Snowed Out Vistas!-_dsc14542.jpg

Massive structures

Riding beyond the Snowed Out Vistas!-_dsc1519.jpg

Peaks in the Kanchengyao range

Riding beyond the Snowed Out Vistas!-_dsc1466.jpg

A cold, harsh desert. Nothing, absolutely nothing grows here

Riding beyond the Snowed Out Vistas!-_dsc1551.jpg
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Old 6th April 2014, 12:43   #30
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Default Re: Riding beyond the Snowed Out Vistas!

Sayakc, thanks for making my Sunday. The narration and the photographs are simply out of this world. While Sikkim has always been on my list of places to visit,your TL takes it a few notches up. Furthermore, it has also given birth to what is the mode of transport I should take. Since I am married and with kids, a car/suv seems to be the logical choice. However, the switchbacks in the photos have planted the seeds of a biking trip. Well the place seems to be so magical it is worth doing the trip twice. Once in a car and on the TBTS 500 he second time round.
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