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Old 14th October 2009, 10:25   #376
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HVK once wrote here Matiz-able He did it in his matiz. HV sir please tell us some more about that trip, and please put some photos of Chandertaal from that journey.
In 2004, we did the Kinnaur Valley circuit, but could not get to Kaza via Malling, since the road was totally washed out for 3 kms that year. So we had to do the full circle, by going to Kaza via Manali. Kunzum la was dry, as you can see from the photos, and the Chadratal road was open, but the last 2 kms had to be done by foot. It was one of the toughest climbs/ descents for the Matiz that Ladakh trip, and we dubbed the trip into 2 phases - B.C. (Before Chandratal) and A.C. (After Chandratal), to denote our mental condition and car's capabilities. The road was all rubble, just around the width of the car and there were some real steep sections. Once back to Battal, we saw the sigboard saying "Jeepable" "road" to Chandratal, which we promptly rechristened as "Matiz-able track" to Chandratal!

Chandra tal had already frozen when we visited - this was on October 1, 2004



Road to Chandratal


Near Chhatru, Lahaul Valley

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Old 14th October 2009, 10:26   #377
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Day 12, September 23rd, 2009 Continued
Kunzum la - Losar



We reached Kunzum La by 13:45PM. Kunzum La is 4550m.
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HVK with his Scorpio at Kunzum La
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At Kunzum La we saw a Swift - a welcome view after seeing all kinds of SUVs, and later HVK bumped on to him in another travel forum. Indeed the world is such a small place.
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We got a welcome board
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The distances from Lossar on both directions.
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The stickers on the fridge at Lossar tea shop. Fridge? You must be joking!!
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continued...
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Old 14th October 2009, 10:32   #378
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Day12
Banks of Chandrabaga river..

Its snow time now. It is much more than what we saw at Baralachla

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Here is it Lalu
I am sure HVK will love next three pics.
HVK inching through narrow snow walls.
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Old 14th October 2009, 10:37   #379
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Great narration and photography, and an amazing trip.
laluks, I agree with Rudra - we need bigger pictures!
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Old 14th October 2009, 10:43   #380
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Day 12, September 23rd, 2009 Continued
Losar -Kyoto -Rangrik - Kaza


We left Lossar by 15:30PM and reached Kaza by 17:00PM.

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Rangrik village at a distance
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Kaaza finally!!
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We quickly booked the rooms and got out to explore Kaaza town for Petrol and some film rolls and batteries.



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Old 14th October 2009, 10:43   #381
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Day 12, September 23rd, 2009 Continued
Kaza



We filled diesel from the highest pump in the world.
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Some views near a monastery in Kaaza.
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We had some heavy dinner and retired for a good nights sleep. Kaaza is at 12034 feet. (switched to feet, since my reference now is HVK's GPS)
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Old 14th October 2009, 10:45   #382
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Day12
At diversion to Chandratal and up till Kunzum La


Lalu somehow wanted to go to Chandratal and so we too.
HVK was convinced and took diversion to Chandratal. In the fist 50m itself we did see some snow on the road.
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Since we had confidence on HVK's driving, we encouraged him to go on. Not more than 150m and we were blocked with a large pile of snow on the road.
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No way to make a turn, HVK had to come reverse through this narrow road for almost 100m and got to make a turn here.
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And this is the road (on right side) HVK did reverse with Ganesh hanging on the foot board to give him direction on left side. There was hardly 1-2 feet space on left side and layers of snow on road was really scary
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And we got to see Glaciers so close to our eyes!
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Old 14th October 2009, 10:47   #383
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Aha! The spiti loop.
Had been waiting for it.
I have a query. What was your driving time from Gramphoo to Batal Turn off?
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Old 14th October 2009, 10:51   #384
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Saji, you just made my day!

That was shot near Bada Dara, and probably this was one of the places which was badly affected by the snowfall just a few days ago (the road was closed for almost 10 days, I think), and we were indeed lucky that it reopened by the time we got there.

Apart from the Sumo taxis (Manali-Kaza-Manali) and the red Swift (Narender, bcmtouring group, RIPPING THROUGH SPITI - Page 17 - India Travel Forum, BCMTouring.com), we hardly saw any other cars. The tea shops at Chhatru, Chota Dara and Bada Dara will all be closed and gone (if not already gone) soon. Kunzum la has some chortens at the top but nothing else.
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Old 14th October 2009, 10:51   #385
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rudra Sen View Post
laluks, I've serious problem with your picture sizing.
You must consider old man's eye sight.
Rudra ji - will take care in the next ones.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ballkey View Post
Great narration and photography, and an amazing trip.
laluks, I agree with Rudra - we need bigger pictures!
Thanks ballkey. I will do so from the next ones.
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Old 14th October 2009, 10:56   #386
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
Aha! The spiti loop.
Had been waiting for it.
I have a query. What was your driving time from Gramphoo to Batal Turn off?
Some road info:

Gramphoo, 1037 am
Chhatru, 18 kms, 1120 am
Chhota Dara, 18 kms, 1200
Bada Dara, 16 kms, 1257 pm
Battal, 3 kms, 104 pm
Detour to Chandra ta, 2 kms, 16 minutes
Kunzum la (from Battal, without detour), 9 kms, 145 pm

So it took us 64 kms and 3 hours without any breaks but for the photo stops and the 10-minute halt at Kunzum la. In between, there are some very nasty boulder sections and minor river crossings, so you have to be very careful about the underbody. But yes, doable in any sedan, when I did in my Matiz in 2004, road was as bad as it is now.
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Old 14th October 2009, 10:59   #387
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Day12

Kunzum La and beyond


And there he is, HVK
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The deal with Ganesh was, I take your snap and you take mine. Lalu was running around with his cameras (3 of them) like a kid!, so I missed his snap.
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And he does a good job.
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This guy was very friendly. Ganesh was sitting next to him. I cropped Ganesh off to give more beauty to the picture
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Old 14th October 2009, 11:01   #388
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Lalu & Saji, beautiful pics, you people really made up for the missing snow in Leh

how was Hotel Spiti, in Kaza?
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Old 14th October 2009, 11:07   #389
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rkbharat View Post
Lalu & Saji, beautiful pics, you people really made up for the missing snow in Leh

how was Hotel Spiti, in Kaza?
Very good. It cost us Rs 1000 per room with food for 2 (Dinner & Breakfast). Good parking, courteous service, excellent food and huge well-furnished and clean rooms. You see it on the right as you enter Kaza from the Manali road.
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Old 14th October 2009, 11:16   #390
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And the last few of Day12 - up till Kaza


Losar village
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Losar village
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Kyato
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Pangmo and Hull area
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Pangmo and Hull area
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Morang
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Morang
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Kee Monastery seen from Rangrik village
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Kaza was glowing in the evening sun like a small European town.
Kaza was indeed a beautiful town and good stay at HPTDC.
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