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Old 4th January 2016, 14:10   #31
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Default Re: The rarefied air of a high altitude cold desert - Spiti Valley on Motorcycles

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Originally Posted by FuelInjector View Post
Awesome stuff M2/ Rating is a well deserved 5 *. You are one lucky guy and love reading all your escapades and lens captures.
Thank You sir.

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Originally Posted by dr. sen View Post
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
Very well said Doctor !

All points noted.

The aim of all such travelogues are to help the like-minded folks so I agree with each and every point you have mentioned.

We carried many spares, but the idea of carrying an inflated spare wheel never occurred to us till we saw a group of Ladakhi youngsters riding in Spiti. We met this group in Kaza and they were four riders on Enfields and were carrying a spare inflated tyre-tube alongwith the rim, easy-fix for sure !

I had posted a few pics from my Odisha ride in my Desert Storm thread: Link (My 1st Bull: Classic 500 Desert Storm)
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Old 4th January 2016, 15:51   #32
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Default Re: The rarefied air of a high altitude cold desert - Spiti Valley on Motorcycles

Wanted to express thanks for the travelogue... I've been blessed to be able to travel through Spiti a number of times this past decade, and despite (or because of) the challenges it remains one of my favorite continuing experiences - lots of familiar scenes there in the photos. I do fear that with last season's troubles in Ladakh and the increased exposure (probably here on tBhp as much as anywhere else) that the place will be similarly overrun in time... but for now, it's still relatively (and refreshingly) lightly treaded / minimally "defiled" / untamed - Let's (please) all of us TBhpians commit to do our part to keep it that way. Last time I stayed at Chandra-Tal, I was dismayed (not to mention irritated) to hear booming party-style music filling the entire camping plain till 11PM, and to see water bottles strewn about the rocks and hills at the far end... So sad that when all that could be easily experienced in any of the metros these travelers were coming from, that they'd choose to selfishly deny, devalue, and defile the perfect stillness, purity, and peace that the place has till recently offered, filling it with the noise, chaos, and litter of the same cities they ironically they seem to be trying to escape. God, help us, we are a mad species!

Spiti's quite the adventure when the glacial streams are in full summer run, but going later in the season does have its benefits - one being that you're pretty likely to be able to get through on a bike - a pleasure denied some other travelers I met on my last (July 2015) journey, and many others. I've been there twice as late as mid-October, which proved chilly, but even more pristine (and I kept my boots dry!). By that time, the Chandra-Tal revelers (and pretty much anyone else, including the shepherds) are long-gone...

Quote:
Originally Posted by dr. sen View Post
The other important spare parts being,
1. spark plug.....
(etc)...
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.... i had always carried a spare wheel in my yezdi road king...

...Also, the good Samaritans, WHO had helped our fellow Bhp brethrens; will get their "DUE RESPECT & DUE RETURNS" for their noble act... you know what i mean.
The ultimate "returns" and rewards to those who've helped us may come in a life beyond this one of course, but...

Last season around Manali I used the Marshal 4x4 and a tow cable to rescue a number of people in helpless situations that their own foolishness / ineptness usually got them into, and for whom more "commercialized" solutions would have cost them dearly; Yet I was only ONCE offered some some small compensation; I will still happily help anyone in need, but please KNOW that it COSTS SOMEONE - in time and inconvenience and very heavy strains / wear on a vehicle (tyres/drivetrain in particular), and diesel, and risk of major breakages or even total loss, etc - and some consideration for that would be seem appropriate whether we're on the giving or receiving end. Travelers, please keep this in mind... Someone's heart is right in freely offering aid (and moreover not trying to exploit anyone's bad decisions / bad fortune, as so many others do); Our hearts (I do speak to myself as a fellow traveler also, mind you) also ought to be right, in willingly offering at least some token of appreciation for assistance received (I do not even say it must be financial... let's be creative here... a meal/snack at the next roadside stop? A cool drink / beer? A souvenir from your part of the country...???).

To be clear, the actual (biblical) Good Samaritan helped, with no expectation of anything in return, a truly helpless man who was away from home, immobilized by injury, and totally devoid of funds, his having been robbed / left for dead; The Samaritan's actions there are a real picture of GRACE, that we should be striving to emulate. Only snag here as I meditate on this is that pretty much all the people I've towed out have a lot more cash in their pockets/bank account, and are driving a lot more expensive vehicles, than I myself do. Something seems wrong here, and it's good to also remember the general principle that "what a man sows, that shall he also reap". Expressions of mercy and of gratefulness are equally important here.

Re: the spares, very good advice there that should be heeded; it's sad to have to drag a bike all the way back from Chandra-Tal (or halfway from Ladakh, etc, etc) for the lack of a Rs70 sparkplug (and/or a spanner to replace it)... Re: the mounted spare tyre, that was easy on a Yezdi since the hub was compatible with either front or rear; carrying two such as required with an Enfield would be pretty impracticable. So you figure you've got ten bikes, so two should be able to carry one each? Well, you're probably going to have more than two punctures then! And do remember that you're still going to spend time on roadside changing the wheel assembly anyway. Carrying two wheels, IMO, is only worthwhile if you've got a four-wheeler support vehicle along (to me that kind of spoils the spirit of the thing, but to each his own). Fixing punctures roadside is not actually difficult, but in places where cold/rain are likely, it can be challenging, and a couple of spare tubes might be preferable. Re: tyre-changing safety, in places like Spiti most vehicle drivers are professional and conscientious, the road is fairly lightly traveled, and there are generally quite a few places to pull a sufficiently safe distance from the road's edge. Placing brightly-colored clothing/luggage near road's edge is advisable, or else the old-school method of stones (but not actually in the lanes of travel, please), of which Spiti provides an abundance.

Thanks and regards,
-Eric

Last edited by ringoism : 4th January 2016 at 15:56.
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Old 4th January 2016, 17:26   #33
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Default Re: The rarefied air of a high altitude cold desert - Spiti Valley on Motorcycles

Quote:
Originally Posted by ringoism View Post
I do fear that with last season's troubles in Ladakh and the increased exposure (probably here on tBhp as much as anywhere else) that the place will be similarly overrun in time... but for now, it's still relatively (and refreshingly) lightly treaded / minimally "defiled" / untamed - Let's (please) all of us TBhpians commit to do our part to keep it that way. Last time I stayed at Chandra-Tal, I was dismayed (not to mention irritated) to hear booming party-style music filling the entire camping plain till 11PM, and to see water bottles strewn about the rocks and hills at the far end...
.

Chandratal and the campsite were absolutely clean when we were there. Either Modi Ji's Swachh Bharat Campaign is working (people getting more responsible) or the people who run the campsites clean the mess. I sincerely wish its the former case !

We did our part, we carried all wrappers, bottles, papers, cigarette buds with us and safely deposited everything in dustbins during our night stay at a hotel or at a restaurant. I am sure many people do the same and I hope the awareness spreads so that we keep the places of visit clean and pristine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ringoism View Post
Spiti's quite the adventure when the glacial streams are in full summer run, but going later in the season does have its benefits - one being that you're pretty likely to be able to get through on a bike - a pleasure denied some other travelers I met on my last (July 2015) journey, and many others. I've been there twice as late as mid-October, which proved chilly, but even more pristine (and I kept my boots dry!). By that time, the Chandra-Tal revelers (and pretty much anyone else, including the shepherds) are long-gone...
Wow I am sure that would be quite an experience. I was in Ladakh in Feb '15 for a trek and the entire Ladakh minus the tourists looked beautiful. Even the Leh market was closed as many locals go to places like Dharamshala or Manali during extreme winters in Ladakh. The sheer beauty of the place can be enjoyed during these off-seasons or shoulder-seasons !

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Originally Posted by ringoism View Post
To be clear, the actual (biblical) Good Samaritan helped, with no expectation of anything in return, a truly helpless man who was away from home, immobilized by injury, and totally devoid of funds, his having been robbed / left for dead; The Samaritan's actions there are a real picture of GRACE, that we should be striving to emulate.
Totally agreed !

We were grateful to all the people who went out of their way to help us in whatever way they could. Sometimes we just exchanged a smoke, sometimes we had food together. Sometimes we gave a lift to someone needy, sometimes we just exchanged a hello with a shepherd. We stayed in a hotel in Kaza, the lady who runs the hotel told us so many stories and gave us a parcel to be dropped at Kibber to her mom's place. We did that and she ensured we get the best hospitality once we were back in Kaza.

Tenzin the guy from Batal who towed the Enfield in his pick-up truck till Manali told us so many stories about his personal life and about the hardships they face. We met his friends, an Indian and couple of Israelis and it was one great journey we did from Chandratal to Manali. Once in Manali, Tenzin arranged a decent hotel for us and we had dinner together at a cafe in Old Manali.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ringoism View Post
Re: the spares, very good advice there that should be heeded; it's sad to have to drag a bike all the way back from Chandra-Tal (or halfway from Ladakh, etc, etc) for the lack of a Rs70 sparkplug (and/or a spanner to replace it)...
Very true, I was carrying one spare spark plug which I had given to an elderly German couple riding a rented Enfield from Manali. We met this couple at a local garage shop in Sumdo, the garage guy did not have a spark plug for an Enfield. We had stopped there for air-pressure in the motorcycles, on seeing the stranded couple I gave my spare spark plug to them. At that time, little did I know that couple of days later I will face a similar issue.
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Old 4th January 2016, 18:16   #34
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Default Re: The rarefied air of a high altitude cold desert - Spiti Valley on Motorcycles

Hello.
Nice point of view. Very well said, on helping people on way.

About the spare tyres, in my experience / roadside observation; its the rear tyre which gives in, 9.9 out of ten times. hence carrying the rear spare tyre makes sense, provided you take the calculated risk and keep your fingers crossed, hoping your luck doesnt fall into those unlucky 10%. In my opinion, carrying two spares, one front and one rear, doesnt make sense. Any how for the 1% bad luck chance,, you are carrying the puncture kit !.

Avoiding, road side repairing of puncture, was meant for all type of roads, irrespective of laddakh or otherwise.

Its just an advise, and my opinion, which was shared, since i use to travel alone (1987- 1995), like our dear friend, who had ventured alone, when his all friends had backed out, to Rajasthan.

regards

dr. sen
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Old 4th January 2016, 18:48   #35
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Default Re: The rarefied air of a high altitude cold desert - Spiti Valley on Motorcycles

"Very true, I was carrying one spare spark plug which I had given to an elderly German couple riding a rented Enfield from Manali. At that time, little did I know that couple of days later I will face a similar issue. [/quote]"

So the net take home advise from a doctor is, never give your lever, kidney, eye (for which we have spare ), unless he happens to be a sibling, parents or your better halves, i.e. people who will travel with you in your journey, and will support or provide their spares (cash or kind or other wise) when in need !.

jokes apart; i always replace the spares once used, at the EARLIEST CHANCE POSSIBLE. Thats why "insurance" was invented, and is the largest and biggest money spinner in the world. Hope you got my point.

Just asking a personal question aloud in this forum. i had seen and been following your posts for long. You seem to be die hard fan and believer of RE. No matter how much trouble it gives, you always have a good word for RE. Like a true Jai - Veeru partnership. Any chance you will change this RE or go for a upgrade in future or just keep it with you for Nostalgia.

Want to hear your long term views about your RE. !

Regards

dr sen
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Old 4th January 2016, 21:58   #36
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Default Re: The rarefied air of a high altitude cold desert - Spiti Valley on Motorcycles

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Originally Posted by dr. sen View Post

Just asking a personal question aloud in this forum. i had seen and been following your posts for long. You seem to be die hard fan and believer of RE. No matter how much trouble it gives, you always have a good word for RE. Like a true Jai - Veeru partnership. Any chance you will change this RE or go for a upgrade in future or just keep it with you for Nostalgia.

Want to hear your long term views about your RE. !

Regards

dr sen
The RE has been a true companion in many of my roadtrips over the last 3 years and yes I am in love with it. I do loathe it at times when it shows certain mood-swings but a good wash and some caressing later, I cannot help but feel an overwhelming affection for the bull.

I would love to keep the Enfield for a few more years but after the issues in Spiti, I am looking to buy a reliable workhorse that can take me across the country in the same way my Enfield did all these months. Maybe a KTM or maybe a bigger twin cylinder bike, I do not know. But given my budget and transferable job, I am not sure how long will I be keeping the Enfield. All I know is I want a motorcycle, not a car to take me on those highways and serpentine ghat roads.

But with so many fond memories with the bull, it is going to be really difficult to say adieu. So I might just keep it for some more time, maybe buy another steed to take care of the longish highway runs. I still do not know, a little confused maybe.

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Old 4th January 2016, 22:19   #37
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Default Re: The rarefied air of a high altitude cold desert - Spiti Valley on Motorcycles

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I would love to keep the Enfield for a few more years but after the issues in Spiti, I am looking to buy a reliable workhorse that can take me across the country in the same way my Enfield did all these months. Maybe a KTM or maybe a bigger twin cylinder bike, I do not know. But given my budget and transferable job, I am not sure how long will I be keeping the Enfield. All I know is I want a motorcycle, not a car to take me on those highways and serpentine ghat roads.

But with so many fond memories with the bull, it is going to be really difficult to say adieu. So I might just keep it for some more time, maybe buy another steed to take care of the longish highway runs. I still do not know, a little confused maybe.

Hello,

That was a typical loving, caring "Master" talking about his pet horse or a Compassionate farmer talking about his prized and affectionate Bull.

After reading all your post, i knew you had developed a liking and a strong bond had developed between you and the RE, like so many other fellow Bhp brethren. But your past and present posts clearly shows the difference between jap and indian bikes, specially RE. RE is a typical GABRU JAWAN, which every father wants , his child to be, beside a tendulkar, or a dhoni or messi , or ronaldo etc. Mind you, he is not 'khali'; who too is a typical Punjabi 'Gabru Jawan'. But a RE is much like 'Dwane Johnson' which has looks to kill, strength or torue to pull 5 wwf fighters, you know what i mean.

I know the predicament you are in. Much similar to people like us, who had owned the Fiat 1100 D, or the 1970's Amby or the Premiere padmini, or the Willy's jeep.
Good Luck to you, May the Force be with You.

Regards
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Old 4th January 2016, 23:32   #38
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Default Re: The rarefied air of a high altitude cold desert - Spiti Valley on Motorcycles

Awesome thread //M brings back so many memories, nothing better than a motorcycle road trip with friends. Spiti is always fun specially Gramphu to Lohsar if you like off-road riding. Sharing some picks from October 2015 trekking over Hampta pass between Manali and Spiti. I did take a dip in the mighty Chandrataal and was a pleasure as always


Deo Tiba and Indrasan. I will attempt climbing Deo Tiba (6001 M) this July/August
The rarefied air of a high altitude cold desert - Spiti Valley on Motorcycles-img_6523.jpg

"SheaGoru" Glacier on the Spiti side
The rarefied air of a high altitude cold desert - Spiti Valley on Motorcycles-11225743_10153724462863023_8606124131806529177_n.jpg

Chandrataal
Name:  12065794_10153724463328023_3756918395688764498_n.jpg
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Size:  8.1 KB

Top of Hampta Pass 14100 Feet
The rarefied air of a high altitude cold desert - Spiti Valley on Motorcycles-12088532_10153724462878023_6972190465291241993_n.jpg

Right after a dip in the lake
The rarefied air of a high altitude cold desert - Spiti Valley on Motorcycles-12107834_10153724463153023_5607939582846419367_n.jpg

Regards
Rajnish
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Old 5th January 2016, 12:20   #39
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Default Re: The rarefied air of a high altitude cold desert - Spiti Valley on Motorcycles

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Originally Posted by dr. sen View Post
I know the predicament you are in. Much similar to people like us, who had owned the Fiat 1100 D, or the 1970's Amby or the Premiere padmini, or the Willy's jeep.
Absolutely same situation.

We have had a BSA, a Triumph, a Norton and a RD350 in the family, and each motorcycle had been lovingly kept till they were sold off in due time. I so wish we still had atleast any one of these, should have been a prized possession today !

Quote:
Originally Posted by bhogalrajnish View Post
Awesome thread //M brings back so many memories, nothing better than a motorcycle road trip with friends. Spiti is always fun specially Gramphu to Lohsar if you like off-road riding. Sharing some picks from October 2015 trekking over Hampta pass between Manali and Spiti. I did take a dip in the mighty Chandrataal and was a pleasure as always
Wow those are some lovely clicks. I wanted to do Hampta Pass in 2014 but somehow got caught up in multiple activities and had to cancel the trek plan. In 2015, I did a Lamayuru - Konski La trek over the Chadar near Hinju and also a winter trek to Kedarkantha Peak couple of weeks back. We were the first batch to open the route in Kedarkantha this year, it was challenging with deep snow but it was a lot of fun. I will put up a thread about the Kedarkantha trek soon. Requesting you to pen down your experience at Hampta Pass too, that would be a great read I'm sure.
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Old 5th January 2016, 13:01   #40
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Default Re: The rarefied air of a high altitude cold desert - Spiti Valley on Motorcycles

That is an epic journey and an equally amazing travelogue. You literally took me for a ride with you through the vast Spiti in just couple of hours with your gifted writing and the wonderful pictures. I rated the story a deserved 5*!
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Old 5th January 2016, 14:50   #41
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Default Re: The rarefied air of a high altitude cold desert - Spiti Valley on Motorcycles

That was an amazing travelogue and even better pictures. I applaud you and your fellow riders for really roughing it, and also enjoying it in the process.
Spark plug gone kaput might have dampened things down a wee bit.

What really amazes me is the tenacity of humans . There are people actually living even in the most remote of regions, in the harshest of climes. Also, that there are travelers such as yourselves who visit these places and bring back memories and experiences.

Keep traveling.
Cheerio
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Old 5th January 2016, 17:53   #42
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Default Re: The rarefied air of a high altitude cold desert - Spiti Valley on Motorcycles

Dear Rajnish babu,

Hello n new Year greetings to you. Your trek needs a writeup, specially with those spine / bone chilling photograph (you said after bath, right ! we couldnt notice any shake in the photographs, or was it photoshop effect, which you deleted !)

Jokes apart, all such adventures need to be penned down, sooner than later, before you miss the finer points, which we all do, and which are /would be crucial to other fellow Bhp brethren, travelers.

So your time starts now ! as //M said.

regards

dr. sen
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Old 6th January 2016, 11:05   #43
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Default Re: The rarefied air of a high altitude cold desert - Spiti Valley on Motorcycles

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Originally Posted by psurelia View Post
That is an epic journey and an equally amazing travelogue. You literally took me for a ride with you through the vast Spiti in just couple of hours with your gifted writing and the wonderful pictures. I rated the story a deserved 5*!
Thanks a lot Sir. Glad you liked the travelogue.


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Originally Posted by alphadog View Post
That was an amazing travelogue and even better pictures. I applaud you and your fellow riders for really roughing it, and also enjoying it in the process.
Spark plug gone kaput might have dampened things down a wee bit.

What really amazes me is the tenacity of humans . There are people actually living even in the most remote of regions, in the harshest of climes. Also, that there are travelers such as yourselves who visit these places and bring back memories and experiences.

Keep traveling.
Cheerio
Thank You Sir.

The spark plug issue did dampen the things, but its all a part of the journey and only adds to the learning experience of the rider. So at the end of the day having learnt my lesson, I'll now be better prepared for the future roadtrips !
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Old 8th January 2016, 00:37   #44
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Default Re: The rarefied air of a high altitude cold desert - Spiti Valley on Motorcycles

That's some trekking you have done. We should organize a yearly TeamBhp trek in the future. Will surely pin down my trekking experience. Have been planning to post about Hampta and Kugti Pass treks will do it as soon as time allows(work is killing right now )


Thanks
Rajnish

Quote:
Originally Posted by //M View Post
Absolutely same situation.

We have had a BSA, a Triumph, a Norton and a RD350 in the family, and each motorcycle had been lovingly kept till they were sold off in due time. I so wish we still had atleast any one of these, should have been a prized possession today !


Wow those are some lovely clicks. I wanted to do Hampta Pass in 2014 but somehow got caught up in multiple activities and had to cancel the trek plan. In 2015, I did a Lamayuru - Konski La trek over the Chadar near Hinju and also a winter trek to Kedarkantha Peak couple of weeks back. We were the first batch to open the route in Kedarkantha this year, it was challenging with deep snow but it was a lot of fun. I will put up a thread about the Kedarkantha trek soon. Requesting you to pen down your experience at Hampta Pass too, that would be a great read I'm sure.
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Old 8th January 2016, 12:02   #45
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Default Re: The rarefied air of a high altitude cold desert - Spiti Valley on Motorcycles

Wow! An adventurous trip indeed. Wonderful pictures as well.

As you have done this circuit, could you please let me know the feasibility of doing this circuit in my Hyundai EON? What about petrol availability in this circuit, given that my EON has 32 lts tank.

Last edited by gearhead_mait : 8th January 2016 at 12:02. Reason: Rated 5*
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