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Old 27th August 2014, 12:11   #16
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Default re: Moonface returns to the Lake of the Moon - Spiti & Chandratal

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Quote:
Originally Posted by vishwaschettri View Post
Brilliant travelogue Codelust.

My story of the ever elusive chandra tal has such an uncanny similarity to yours that it is freakish. I almost felt I was reading my own story.

It took me 6 years and 3 visits to find chandratal.
As my friend says, Chandratal is a lake that does not want to be found and it will make you work hard for it!

When in August were you guys there? We were there first week and had bikers all along the way, we could have crossed each other.

The gaddis don't stick around till September. In fact, they would have packed up and started leaving towards B'La by now. They told us that by the 26th they'd be out of there as snow comes in earlier than normal in recent times and that is deadly for the animals as they then get nothing to eat.

And thanks for sharing your experience. I used to follow the 540 rebuild thread quite closely. Glad to know it made the climb up there easily!

Last edited by codelust : 27th August 2014 at 12:19.
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Old 28th August 2014, 01:05   #17
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Default Re: Moonface returns to the Lake of the Moon - Spiti & Chandratal

Quote:
Originally Posted by codelust View Post
When in August were you guys there? We were there first week and had bikers all along the way, we could have crossed each other.
We were there between 7th to 9th August. Crossed quite a few Gypsies enroute but cant recollect any with TBHP stickers.

We were riding 3 bullets with female pillion riders on all of them from Manali side. 2 of the bullets had panniers with camping stuff wrapped in blue tarps

Rings a bell?

Keep pouring the pics. I am glued.

cheers
Vishwas
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Old 1st March 2015, 01:34   #18
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Default Re: Moonface returns to the Lake of the Moon - Spiti & Chandratal

Nearly a year down the road should be a good time to restart this travelogue. So many miles, literal and metaphorical, have been covered since the last post; and life continues to be a pleasant surprise over most of them, even as frustrating as it can be often times.

Descending Kunzum towards Batal was not easy. Being early in the season it still bore marks of the time it had spent covered under snow. The bus going to Kaza, from Manali, crossed us along the way and, as always, we were flabbergasted by the sheer ability of the drivers to handle that terrain in contraptions that are hardy, but also must be a nightmare to drive. There was also the evidence of a new approach (that was not there in 2009) to Kunzum to be seen. A large part of the road was cut, culverts half-done, but the work seemed to have stopped at that point.

The turn-off towards Chandratal eventually came into view and it got really narrow there and road turned a great deal rougher. We shifted to 4H and kept going and before the final climb we crossed that slightly strange flat lands where the first of the camps come into view. At that point a gaggle of Sumo cabs caught up with us and we did not want to travel in their dust trail, so we picked up the pace a bit and moved on ahead.

At the Chandratal parking area we figure that it is really noisy there with all the camps, so we had to make it to the far end of the lake and a bit beyond that to find the peace we came looking for. Thus started the process of getting out all the gear, which included a 2-man tent, sleeping bags, stove and food. Once we got to where we wanted to pitch our tent, I wanted to rest a bit as I was really knackered and my friend, who also wound up doing a crazier thing between the last update and this one in marrying me, volunteered to do another round of gear transfer while I rested.

I dozed off and when woke up it was getting to be dusk and I could see no sign of my friend. The point where we were at was quite a distance from where Whitey was parked and it involved at least a 30-minute trek if you were in a good shape and could walk fast. With darkness rapidly approaching, I was really worried and eventually went out looking for her, after having stashed away all the gear somewhere safe.

Eventually, after much confusion and much fretting, we ran into each other again. While I had gone looking for her, my friend made friends with one of the shepherds who decided that he should adopt us for the time we were there and insisted on feeding and sheltering us. Consequently, we spent most of our time at Chandratal with them, eating their basic but delicious food, listening to their songs and their stories.

We also made friends with their dogs and named them Manga, Grumpy, Maggoo (mangled form of Maggie) and Outrider. Manga, the youngest of the lot too a particular shine to us and spent a lot of time with us.

The two days we spent near the lake were really special. For most of the second day we got the entire lake to ourselves as they were celebrating some festival at a nearby temple that day. There was no phones, no email, no people, just a serene lake that changed its colour with hour, lots of glorious sunshine, a bunch of beautiful dogs and peace. Lots and lots of peace.

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Evening at the lake

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Maggoo & Manga

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She's jet black and it is not easy to spot her eyes.

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Mi casa

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"Hmm... why must I move?"

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"Hmm... move, I must?"

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Ah like to swing it like that!

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Grumpy has a magnificent frame

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Maggoo thinking Maggoo thoughts

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Grumpy sleepyhead


Quote:
Originally Posted by vishwaschettri View Post
We were there between 7th to 9th August. Crossed quite a few Gypsies enroute but cant recollect any with TBHP stickers.

We were riding 3 bullets with female pillion riders on all of them from Manali side. 2 of the bullets had panniers with camping stuff wrapped in blue tarps

Rings a bell?

Keep pouring the pics. I am glued.

cheers
Vishwas
Don't think we ran into any bikers on our way in or out. There were a few of them at the camps, but I don't suppose you guys were in that bunch there.

Last edited by codelust : 1st March 2015 at 01:36.
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