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Old 30th September 2008, 00:02   #31
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The human element in your pics is just amazing. Loved those pics of rail guard watching a train go by, people jostling for space on a public transport etc. Truly, these are eye openers for us city denizens.

Loving this thread from the core of my heart and waiting for more. Kudos and God bless.
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Old 30th September 2008, 10:31   #32
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Default The 1st event at Ambala & SPITI LOOP begins

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Originally Posted by devnull View Post
The human element in your pics is just amazing. Loved those pics of rail guard watching a train go by, people jostling for space on a public transport etc. Truly, these are eye openers for us city denizens.

Loving this thread from the core of my heart and waiting for more. Kudos and God bless.

Thanks Devnull and everyone else who dropped by and liked what they saw.

We reached Delhi at around 1pm in the afternoon and exited Delhi at 5pm. Took us a full 4 hours to find our way through it, and we finally found ourselves enroute to Ambala. At around 6pm a storm was brewing and there were strong winds and everything light was airborne. We could see some signboards uprooted, some bent and twisted. There was rain too.
The traffic was considerable on the NH on the beautiful Delhi Ambala 4 lane highway. It was pitch dark and the rain had just subsided. The roads were slippery, there were tree twigs, leaves, branches scattered all over the roads. I was on the right lane and flashed a truck to pass. He gave way and I entered and before I knew it I saw a huge tree across the road right in the path of the truck with a cop standing right in from of it without any visible reflective jacket. The truck swerved right. Having seen the tree and the cop due to better reflexes i had already let off the accelerator and braked. But the truckie panicked and swerved so much to the right that inspite of me touching my divider on the right the crashed into my right fender, completely uprooting & shattering my left ORVM, Denting my door and the front bumper. The whole thing happened in 5 seconds.
I immediately stopped to inspect the extent of the damage to determine if it was small enough to continue with the journey.
A few minutes of inspection later I realised that the truckie had vamooshed into the darkness.
I track him down 5kms later and stop him. Showed him the damage on my car and told him to follow me to the next traffic outpost to I can register the accident for my Insurance. NC done and 90 minutes lost in the process and another hour later we reached Ambala where we called it a night.
We left early next morning and headed towards Shimla.
There are no squeaks or rattles from the safari yet and everything is working perfectly fine except for the Internal adjustment for the left ORVM.

The weather has changed overnight and its more pleasant as we head into the hills.

The 1st stop enroute to Shimla.
The Spiti Loop > done differently - 7900kms-dsc00316.jpg


The scenery changing as we head into the hills towards Solan
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Spotted this Tata Safari. The occupants mustve had a very close shave and were extremely lucky. The vehicle was on the edge precariously stopped by one of the bent poles under the chassis stopping it from falling into the nearly 1000+ meters drop into the valley below.
Apart from the tatamobile involved in the incident the third vehicle involved(possibly a truck) was not onsite.
The Spiti Loop > done differently - 7900kms-dsc00327.jpg
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A landslide enroute... a feature that we would see ever so often on this route.
The Spiti Loop > done differently - 7900kms-dsc00334.jpg


We did not spend time at Shimla and decided to drive on. Having been there before the crowds and traffic was unbelievable. While stopping to refuel in Shimla, this Danish couple drove up to refuel their Toyota FJ. Both well past their 50's, I am amazed by their grit, determination and resolve. The man said that they were on a 40000kms(forty thousand) road trip. Its just amazing. I didnt probe much furthur but did capture their website for reference. The website has loads of info, if you understand the language.
The Spiti Loop > done differently - 7900kms-dsc00344.jpg
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The Spiti Loop > done differently - 7900kms-dsc00348.jpg
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Old 30th September 2008, 11:11   #33
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I forgot to add that we were losing air pressure on the left rear which was punctured enroute to orissa. We had repressurized it twice with the portable compressor. We decided to finally have the puncture rechecked and if necessary buy a new trye for the stepney at a tyre shop in Shimla.
It turned out that the earlier puncture was repaired correctly. SO the tyrewalla in Shimla after fixing the puncture again, gave a thumbs up saying that the puncture will never leak again. So we decided to continue as is.

Moving out of Shimla was another story, took us over 90 mins to make it through there. A traffic jam caused by what you see below, led to losing over 45mins in the process. The bus in the picture took a short turn with the brimming overconfidence often seen in local hill drivers. He did not anticipate a truck to be on the other sie of the bend. Then instead of stopping, he kept pushing ahead and eventually got stuck into the right side of the truck.
The Spiti Loop > done differently - 7900kms-dsc00349.jpg


The scenery changed furthur, and the twists and turns are extremely beautiful. This particular outgrowth from the rocks dangling down was particularly eye catching.
The Spiti Loop > done differently - 7900kms-dsc00350.jpg
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Broken roads was a usual feature. Little did we know that we were to hit NO ROADS in a few days.
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Local domesticated straylife.
The Spiti Loop > done differently - 7900kms-dsc00364.jpg


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The Spiti Loop > done differently - 7900kms-dsc00371.jpg
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Old 30th September 2008, 11:25   #34
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Excellent pics. I have voted for a 5 star rating for this thread. Yeah you do come across foreigners doing such great road trips. Nice modified vehicle too.
Lol this stretch to Narkanda and beyond brings back painful memories of aching bones and knees.

Last edited by wanderernomad : 30th September 2008 at 11:30.
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Old 30th September 2008, 12:16   #35
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Jaysmokesleaves,
Thanks for the graciousness! Such kind credits for just a wee bit of routine info-sharing!
I am sure none of us ever thought that that little help would spawn a trip so vast and produce a delightful travelogue of such proportions!
There is a unique quality in the way you have captured your trip - the content, the pics, the angles and the thoughts.
Wonderful detail and pictures that each tell a story. I can hardly wait for the next installment.
Enjoying it hugely!
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Old 30th September 2008, 12:49   #36
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Excellent travelogue. The first thing I've been doing for the last couple of days after coming to work is check for updates & read thru. Only then does my Outlook open & work begin.

Waiting for the next update. 5 stars for this thread.
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Old 30th September 2008, 13:19   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wanderernomad View Post
Excellent pics. I have voted for a 5 star rating for this thread. Yeah you do come across foreigners doing such great road trips. Nice modified vehicle too.
Lol this stretch to Narkanda and beyond brings back painful memories of aching bones and knees.
I did come across a lot of foreign tourists doing the route on cycle. Met a few who were doing the trip exclusively by public transport, using local buses to get from one location to the other. Its truly encouraging for the likes of me that someone from another land and another culture with diffrent communication skills are bold enough to come and explore parts of our country and our culture that most of dont even see and many have not even heard of.
The vehicle was furthur modified in Ambala again on the return.
No aches and bones for us though throughout the trip and my 67yr old dad didnt complain even once about his bones except for having some breathing difficulty at Lossar.

Quote:
Originally Posted by anupmathur View Post
Jaysmokesleaves,
Thanks for the graciousness! Such kind credits for just a wee bit of routine info-sharing!
I am sure none of us ever thought that that little help would spawn a trip so vast and produce a delightful travelogue of such proportions!
There is a unique quality in the way you have captured your trip - the content, the pics, the angles and the thoughts.
Wonderful detail and pictures that each tell a story. I can hardly wait for the next installment.
Enjoying it hugely!
Unknown to most of us, our acts of posting trips & travelogues and providing small details about routes on the forum and via PM's do inspire someone somewhere who is silently preparing their minds and resolve to undertake a trip that will allow them to come closer to their ownself. This one one such trip for me... and im hoping for more to follow. In the same vein, this travelogue, I hope will serve to inspire someone out there to make that trip.

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Originally Posted by Dud_Dodo View Post
Excellent travelogue. The first thing I've been doing for the last couple of days after coming to work is check for updates & read thru. Only then does my Outlook open & work begin.

Waiting for the next update. 5 stars for this thread.
I am glad that this travelogue has been liked & appreciated by many... and the 5 stars has brought me a few more smiles.
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Old 30th September 2008, 13:25   #38
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Excellent travelogue, jaysmokesleaves. You have a wonderful eye for situations - loved those Orissa pics.

Cheers,
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Old 30th September 2008, 13:45   #39
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The bad roads continued before we came up on a landslide being cleared up.
The Spiti Loop > done differently - 7900kms-dsc00372.jpg
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30 minutes later we proceeded ahead and stopped for tea and refreshments here. Dad is inspecting the dent again while I remark at one of the simplest signboard I have ever seen.
The Spiti Loop > done differently - 7900kms-dsc00383.jpg
The Spiti Loop > done differently - 7900kms-dsc00384.jpg
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The scenery slowly changes into dense pines and twisting roads as the river Sutlej flows in the valley below. We could see apple trees growing n the slopes, while we remarked how the locals manage to construct houses on such steep slopes and live in the constant shadow of landslides.
The Spiti Loop > done differently - 7900kms-dsc00386.jpg
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Old 30th September 2008, 14:11   #40
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Jay,

That was one bad knock you have got on the side! But, thank God, it was just this and nothing more.

Your photographs are classic material! Such beautiful places!

Makes one wonder, if only one gets up from the seat they warm everyday and get out, what fun will it be. Our country has so much to offer in terms of natural beauty!

Last 2 day have been very special - this report, Coorg OTR and our very own Sakleshpur OTR!

Simply rocking!
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Old 30th September 2008, 14:29   #41
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Amaaaazing thread - i'm reliving memories of our 03 bike trip on the same route - i can almost smell the air and feel the chill from your snaps. Keep them coming.
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Old 30th September 2008, 14:46   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaysmokesleaves View Post
.... again while I remark at one of the simplest signboard I have ever seen.
LOL, in the mountains that is a fairly common!
Every little town/village has a 'daily needs' shop. Sometimes many!
And that's the difference - I have never thought it fit to photograph such little shops!!

As for me, my awe keeps growing at this travelogue!

Last edited by anupmathur : 30th September 2008 at 14:48.
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Old 30th September 2008, 15:36   #43
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Wow ! Amazing travelogue...

And the pics, they're indeed worth a thousand words ! No mention of speed or Kms traveled anywhere - the subtle hints usually dropped saying "see how fast I've driven" - a great travelogue indeed.

You truly are reclaiming your life
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Old 30th September 2008, 15:52   #44
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As you came dwon from narkanda towards your right side is the best apple growing belt in Himachal. The apples of Kothkhai are the best and the scenes as you approach Narkanda from either side are also the best on offer.
The road sign after narkanda where you turned on the curve towards left, had you followed straight you would have reached Ghanasidhar, one of my fav camping sites.
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Old 30th September 2008, 15:55   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by im_srini View Post
Wow ! Amazing travelogue...

No mention of speed or Kms traveled anywhere - the subtle hints usually dropped saying "see how fast I've driven" - a great travelogue indeed.
Yes I noted that quality too and appreciate it. Many also have this other (annoying?) habit of proving their endurance by talking about how they went driving day and night to a place and then came back without a rest etc. That's also thankfully absent.

This travelogue cum photoblog is quite refreshingly different.

Congrats.
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