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Old 16th September 2009, 14:58   #1
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Arrow AMS, a Fracture & What turned out to be a Manali trip!

We’ve always been travelers – as far back as I can remember – not the posh, upmarket kind, but more of backpackers. We’ve lived in tents in the Andaman islands, trekked across a couple of Himalayan passes, explored several National Parks, done long (over 5000km) roadtrips across several states, first in our loyal Zen & then our Safari 2.2 Dicor.

The travellers

AMS, a Fracture & What turned out to be a Manali trip!-dsc07825.jpg

I’ve always had a strange logic – in naturally beautiful places, I always opt for basic accommodation and in cities (read not so beautiful I prefer to upgrade accommodation

Actually the inception of the Leh idea goes back a long way – Amit (Amit_D on the forum) bought the Thunderbird a few years back for this trip & then we thought it may make more sense in a car – that started us looking at the Safari. Like many of you, I’ve spent years looking at pictures of this route, longing to make that elusive trip. Also, Amit is a Kashmiri – but last visited Kashmir as a child, so going back through Srinagar would be like a homecoming of sorts for him and an opportunity for me too see the place through his non – touristy eyes

Well, that said, things sort of started to come together for the trip this year. Right away we knew that we did not want to do a short & quick trip – we wanted time to stand and stare. We managed to negotiate almost three weeks off work – no mean achievement that! And then the planning started – I must confess, I’m a bit (read obsessive) of a planner while Amit is more spontaneous (hmmm…) so the spreadsheets started to take shape with a lot of information from triplogs and travelogues of fellow travelers (Thank you!). Also – of course, I had to learn to ride the bike – this did not prove too tough – was used to stealing Amit’s Yamaha RX 135 back in 2000. Of course the fact that you control the brakes, clutch & accelerator with the hand and the gears with the foot did make for a bit of a laugh riot initially! My intention wasn’t really to start riding the TB (this is how I will refer to it from now) instead of driving my Getz – but a more modest goal of being able to kick start & get it moving in case the primary rider managed to get into some sort of trouble

We’d been on NH1 a lot in the past and had no desire to do that stretch again, so sent the Bike to Chandigarh by Gati & planned to ride to Manali & then Leh. After Leh, we would ride to Srinagar & then send the bike back to Hyderabad from there – while we flew back to Delhi & then Hyderabad. This is what we had planned and had been equipping ourselves accordingly – Cramster jackets, saddle bags, tank bag, non-refundable (later regretted!) air tickets etc!

At the Chandigarh station – early morning – There was beautiful weather in Chandigarh much to our pleasure. Checked into a hotel & then set off to collect the bike from the Gati office which was open on the 15th of August – the bike was in good shape & came to life easily

At a wet Chandigarh railway station - early morning

AMS, a Fracture & What turned out to be a Manali trip!-dsc07691.jpg

AMS, a Fracture & What turned out to be a Manali trip!-dsc07702.jpg

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AMS, a Fracture & What turned out to be a Manali trip!-dsc07706.jpg

Impressions of Chandigarh
I’ve been to Chandigarh before, but it seemed even cleaner and looked beautiful with the cloudy sky – lots of places to eat & walk – people seemed extremely helpful. Don’t know if it was my imagination but the city seemed to get rowdier towards evening! Realized my 4 years in Hyderabad have really made an impression – I missed idly for breakfast! – lol. Our AP number plates seemed to be drawing a lot of attention from the cops – almost hostile, I might add. After a great lunch, we rode to Fun Republic on “Madhya Marg” to watch a show of Kaminey!

The Gati office

AMS, a Fracture & What turned out to be a Manali trip!-dsc07713.jpg

The bike being unpacked

AMS, a Fracture & What turned out to be a Manali trip!-dsc07716.jpg
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Old 16th September 2009, 16:09   #2
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Wow, one ore travelogue from those snowy region

Waiting to hear more on this adventurous trip.
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Old 16th September 2009, 16:18   #3
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Good start!! Nice snaps and excellent write up... do keep positing with all details.
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Old 16th September 2009, 18:02   #4
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Nice, let it flow
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Old 16th September 2009, 18:37   #5
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Nice Narration. You can take off now
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Old 16th September 2009, 19:14   #6
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AMS, Fracture...Ohh God!!! Sorry I am jumping the gun here....does that mean you had to return back from Manali?

I guess I will wait for the story to unfold to get the facts.
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Old 16th September 2009, 19:49   #7
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Wow! You both have finally made the trip and back!
Fracture? Hmm. Let me guess... Well, on second thoughts, let me not guess.

Waiting for the rest of the story eagerly!
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Old 16th September 2009, 20:06   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coolclouds View Post
Good start!! Nice snaps and excellent write up... do keep positing with all details.
Quote:
Originally Posted by dadu View Post
Nice, let it flow
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fordy View Post
Nice Narration. You can take off now
Thanks guys!

Quote:
Originally Posted by deky View Post
AMS, Fracture...Ohh God!!! Sorry I am jumping the gun here....does that mean you had to return back from Manali?

I guess I will wait for the story to unfold to get the facts.
Good idea! Thanks for your patience - at this time let me just say that in the bargain we got to know Manali really well!

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Wow! You both have finally made the trip and back!
Well - sort of!
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Old 16th September 2009, 21:18   #9
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Day 2

We got up at 6am since the tedious task of loading the bike had to be done for the first time. Took us about 25min, once done we set off towards Bilaspur – the road was pretty bad – slush & potholes of indeterminate depth for some time. The area seemed to have received a lot of rain unlike poor (until that time) AP! I had to keep myself from dozing off on the bike several times – bit of a scare actually! Made me realize how much I must trust Amit’s riding skills – lol!

On the way to Mandi we found two young boys on a bullet – stopped to check if they needed our help – turned out that they were looking for tools that we happened to luckily have. Having spent quite some time with them, we then proceeded to ride onto Bilaspur, Stopped at the HPTDC Lake View hotel for breakfast. The Sutlej was flowing below us and there was a fascinating temple on the banks below – there was this certain quality to it – I’ve always been an agnostic, attracted to places of worship by all reasons – except religious ones. I think it was called Dhaulera – certainly looked worth exploring – perhaps another time though.

On the way pictures...
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Old 16th September 2009, 21:19   #10
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How much did it cost and how long did it take you to get your bike there? Did it reach in one piece?
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Old 16th September 2009, 21:22   #11
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Interesting start - nice narrative.
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Old 16th September 2009, 21:32   #12
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AMS, a Fracture & What turned out to be a Manali trip!-dsc07732.jpg

AMS, a Fracture & What turned out to be a Manali trip!-dsc07734.jpg

Helping with tools

AMS, a Fracture & What turned out to be a Manali trip!-dsc07741.jpg

View from the impromptu pit stop

AMS, a Fracture & What turned out to be a Manali trip!-dsc07742.jpg

Temple in the distance

AMS, a Fracture & What turned out to be a Manali trip!-dsc07747.jpg

Up close

AMS, a Fracture & What turned out to be a Manali trip!-dsc07748.jpg

At HPTDC Lake View - they have a sit out that opens into the Temple/Lake view

AMS, a Fracture & What turned out to be a Manali trip!-dsc07750.jpg
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Old 16th September 2009, 21:41   #13
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The temple picture from Bilaspur - The whole area gets submerged under water when the Gobind Sagar (Bhakra Dam reservoir) fill up with water during rains. In fact Bilaspur town ha been moved up the hill when the dam was constructed way back in 50's/60's
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Old 17th September 2009, 10:34   #14
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Awesome free spirited travellogue, loved the way you are describing it, it almost feels like am travelling myself. Looking forward to the rest of it!
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Old 17th September 2009, 10:36   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wanderluster View Post
How much did it cost and how long did it take you to get your bike there? Did it reach in one piece?
Surprisingly our experience with this form of transport was very good - cost us about 3,800 Rs from Hyd to Chandigarh & a similar amount from Mandi to Hyderabad including packing - which was pretty good - the mirrors & spare headlight were packed separately. Not even one scratch & the bike started up in the first kick.

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Interesting start - nice narrative.
Thanks Indizen!

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Originally Posted by sudev View Post
The temple picture from Bilaspur - The whole area gets submerged under water when the Gobind Sagar (Bhakra Dam reservoir) fill up with water during rains. In fact Bilaspur town ha been moved up the hill when the dam was constructed way back in 50's/60's
Thanks for the info - have been sort of intrigued with the temple & the sorrounding area - since I didnt really get a chance to learn more about it. Is it called Dhaulera?
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