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Old 31st December 2015, 21:13   #16
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Default re: The rarefied air of a high altitude cold desert - Spiti Valley on Motorcycles

13th September 2015, Day 9

With a 5 AM start from Zirakhpur, we made great progress. We crossed Ambala early and had our first major break at Karnal over breakfast. Post breakfast, I wanted to meet one of my professors from my graduation school, who now lives in Sonipat. After a quick discussion over phone calls, we decided to meet at Murthal.

With wide roads and less traffic we reached Murthal very soon and since it was a Sunday we saw plenty of superbike groups on the way.

After a quick meet-up with my professor, we left for Delhi. We reached Jehangirpuri at about 9:30 AM and after negotiating some traffic we were at our destination by 10:30 AM.

In the evening I had a flight back to Pune. Due to time constraints, I had to transport my Enfield from Delhi to Pune. I had only one week in hand and really wanted to ride to Spiti so there was no option other than transporting the bike from Delhi. Couple of days later I received my Enfield in Pune.

The ride to Spiti was extremely challenging, but absolutely worth every drop of sweat. Although my Enfield did run out of breath at Chandratal but we were glad no other issues cropped up on any motorcycle, not even a puncture. We all were back home with tired bodies, but with beautiful memories from the ride. I wish I had a few more days to do justice to places like Kibber and Pin Valley !

Iíll surely do Spiti again, but next time it will be during the winters with a week-long stay in one of the lovely homestays at Kibber.
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Old 1st January 2016, 17:06   #17
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Default Re: The rarefied air of a high altitude cold desert - Spiti Valley on Motorcycles

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Travelogues Section. Thanks for sharing! Rating 5 stars.
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Old 1st January 2016, 17:31   #18
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Default Re: The rarefied air of a high altitude cold desert - Spiti Valley on Motorcycles

Here's one pic from bhpian Revvmusic's lens, taken somewhere just after Rampur.
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Old 1st January 2016, 23:56   #19
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Default Re: The rarefied air of a high altitude cold desert - Spiti Valley on Motorcycles

That is one heck of a travelogue! Excellent write-up //M, you surely had a great time and those pictures really fascinated me.

Btw which camera did you use?
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Old 2nd January 2016, 11:51   #20
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Default Re: The rarefied air of a high altitude cold desert - Spiti Valley on Motorcycles

Hello n New Year Greetings to you and your Brave-Heart Team for Conquering those Wild Terrains, in RE. ONE OF THE BEST, Travelogue, ever written, in the forum. I thin, The Experts and Seniors will agree on this.

Can we have the mechanical or any breakdowns details on these. how much time and what difficulties you faced to overcome these breakdowns. ANY OTHER PROBLEMS regarding fuel quality, food, lodging, fellow riders, truckers, taxis, buses, nature..... I mean hardships or dangers you faced.

How much on the ODO of the RE.

May 2016 be more fun filled and more thrilling.

regards

dr. sen
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Old 2nd January 2016, 12:22   #21
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Smile Re: The rarefied air of a high altitude cold desert - Spiti Valley on Motorcycles

Such a beautiful trip. Your journey has been a visual spectacle. Kudos to all involved in this epic journey. Wish to make such a trip once at least in my life time. This trip is on my Bucket-list.
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Old 3rd January 2016, 08:58   #22
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Default Re: The rarefied air of a high altitude cold desert - Spiti Valley on Motorcycles

I am spellbound after seeing all those beautiful pictures. Absolutely fantastic trip. It really takes a lot of courage to get to those roads and terrains. Its the adrenaline and the beauty of the landscape that keeps you going for sure. In the end, its all worth the experience of a lifetime. I rode up to Gulaba and got a feel of it, though the roads were all good. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 3rd January 2016, 10:16   #23
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Default Re: The rarefied air of a high altitude cold desert - Spiti Valley on Motorcycles

Glad you put together the travelogue, Arunabh. Rated 5 stars. You people were great company and I enjoyed each and every moment of the trip. The point is, we made a million memories, and that is what matters in life ultimately. I will post a few more pictures taken through my camera, and a short narrative of what all happened after I got into that HRTC bus from Nako.
Cheers
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Old 3rd January 2016, 14:32   #24
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Default Re: The rarefied air of a high altitude cold desert - Spiti Valley on Motorcycles

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raj_RD View Post
That is one heck of a travelogue! Excellent write-up //M, you surely had a great time and those pictures really fascinated me.

Btw which camera did you use?
Thank You Sir, we indeed had a great time and I wish the trip lasted more than a week !

We used a Nikon 5200 during the trip alongwith a pocket Nikon Digicam.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr.Q View Post
Such a beautiful trip. Your journey has been a visual spectacle. Kudos to all involved in this epic journey. Wish to make such a trip once at least in my life time. This trip is on my Bucket-list.
Thank You so much Sir.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MDe View Post
I am spellbound after seeing all those beautiful pictures. Absolutely fantastic trip. It really takes a lot of courage to get to those roads and terrains. Its the adrenaline and the beauty of the landscape that keeps you going for sure. In the end, its all worth the experience of a lifetime. I rode up to Gulaba and got a feel of it, though the roads were all good. Thanks for sharing.
Thanks Sir. This was an experience of a lifetime for sure !!

Quote:
Originally Posted by RevvMusic View Post
Glad you put together the travelogue, Arunabh. Rated 5 stars. You people were great company and I enjoyed each and every moment of the trip. The point is, we made a million memories, and that is what matters in life ultimately. I will post a few more pictures taken through my camera, and a short narrative of what all happened after I got into that HRTC bus from Nako.
Cheers
Thanks a lot sir ji.

Waiting to see the pics from your lenses and ofcourse to listen more stories after you got back to Recong Peo !
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Old 3rd January 2016, 15:01   #25
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Default Re: The rarefied air of a high altitude cold desert - Spiti Valley on Motorcycles

Quote:
Originally Posted by dr. sen View Post
Hello n New Year Greetings to you and your Brave-Heart Team for Conquering those Wild Terrains, in RE. ONE OF THE BEST, Travelogue, ever written, in the forum. I thin, The Experts and Seniors will agree on this.

Can we have the mechanical or any breakdowns details on these. how much time and what difficulties you faced to overcome these breakdowns. ANY OTHER PROBLEMS regarding fuel quality, food, lodging, fellow riders, truckers, taxis, buses, nature..... I mean hardships or dangers you faced.

How much on the ODO of the RE.

May 2016 be more fun filled and more thrilling.

regards

dr. sen
Wishing you a very Happy New Year Sir and many thanks for all the compliments.


As regards to the mechanical issues or breakdowns, I'll just summarize it:

CBZ Xtreme:

1. Brake fluid leak at Theog - Consumed about 40-45 mins to get the issue fixed. However we had rode past the town in search of a garage and had to come back about 3 kms to find one after the locals helped us with directions. That consumed some time.

2. Rear Brake light stopped working - This happened at Chandratal but we rode it to Manali as the issue was minor. Got it fixed in Manali.


Thunderbird 350:

1. Minor Acceleration problems - Due to the cold altitude, was resolved once we started descending the Kunzum La.

2. Key Slot frozen at Chandratal - At Chandratal the ignition key just refused to slot in. We realized that the entire slot was frozen due to the sub-zero temperatures there. Once the sun was up, the ice melted and the key worked.


Classic 500 Desert Storm:

1. Chain lock broke at Ka - Had to keep the bike for the night at the village as the lock broke at about 8:30 PM and due to poor light and extreme cold, we could not fix it then and there. Got it fixed the next morning.

2. Spark Plug - The spark plug went kaput at Chandratal. With no garage in the vicinity, we had to tow it back to Manali which was 100 kms away. Getting a tow vehicle consumed almost first half of the day and we could leave Chandratal only by 2 PM.

3. White Smoke from the exhaust at Kunzum La - The piston was the culprit, tried to get it fixed in Manali temporarily. Got the piston block replaced in Pune once I was back, no issues since then.



The fuel quality left a lot to be desired, but there was no other option. After Tapri, there is one fuel station at Kalpa and one at Kaza, then none till Manali. Kalpa is a little detour so we fueled up our tanks at Tapri itself and carried a spare 10 litres of fuel. It lasted till Kaza where again we got enough fuel till Manali.

Fooding and lodging was not an issue. Sure you won't find any luxury accommodation anywhere in Spiti but we were content with basic lodging facilities. The local Tibetan cuisine is simple and delicious, so fooding was not an issue. Plus we carried a lot of dry food - Khakra's, cookies, dry fruits and bread - so that in case of a landslide we don't get stuck without food. We also carried an electric kettle, tea bags and maggi so wherever we got electricity we could cut down on costs by preparing tea and noodles ourselves.


No issues with taxis, truckers or fellow riders in Spiti. The local people are warm and hospitable and everywhere we went help was extended whenever required. We also had a great time at Kibber with a local family who gave us a bag-full of farm fresh peas from their fields and showed us around. At Nako, our hotel guy came at 10:00 PM till Ka to check if he or some local can help with fixing the chain lock but none of us could. So next morning, he came with us to Ka again and made sure the issue is solved before we proceed towards Tabo.

Spiti is still very less populated so there are not many buses or trucks one encounters on the road, hardly a couple of buses a day maybe.

However, the truckers were a nuisance from Mandi to Kiratpur Sahib. The badly potholed roads meant we could not ride fast once it was dark but these truckers and buses used to drive in gay abandon leaving us aghast. With a lot of patience and God's grace we were able to make it to Kiratpur Sahib slowly and steadily.

The Odo reads 37000 kms in my RE now and having done Bhutan, Sikkim, coastal West Bengal & Odisha, Rajasthan, Goa and multiple trips around the Western Ghats, this was the first time that my Enfield faced so many hiccups during any roadtrip. But we were glad none of the bikes faced a single puncture during the entire trip in such extreme road conditions.


Overall it was a wonderful trip, many lessons learnt and some experience gained. The truck-loads of good memories will last a lifetime !

Last edited by //M : 3rd January 2016 at 15:06.
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Old 3rd January 2016, 15:16   #26
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Default Re: The rarefied air of a high altitude cold desert - Spiti Valley on Motorcycles

[quote=//M;3882539]Thank You Sir, we indeed had a great time and I wish the trip lasted more than a week !

We used a Nikon 5200 during the trip alongwith a pocket Nikon Digicam.


I am still in high school.
Don't call me sir
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Old 4th January 2016, 10:36   #27
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Thumbs up Re: The rarefied air of a high altitude cold desert - Spiti Valley on Motorcycles

Excellent Travelogue to start new year with. The pictures are top class and the place seems so out of the world.

Hats off to you guys for conquering it. Will keep this on my bucket list.

Take a bow !
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Old 4th January 2016, 11:33   #28
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Default Re: The rarefied air of a high altitude cold desert - Spiti Valley on Motorcycles

Quote:
Originally Posted by xs2mayank View Post
Excellent Travelogue to start new year with. The pictures are top class and the place seems so out of the world.

Hats off to you guys for conquering it. Will keep this on my bucket list.

Take a bow !
Many thanks for the compliments sir.

When you plan to do Spiti, do spare a couple of days to explore the Pin Valley. Usually people miss out on doing Pin Valley as it is a detour from the usual route, but it is worth a visit. Having seen many pictures from Pin Valley courtesy a friend, I really wanted to go there but as luck would have had it, I could not spare a day for Mud sadly.
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Old 4th January 2016, 12:46   #29
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Default Re: The rarefied air of a high altitude cold desert - Spiti Valley on Motorcycles

Awesome stuff M2/ Rating is a well deserved 5 *. You are one lucky guy and love reading all your escapades and lens captures.
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Old 4th January 2016, 13:16   #30
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Default Re: The rarefied air of a high altitude cold desert - Spiti Valley on Motorcycles

Thanx for this very important updates. Actually, in my opinion, there is not a single, fellow bhp brethren, who does not research or look up to these travelogues, before venturing out with their precious and beloved near and dear ones for such adventure trip.

So these tiny but important jewels of information, helps a lot and prepares them mentally for these unthinkables. I am sure for now onward, all fellow bikers would keep a small lucoplast to cover the key hole, during night time or at any places, where the bikes' key slot will be exposed for long duration !

The other important spare parts being,
1. spark plug.
2. chain links and locks.
3. cables for clutch and brakes.
4, spare fuses, bulbs for headlight and brake, indicators.
5. small fuel pipe.
6. wire brush, hard toothbrush, sand paper, blotting paper,small thin but hard wire.
7. if possible, puncture kit, and an foot pump.
8. if possible, a spare chain sprocket. (unless the bikes are Japanese! or the sprocket is less than 5k old, incase of RE)
8. a spare battery (if riding in a group).
9. a spare fuel 5 lit. tin. (if riding in a group)
10. in my opinion, if riding in a group of similar bikes, a spare wheel, complete with inflated tyre- tube is a far better option than repairing on the road side, which has become increasingly dangerous. seen a few fatalities, where the wheel changing crews have been blown away, by reckless, non focused drivers. i had always carried a spare wheel in my yezdi road king, in all my long road journeys, which had helped me reach my destination within intended time, and hence kept me away from un-necessary worries, which actually saps your will power and your desire to enjoy the tour.

In my opinion, if all fellow BHPian start putting down the following in their posts in all travelogues, from their experience, then the life as well as journey will become more desirous and pleasurable. Also, the good Samaritans, WHO had helped our fellow Bhp brethrens; will get their "DUE RESPECT & DUE RETURNS" for their noble act; be it a hotelier, or food joint, or a petrol bunk owner, or tea coffee shop, or a road side mechanic, or a travel agent, or a shop etc etc. you know what i mean. The list being:
1. good petrol bunks.
2. good food / tea / coffee / snack joints with the speciality put in.
3. good hotels/lodging with tentative prices, or lodgings/ hotels to avoid.
4. Any good / outstanding / excellent View points they have found out, and want others to follow or see.
5. Any pit falls or road network, where the drivers / truckies are notorious for their outrageous driving or attitude. Any road they will advise to avoid, during night time, or any particular season.
6. Any shop / market or area they will recommend or not recommend, for any reason.

In my opinion, a travelogue, which has inputs from the writer or the readers , who put these information out, contributes to the better and enjoyable reading, and informative for the would be traveler.

Secondly, in my opinion, you have yet to put the orissa bengal coastal road trip on the forum. I am looking forward to see the Goa trip as well.

Regards

dr. sen
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