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Old 2nd July 2009, 14:00   #271
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That looks like an Esteem, unless I'm mistaken.
Nope - its a Corolla! That's why I mentioned the bit about "coincidence"
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Old 2nd July 2009, 14:35   #272
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Nope - its a Corolla! That's why I mentioned the bit about "coincidence"
Seems like I am too preoccupied with my car and the trip. Guess the eyes believed what the mind wanted them to see.
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Old 2nd July 2009, 14:38   #273
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So did you need to engage 4x4 during ascending/descending Rohtang?
I did engage - we were trying to make it to Manali as early as possible & I didn't want to waste time slipping around. In fact, 4L in at least two or three places on the ascent which were in abysmal condition.

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I can empathize your frustration with Manali man. Experienced the same last year when I'd traveled to the place after spending a blissful week in Kinnaur. It felt like being thrown into a frying pan.
Tell me about it! People, people & more people just standing & gawking. At God knows what!!!

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Seems like I am too preoccupied with my car and the trip. Guess the eyes believed what the mind wanted them to see.
I can understand! But don't worry too much about it. You're an old hand on this kind of territory (I remember your travelogue) & so's your car - you'll come out with flying colors

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Old 2nd July 2009, 15:09   #274
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People, people & more people just standing & gawking. At God knows what!!!
That's exactly what wifey & I thought about.

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I can understand! But don't worry too much about it. You're an old hand on this kind of territory (I remember your travelogue) & so's your car - you'll come out with flying colors
Hey thanks for the words of confidence & moral boosters mate.
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Old 2nd July 2009, 15:15   #275
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Outstanding travelogue sir. Great photos, poetic language and an indomitable spirit. Thanks a lot to you and your family for sharing with us.
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Old 2nd July 2009, 16:02   #276
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Nope - its a Corolla! That's why I mentioned the bit about "coincidence"
It is a Corolla. and no, it is not my mind wanting to see what it wants to see.. Hilly terrain is not alien to me and so is long distance driving and snow. But the combination of Hill + snow is new to me which is why I am being cautious. But looking at the pictures it looks like one can make it with adequate care.

Nainar
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Old 2nd July 2009, 16:17   #277
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But looking at the pictures it looks like one can make it with adequate care.
Nainar
Yeah sure man, being cautious is the key. Under body protection for engine sump and transmission is advisable though. And of course the "Just do it" attitude.
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Old 2nd July 2009, 17:04   #278
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Default Day Thirteen: Manali Musings.......

As I have indicated already, Manali has become a fish market & nothing else. Crowded & stinky! Never have we been as disappointed as this time! What is the point of stopping vehicular traffic & creating a "Mall" when you cannot devise an alternative way of handling the vehicular traffic!! Plain stupidity - create a maze of "One Way" lanes that aren't wide enough for a couple of Autos side-by-side and then direct Mini Buses & Cars into them. And that too, without getting the gawking tourists off these lanes! I mean - where the hell are the cars supposed to go? We were so thankful that we had not stayed at Hotel Kunzam - God knows how many Kms away we'd have had to park!!!! Not to forget that the attitude of the Cops, as always, still sucked big time. They are just not interested in providing any guidance or making an effort to resolve issues - they stand around & watch and act high-handed!

Anyway, got up around 8 am on 11th June & decided to head for the Petrol Pump to tank up. This time the 3km journey hardly took 5 to 7 minutes! Tanked up on Regular Diesel at the "Pure for Sure" pump near the exit from the town, checked out the Tyre Pressure and headed back to the Log Huts. (I did contemplate taking it for a wash but was feeling just too lazy. Next wash at Gurgaon!!!) Total Distance travelled - 527.9 kms, Diesel filled - 54.67 ltrs, Mileage obtained - 9.66 kmpl . (I included the couple of litres we'd squeezed in the day we left Leh). Excellent mileage throughout!

This time around, we stayed at the Orchard Huts which are the recently constructed ones ("Recent" compared to the original wooden ones) & they are made of concrete. Basically the same design, two bedrooms, drawing room & dining area and pantry. We had mixed feelings on being allotted the last one - when we arrived the previous evening, it was a never ending walk LOL; but in the warm & cheerful light of day, it was a blessing being at the end & having more privacy! However, HPTDC is slipping as far as their Log Hut standards are concerned. Quality of the workmanship is shoddy & maintenance was not up to the mark. Anyway, I did give them a piece of my mind the previous night when the guy was trying to brush everything off in a casual manner. We chilled around till it was lunchtime
Better Leh'd than Never - a 3,004 kms round trip of a lifetime!-img_3186.jpg
Better Leh'd than Never - a 3,004 kms round trip of a lifetime!-img_3188.jpg
Better Leh'd than Never - a 3,004 kms round trip of a lifetime!-img_3190.jpg
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We'd decided that we'd give The Beast a rest (leave it in the Log Huts parking) & walk down to town for Lunch & come back after our loafing was over in an Auto. Way better than getting stressed out in the fish market known as the "Mall" (My apologies to all who love Manali, we do too but enough was enough). Took a leisurely walk down the road & reached Johnson's Cafe (which was the preferred destination for the day) - obviously the order was Trout (except my son who decided to try a Burger). Wide variety of options & truly awesome preparations at this place. We were well & truly stuffed to the gills!
Better Leh'd than Never - a 3,004 kms round trip of a lifetime!-img_3195.jpg
Better Leh'd than Never - a 3,004 kms round trip of a lifetime!-img_3199.jpg

A walk around the so-called "Mall" - nothing had really changed since we last saw it except for more shops & more tourists. And some amazing English on the boards......
Better Leh'd than Never - a 3,004 kms round trip of a lifetime!-img_3200.jpg

Anyway, the only shopping we did was of the liquid kind! Whistled for an Auto, hopped in & we were on our way back to the Huts. That's the entrance to the Orchard Huts
Better Leh'd than Never - a 3,004 kms round trip of a lifetime!-img_3201.jpg

And that's the river way down below from the lawns of our Hut
Better Leh'd than Never - a 3,004 kms round trip of a lifetime!-img_3202.jpg

The rest of the day was spent in lazing around on the lawns & clicking away
Better Leh'd than Never - a 3,004 kms round trip of a lifetime!-img_3204.jpg
Better Leh'd than Never - a 3,004 kms round trip of a lifetime!-img_3235.jpg
Better Leh'd than Never - a 3,004 kms round trip of a lifetime!-img_3239.jpg
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Sundown and the light faded. It was time to order some snacks & throw some liquid down one's parched throat. Finally, that much needed & sought after dose of religion!!!!! Aaaahhhhhhhh.........

The last evening of relaxation before we went back to the maddening heat of the plains!
Better Leh'd than Never - a 3,004 kms round trip of a lifetime!-img_3280.jpg

Mixed feelings once again! No one wanted to get back to dull routines & 43 degrees. On the other hand, would be nice to get back to familiar surroundings, put your feet up & go through all the pics & videos. And share the incredible journey with family & friends.

With those thoughts in our mind, the final evening passed. Tanveer called somewhere down the line & suggested an alternate route to bypass Chandigarh.The next day's plan was to drive straight to Gurgaon, subject to our crossing Chandigarh at a reasonable hour (say, late afternoon). And on that note, we ordered Kebabs, Biryani, Lachha Paranthas & Butter Chicken and called it a not-so-early night. Boy, what a journey it had been thus far.......
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Old 2nd July 2009, 17:17   #279
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Took a leisurely walk down the road & reached Johnson's Cafe (which was the preferred destination for the day) - obviously the order was Trout (except my son who decided to try a Burger). Wide variety of options & truly awesome preparations at this place. We were well & truly stuffed to the gills!
This is one place that'll stay in my mind for a long time, specially for it's ambiance (with the nice music) during the evening. Amazing food to go along with nice chilled beverage. The hot coffee's great too. And since the patrons are mostly foreigners (no noises/shouts/cries), you can just unwind and relax.

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Mixed feelings once again! No one wanted to get back to dull routines & 43 degrees. On the other hand, would be nice to get back to familiar surroundings, put your feet up & go through all the pics & videos. And share the incredible journey with family & friends.
I really rue the day when the journey is about to end. It's always like "wish we had a few more days..." <sigh>.
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Old 2nd July 2009, 18:02   #280
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Aah manali.
Manali rohtang has been one of our best vacations. And the vistas are simply unmatched! But such vistas also attract tourists.
Millions of them, littering everywhere, causing jams, parking just anywhere.
At Marhi there is a big ground where lots of cars can be parked, yet the parking takes place on the road.
Moreover the police does not do anything, but with so much volume they are also somewhat helpless.
Hopefully end august the rains would have chased away the toursists, and the run will be easy.
Even the mighty snow covered passes should be a cakewalk then!
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Old 2nd July 2009, 18:47   #281
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Thanks for your kind words guys. As you have mentioned, some of it looks like its been painted!


Hey Ankush, thanks man, hope all is well with you?


Well, the sixth picture onwards (where you see a hell of a lot of potholes & slush) is part of the climb. Some parts would have been really slippery & potholed. Quite tricky for Bikes & Sedans, actually for any non-4x4.

Yes, repair work was going on in stretches
All's well Suman. I have been busy with work and any free time I get i get on here to read this travelogue. What we need is a delhi Meet
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Old 2nd July 2009, 22:14   #282
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Sumanji I was waiting for you to finish your 'journey' before posting on this thread. Just one word for it, Mindblowing!

Like many others whom you have inspired, I too hope I can do this trip once. Time to start saving for that Safari!
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Old 3rd July 2009, 01:15   #283
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This is one marvellous travelogue I ever came across! It made me virtually tour each and every nook of Ladakh!
I belong to J&K, and miss not being able to explore my own territory before exploring rest of India. But will definitely do so one day, when I'm well equiped for the same!
Keep rocking Suman bhai, you really do rock man! :-)
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Old 3rd July 2009, 01:24   #284
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Your pics made me remember my last trip in J&K to Patnitop during ending winter season last year. For now, I'll be contended with this only!
Currently, my swift is busy exploring South India!
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Old 3rd July 2009, 02:15   #285
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This is undoubtedly one of the best travelogues on team-bhp.!
I just keep coming back to it.

Excellent narration Suman sir and breathtaking pics.
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