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Old 23rd October 2009, 22:35   #31
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Day 5 and 6 - September 14th, 15th 2009



Nothing much done on these two days except going to Meerut and returning back to Gurgaon. Lost the way in both directions, met an uncleji who made me follow him, got stuck in jams, got terrible mileage (10.32), picked up Rashi and slept late since we were packing for the big trip.

Day 7 - September 17th 2009


Sep-16 - The day before:
Rashi's renditions:
Landed in Delhi. There is a buzz in the air now Or is it just me who feels it? Time to give Kanishk a ring and voila for some reason SPICE still doesn't work in Delhi. Tried to manually select the IDEA service but no avail. Decided to chuck the cell and get my luggage and head out and find a way to contact Kanishk. Somehow IDEA decided to be kind and connected. Phone calls done, luggage in trolley I head out. After a bit of co-ordination calls I find the Gold Palio (now an oldie) waiting for me. I hopped in but we didn't get far. Typical no reason jam. Reached home around 10.30 to find the kids were sleeping. ah what a pity - I wouldn't want to leave without even seeing them. Had a nice dinner amidst conversations. Remembered that I had to put the out-of-office reminder and reply to a few urgent mails. A few minutes of work became a few more minutes. Work done, Time to merge my luggage only to find that Kanishk had not even started. The clock was striking 12 and we had to leave by 6. Hmm.

Sep-17

It had arrived. The day that our real journey began. The day that we'd been waiting for for ages. THE day!


Got up a little sleepy (as always, we slept a little late packing and repacking!) got ready and then after the tata bye byes and promises to call as often as we could, left for Manali. The initial plan was to leave by 6 - 6:30 but we could leave only by 7:25. The car was totally packed with all our stuff and there was hardly any space anywhere. Jiju in the drivers seat, we decided to not take the regular route but a different one that would bypass most of the capital in our quest to hit the GT road. We went through some semi urban areas and bypassed most of the early morning school and office rush. The going wasn't too fast but then there weren't any jams or slowdowns to bother about. Nothing's gonna stop us now .. except a tire

While we were leaving from home, jiju noticed that the front left tyre had a little bulge on it. We thought that it was a minor thing and that we would look at it later. While we were crossing Delhi, an aged Sardarji uncle indicated to us at a traffic light that the tyre wasn't in a good shape. He mentioned that since we were going a long way, we should probably get it changed. Jiju and I popped out to see the damage and the tyre was definitely bulging up a lot. We stopped at the next decent looking puncture shop and got the tyre rotated. Since the wheel was an alloy and the spare wheel was a steel one, we had to get the tyre removed and the new one replaced. We also got a new tube as the one inside the tyre wasn't looking any good either. The whole deal done by 9, we got onto the GT road. Mamaji and Nandika had almost reached our rendezvous point by then (which was another 100 odd km away).


Shararat Getting A Wheel Change



The Damaged Tube


We reached Oasis plaza (after Karn lake in Karnal) around 11. Mamaji and Nandika were waiting there for us. We had packed some egg sandwiches which we had there along with the paranthas that mamiji had sent. Breakfast done, it was time to start rolling together. Jiju went over to the WagonR and took over the wheel there while I was driving Shararat.

Roughly an hour and a half later, we were nearing the outskirts of Chandigarh when we hit our first big dilemma. Which route do we take now? We had a choice of going either via Chandigarh or by bypassing it. Mamaji mentioned that one of his friends was a regular on these roads and had mentioned a route that would take us to Manali in 6 hours flat. Since we had already entered the outskirts of Chandigarh, we decided to ditch the route that Rashi had planned and take this one instead. Needless to say, Rashi was heartbroken as she had armed herself with route maps and directions obtained from BCMT. Drowning her protests, we moved into Chandigarh.

Rashi's renditions:
Just before Chandigarh - we had this big discussion on which route to take. One of mamajee's friends said he travels everyweek and reaches in 6 hours. So we decided to head to this route which nobody was clear on. Ofcourse I was heartbroken as the map directions as obtained from BCMT weren't used. Wail Wail. My pprotests were drowned and we decided to go via Chandigarh. Ofcourse "I had the smug I told you so smirk" on my face when we got lost and ended up in bad roads.

We followed directions for Manali that came up on the roads. I kept an eye open for a BP pump to feed Shararat. After following directions and not finding any BP outlet for a while, I decided to tank up at an HP outlet instead (got a mileage of 12.95 since the last tankful). When I'd almost finished tanking up, I realized that we had just crossed into the Punjab border and that the fuel was a mere Rs 4 expensive than Chandigarh. With the close to 25 litres added to Shararat's belly, I was poorer by 100 bucks! Damn BP!


Entering Chandigarh


Mourning the loss of my 100 bucks, we moved on following the signboards. Till we realized that there weren't any more signboards for Manali! We stopped and asked around to find out that we'd missed the turn somehow (missing signboard? or us missing a signboard? We'll never know!) and that we would have to take a right a little further on. Going through some state highway kinda road, we ended up negotiating potholes and unpaved roads.

We crossed Ropar and Rashi mentioned something about there being a lot of canals there when she was a child and that there didn't seem to be any now. A little intrigued by her statement, I started counting the number of canals that we were crossing (or at least the number of crossings across canals). After I'd reached the count of six, a little exasperated Rashi clarified that she had actually said that there were a lot of crossings near the bus stand earlier when she had stayed there as a child. Oh! Maybe I wasn't listening.



Crossing a Canal


Roughly around 3, after travelling for 6 days and 3100 kms, I finally saw the mountains that we were going to climb. The thrill of the upcoming drive egged us on and we didn't bother too much about the not so good roads in Punjab. We just brushed it away as a taste of things to come. Soon, we started climbing up and about an hour later entered into HP. Somewhere around then we stopped for lunch at a roadside dhaba. We ordered some daal, some curd and some rotis along with a couple of pepsis. Besides this, we had the left over sandwiches and paranthas as well. Jiju was having a sandwich when he suddenly said, "Mera anda gir gaya!". That set us all laughing and set the mood for the next part of the journey. It's another matter that we pulled jijus leg on his anda throughout the journey.



Into the Mountains


The Mountains!


We moved on into the hills where some of the most amazing views were waiting for us. We stopped at a bridge to take some snaps when a person walking across told us that "Aap yahan photo mat lijiye. Wahan CID ke log hain aur woh aapka camera le lenge!". That's when we realized that it is normally prohibited to take snaps on such structures. Canning the camera, we quickly hurried away from the spot lest the "CID" catch us



Nandika took this photo while we were driving by (you can see the reflection in our shades)




Shararat



The Wild WagonR



Entering a Bridge



Shararat, Rashi, WagonR



View on the way



Closeup of Above



Flora


Somewhere on the way



Another view


Loved this! Surya Ast, Babey Mast



Somewhere along the way, we had come across a loooong tunnel. We decided to go "oooo" in the tunnel as long as we could without taking a breath. From within, our car sounded something like, "OOOOOOOOOooooooooo....o....o...o.........oooo ...O OOOO.ooooo!". We then started measuring tunnel lengths in number of breaths.

After several hours of driving with stops on the way for admiring the view and taking a couple of snaps, we reached Sundernagar. We stopped at a place called "Ashiyana Restaurent" just after Sundernagar. We had some pepsis and lemon sodas here as well as a bio break. Horrible loos is the only word that can describe the place!

By now dusk had fallen and we decided that we should now not stop anywhere as we had a long distance to go. That meant continuous driving for a few hours! Soon night had fallen and we were sometimes the only ones on the road. Just two cars speeding along on the mountain paths with nothing but a little bit of tarmac shining in the headlights. We didn't know what was on our right side beyond the road. We assumed it was a drop to a valley below but weren't sure. There were times when the rock face would loom up from across the valley in a menacing manner. Every now and then it would look like a mountain would thrust its sullen face out to enquire upon the tiny transient beings that dared cross its dreams in the night! Glowering at us but not too bothered to do something, the rock beast would let us pass on while we crouched in our cars.

That's when I realized that driving in the night is very different from driving in the day. By nightfall, all the cheer of the day disappears and everybody starts becoming pensive. Forget the banter of the day, there isn't even a fragment of a conversation going on. The walkies fall silent, the music either slows down or stops and the windows close. (Note to myself, Ah, the walkies! I have to elaborate on that but not now. This is a little contemplative part). Folks stare at the road as if expecting it to open it's mouth and gobble up the next car that dared cross its path. The atmosphere tends to get a little dark (puns intended) and brooding. Your energy simply saps away and all you wanna do is reach home and retire quietly in the corner that you call yours.

And then, amidst those dark sombre thoughts, you see Kullu. The view brings a smile to your face and a quickening to your pace. The goal has been seen. Lets get there. Go, go, go, Go! Rashi mentioned that the view was like the stars coming down to hob nob with the mountains and leaving their dust behind in the form of lights. I thought that it felt like some celestial Maharani had carelessly dropped her box of jewels onto the ground with all the pearls, gold beads and sapphires littered across the sky.

Rashi's renditions:
Somewhere arnd 8 we entered Kullu. I was quite surprised we drove through small bylanes. At some point we entered a bazaar of sorts and were wondering which way to go and found directions on the shutter of a closed shop. We wondered what would have happened if the shop was open - laughed about it and moved on. I was also quite surprised to find almost nil traffic heading towards Manali. Well, I don't have a reason to complain - less is more for us

A little while later, we entered Manali (after paying some green tax!) and came across a BP pump. The bummer was that they didn't accept petro cards! I put in some SystemG into my car and asked him to tank up with petrol. The attendant told me that the petrol nozzle wouldn't go into the cars tank and that I would have to use speed instead! Aaarg. Couldn't he have told me that before I added SystemG? Damn and blast! I didn't have any option but to top up with speed (mileage received 11.81).

We reached Hotel Beas where we had booked our rooms a little later. The rooms were pretty decent though the person who was in charge didn't seem to be too interested in what we were doing or wanted. We parked our cars right next to the entrance and after grabbing a little bit of leftover paranthas and other such stuff, crashed for the day.


Car Statistics:
Distance covered: 610 kms
Time: 15:35 hours.
GPS stats:
Trip odometer: 588km
Moving time: 12:34 hours
Stopped: 66 minutes.
Max speed: 134kmph
Moving avg: 46.8kmph
Overall avg: 43.0kmph

Last edited by Eddy : 23rd October 2009 at 22:46. Reason: Please avoid posting multiple back to back posts. Use the edit option if posting within 20 min. Thanks
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Old 27th October 2009, 19:02   #32
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Day 8 - September 18th 2009


The day started late for all of us. We got up pretty late (sometime after 8 - 8:30!). Rashi and mamaji ordered a cup of tea that they had in the balcony overlooking river Beas. The view in the morning was amazing. The river gushing below, the sun shining down on us and a beautiful journey ahead. Today onwards, we would be completely in the lap of the Himalayas climbing up and down passes. Excited about the journey ahead, we decided to get some breakfast. We were told by the (still uninterested) receptionist that there was a complimentary breakfast available. We could order anything upto Rs. 500. Glad that we would get something free, we trooped into the breakfast room one by one. Bread omelette, cutlets, cornflakes and milk and tea were all polished off quickly. Since we has some more money left in our account, we decided to get some cutlets packed for the journey.



View From Hotel Beas



Cutlets packed, luggage packed, payment made, we moved from Hotel Beas at 11:00 thinking that the drive of the day would be a lazy one with Keylong - our night halt - a mere 6 hours drive away. Little were we to know what lay in store for us. Since we had tanked up the cars and also since we didn't want the fumes of petrol in the car, we decided not to go back to the petrol pump and instead fill up the tanks as well as the jerricans at Tandi. Big Mistake!

Headed out of Manali further up into the mountains, the day, bright and sunny. We had worn our thermals inside (I was wearing the leggings as well as the vest) and felt pretty cosy in the slightly chilly weather. A little beyond Manali, we saw some beautiful views and today being the slow drive day, we could afford to stop and take snaps. Which is what we did.



View From The Road





Fabulous Roads



The Road Conquered



The Road Ahead


Happy at the sparse traffic that was coming downhill, we moved on thanking the gods that the tourist season was over and that we had the road pretty much to ourselves. Little did we know what the cause of our happiness was! We rounded a corner and saw a tanker stopped. Behind another tanker. Which has a Sumo ahead which in turn was behind another truck! Oh no! Jam! (And we didn't even have any bread!). The jam didn't seem to be too much. Just a few trucks and buses and cars. And there seemed to be some trucks that were coming downhill now. It looked like the jam would clear soon. Apparently, a truck had stalled overnight (or sometime in the morning) and had blocked the road. An Army convoy with its recovery truck had moved the hindrance away.



The Cause Of Our Happiness



Glad that the route would soon be cleared, we chatted and took photographs. And then the trucks stopped arriving. Some moron had overloaded a truck and the truck got stuck in some rut somewhere. It could neither move forward nor roll back! Aaargh! Another truck came to its rescue but couldn't budge the bugger! Our stay had extended further! And we hadn't even done more than an hours driving since Manali! Waiting for someone somewhere to clear the jam, Rashi and Nandika took the binos and wandered up into the hillside. The three of us twiddled our thumbs near the cars chatting with whoever we could chat with. A little while later, the gals came back bored and then somebody pointed out the roads towards Rohtang. We took the binos to see a line of white coloured cars dotting the road like a trail of ants ! And they weren't moving. Far up in the mountains! Crap! Did that mean that the jam extended that far? Damn and blast and several other expletives! The truck driver that we were chatting with told us that there was slush up there and the BRO guys were clearing up the area causing the delay. He told us that we would be able to make it to Keylong in another 5 - 6 hours.




The Road Up There Was Blocked


Snow Capped Mountain



Another Peak





Its Lonely At The Top



In A Reflective Mood



An Experiment


After waiting for about two and a half hours there, we saw that the stuck truck made another effort and somehow managed to roll on. We don't know what helped or what happened up there but simply thanking our stars we waited for the roads to clear up. Some trucks started coming down and after a short while, the BRO guy started to open up the barricade. We jumped into our car and did a cabbie thing by overtaking all the trucks that were waiting in the queue. The BRO guy was about to close the barricade again and made some noises but we managed to slip through. And start our favourite sport of leap frog. Shararat would jump with joy at every such opportunity with the 1.6 sending ample torque to her wheels causing her to kick up some dust and make a quick getaway. Jumping one and sometimes two trucks, we made our way towards Rohtang.




On The Road Again



Shararat Making A Getaway



The Road Left Behind


Constantly threading our way up the mountains, we made decent progress. Shararat had left her wild sister a little behind and we were in constant touch over the walkies. (Note to myself: Ah the walkies! I must elaborate on them but not now - this is the part where we talk about Rohtang). We reached a slushy patch and Rashi was a bit apprehensive about us making it through. We did see a bulldozer up ahead and I was sure that we wouldn't be left there blocking the road! Confident yet careful, we made it through behind an Innova/Qualis (don't remember which one). The patch was a very small one and from there on, the roads deteriorated quite a bit. A little tired, I decided to take a bio break. Saw the road turning a corner and stopped. Rashi thought that there was quite a bit of noise there but we couldn't identify what. A few snaps taken, we turned the corner. And entered Rohtang! My god! I was peeing right next to the biggest tourist spot near Manali! Eeeps . We stopped there and waited for the WagonR to catch up. They were the last ones to make it through the slush as the bulldozer stopped the way again after they made it through. We remembered seeing a sign somewhere that the road is closed between 3 and 4 for blasting. Looks like they weren't doing any blasting today. Lucky for us I suppose.






View Before Rohtang



Waterfall Before Rohtang


Road To Rohtang



Slushy Roads



Clearing Up


Towards Rohtang



The Turn Before



We stopped at some random tent to eat some sort of a lunch. Maggi was ordered along with pepsi and mirinda. BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOOM. DHINCHIK DHINCHAK DHINCHIK DHINCHAK. "SANDESHE AATE HAIN, HUMEIN TADPATE HAIN.....". Who needs blasting when you have a bunch of hyperactive guys in a Sumo blasting away their sound systems? A Sumo had just regurgitated its load of travellers and they decided to do a jig right there thankful of having escaped from the monsters belly! And jig they did for the entire while we were there. Amazed at their energy levels and a tad offended by the sound levels, we started our lunch. BOOM BOOM BOOM. Nopes, that wasn't the next song on the playlist. A little miffed at being beaten in their own territory, that was the BRO belting out the real "Rock Hits"!



BRO's "Rock Hits"


I Am Sorry I Left You Behind. Lets Kiss And Make Up!



TO BE CONTINUED..........
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Old 27th October 2009, 19:18   #33
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Cheeky last photo there! every reader who reads the caption would ask you the same Yamraj, as to why you left him/ her behind on such an epic trip...
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Old 27th October 2009, 19:33   #34
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Originally Posted by MX6 View Post
Cheeky last photo there! every reader who reads the caption would ask you the same Yamraj, as to why you left him/ her behind on such an epic trip...
Thanx for the nice compliment .

I am trying to take the readers along on the journey
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Old 28th October 2009, 09:52   #35
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Great going Yamraj. Just great. Now "dil maange more". I guess we should meet sometime since we are both in Bangalore, and I am planning the same trip next year. So will be good to talk to you and get to know the details further. I am sure there are a couple more who wanted the information too.

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Old 28th October 2009, 12:36   #36
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Originally Posted by Souvik View Post
Great going Yamraj. Just great. Now "dil maange more". I guess we should meet sometime since we are both in Bangalore, and I am planning the same trip next year. So will be good to talk to you and get to know the details further. I am sure there are a couple more who wanted the information too.

Souvik
yes.. lets do a drive to leh meet with the wannabes and who dun it all.
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Old 28th October 2009, 13:11   #37
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Yes Madhukar. I am planning it. I have a post here where I am asking all the experienced guys to give me their feedback. Don't want to take over this thread. So you can meet me here:

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/route-...ns-please.html (Want to get Leh’d in 2010 for 30 days – Suggestions please)

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Old 28th October 2009, 15:55   #38
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I am glued to this log. But its long time no new post from Yamraj or is it that my F5 key not working?

@ Souvik - I am watching your thread on Ladakh. Even I am planning a drive in Sep2010.
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Old 28th October 2009, 17:31   #39
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Originally Posted by advaitlele View Post
I am glued to this log. But its long time no new post from Yamraj or is it that my F5 key not working?

@ Souvik - I am watching your thread on Ladakh. Even I am planning a drive in Sep2010.
Quote:
Originally Posted by madhukar_n View Post
yes.. lets do a drive to leh meet with the wannabes and who dun it all.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Souvik View Post
Great going Yamraj. Just great. Now "dil maange more". I guess we should meet sometime since we are both in Bangalore, and I am planning the same trip next year. So will be good to talk to you and get to know the details further. I am sure there are a couple more who wanted the information too.

Souvik
Thanks for the compliments guys. Will be glad to help in the planning.
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Old 28th October 2009, 17:33   #40
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Default Day 8 - Continued

Day 8 Continued


Lunch done, we asked for the bill. And were astounded at the bill that was as high as Rohtang pass! Maggi, bread slices, tea and pepsi all for Rs 340/-! Refusing the urge to take a horse ride to touch the snow, we moved on as we had quite a distance left to cover. As we continued up to the actual pass, we could see snow a little far away up a mountainside. Rashi so wanted to go touch it but that was a little far away. And then we saw some patches right by the roadside. A couple of minutes drive later, there was lots of snow right next to the road. Rashi, was tremendously excited as she hadn't seen snow before. Some photographs and snow throwing later, Rashi turned her attention to me. And threw a huge snowball at my butt. Now you know how I became Chief Snowbutt!




Snow!



Snow Capped Mountains



Rock and Snow



More Snow Covered Mountains



Jiju And Snow



Road After Rohtang



The Grass Is Not Green On The Other Side!


The View After Rohtang



The Sisters In Line



A Water Crossing



River



Knee Deep In Water?



Nah! This Is Just Ankle Deep!



Wading Across A Sea Of Sheep


The rest of the evening was mostly oohs and aahs till we couldn't see the mountains any more. With nightfall, our chatter again came down to barely what's required. Driving in the night with no lights around can be quite an experience. There was no moon in the sky to light the way, no oncoming headlights, no street lights. The world felt limited to the patch that was covered by our headlights. It felt as if the world was continuously being built in front of us and destroyed behind us; like there was a black hole in front of us that was spitting out the road and a black hole behind us that was gobbling up the road and us in between trying to keep pace with the two gaping mouths!

We reached Tandi around 7:30. In the dark, we could make out the petrol pump. In dark. Oh no! Reached there to find another car simply idling its engines. We scouted around for the owner but couldn't find anybody. Since Keylong was just 13 km away, we decided to go on and come back in the morning for fuel. Onwards then!

Reached Keylong and found our way to hotel Chanderbhaga. By now, it was pretty chilly and we were thankful for thermals that we were wearing. After some time spent at the reception desk frantically searching for the printout of the vouchers, I found the paper in my bag. Registration done, we moved to our rooms, unpacked for the night and then came down for dinner. Dinner was a served on the table buffet of some alu sabzi, dal, soup etc. Around dinner, we ordered breakfast (included in the package) for the morning as we planned to leave early. We asked the guy to pack 10 boiled eggs and 15 paranthas. Some negotiations over time done, Jiju and I went for a stroll while the rest made their way to the rooms. We looked at the stars and talked about photography for a while before calling it a day and retiring to our rooms. When I went up, Rashi was preparing to come down and give Shararat a bath. Came down with her and washed a few layers of dust off the poor gal before turning our attention to the wild sister. Lots of water thrown on the cars and yet layers of dust remaining, we finally turned in for the night.



The Room At Chanderbhaga


A small incident from the previous day that I remembered: while crossing Kullu, I read out the name of a restaurant we were passing. It was Roti Restaurant and Bar. I read it and then asked Rashi what the name was to just pass away the time.
"What was the name of that restaurant"
"Roti Restaurant and Bar"
"Roti what?"
"Roti Restaurant and BAR"
"Roti WHAT?"
"Roti RESTAURANT AND BAR"
"ROTI Whaaaaat?"
"ROTI RESTAURANT AND FADDU!!!"
"HAHAHAHAHAHA"


Car Statistics:
Distance covered: 121 kms
Time: 9:06 hours.
GPS stats:
Trip odometer: 116km
Moving time: 05:11 hours
Stopped: 03:46 hours
Max speed: 74.4kmph
Moving avg: 22.4kmph
Overall avg: 12.9kmph
Max trip elevation: 3980m
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Old 1st November 2009, 01:42   #41
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Day 9 - September 19th 2009

We woke up early. Today would be a tough day. The journey long, the drive hard, the passes difficult. We were ready for it. Waiting for it in fact - to test man and machine against the odds. Yes, this does sound a little dramatic, but thats how it would be. No petrol pumps on the way, no mechanics, few people and fewer roads!

The day started early - we left before 7. After picking up the eggs and paranthas and giving the sisters a little wash over, we jumped in and sped on our way. We had decided over dinner that we wouldn't backtrack to Tandi to pick up petrol as that would mean an additional hour of driving and we didn't want to lose any time. Petrol in black then it would be.

I had noticed something over the past couple of days that I found a little hilarious. When you drive on the mountains, you encounter a few birds. In the middle of the road. When you approach them, they start running. And then, when they've reached take off speed, they lift off. And start flying upwards. Uphill actually. So what happens a lot of times is that while they are gaining height, so is the road. And they end up not really flying higher till you are almost upon them. Thats when they switch on their afterburners and rise above the car! Silly birdbrains .

Encountering the birds and laughing at them, we reached Jispa. And saw hotel Ibex pretty close to the river. Since we didn't have any return bookings done yet for this stretch, we thought that this would be the right place to stay. Beautiful views, in the middle of nowhere, and slow tourist season made it seem like the perfect spot. Jiju and I even decided to take an early morning bath in the river besides giving the auto-sisters a wash down when we stopped over here .

A little later, we reached Darcha. Mamaji and Jiju scouted around for some petrol. We bought 5 litres (at least thats what we were told the quantity was though I don't truly believe it) in black. Paid Rs. 350 for it. A little later, we reached Deepak Tal. A beautiful lake in the middle of the mountains. A welcome contrast to the barren mountainsides. And the roads near it were just fabulous.

Side note to myself: I must talk about Diamox. Or at least its side effects. Funny that - side effects in a side note. anyways, will get to that a little later. For now, its some photographs time:





The Sisters Get Yet Another Wash



The Road From Keylong



The View On The Way



Another Road View



Roadside View



A Costly Error?



Deepak Tal



My Attempts At Photography!



Jiju, Shararat And I At Deepak Tal




The View Ahead From Deepak Tal






To Be Continued.....
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Old 1st November 2009, 12:49   #42
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You got approx 5 lts @ 70/lts? Is that not a bit too costly? Was it worth the time saving that you did?

Also, the picture of the costly error? Looks deadly! Which vehicle was that?

When you crossed over the streams, did you observe some vehicle ahead of you to know the depth or was that the well guessed estimate with driving skills?

Sorry for a lot of questions, but wanted to know what went through your mind during these things.

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Old 2nd November 2009, 15:22   #43
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Originally Posted by Souvik View Post
You got approx 5 lts @ 70/lts? Is that not a bit too costly? Was it worth the time saving that you did?

Also, the picture of the costly error? Looks deadly! Which vehicle was that?

When you crossed over the streams, did you observe some vehicle ahead of you to know the depth or was that the well guessed estimate with driving skills?

Sorry for a lot of questions, but wanted to know what went through your mind during these things.

Souvik
Costly yes, but then when you don't have petrol pumps on the way, you are more than willing to pay the price. Going back to Tandi would have meant a 30 km detour and that would have cost us more than an hour besides the cost of petrol.

The vehicle looks like a santro to me somehow. We were told otherwise though later. More in the next post on that.

At most of the water crossings, you can make out the depth easily from the driver's seat. Otherwise, someone gets off to take a look see.
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Old 2nd November 2009, 15:26   #44
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Default Dan 9 - continued

After a stop for photographs at Deepak Tal, it was time to speed on towards our next destination. Which was someplace (anyplace actually) where we could have some breakfast. The roads were now alternating between good and bad. There were stretches of freshly laid tarmac interspersed with gravely roads. Most of the time it was a lot of unpaved roads though. The going kept getting dustier and dustier. The dust! Thats a whole new thing in these areas. Its something you come to respect and hate. It gets into every nook and cranny possible. It managed to get inside the car despite the windows being rolled up all along. It sneaked into the boot and then to some extent inside our luggage too. Aaargh! How we hated the dust! One has to wash the windscreen every once in a while as otherwise, a nice thick layer forms up reducing visibility a lot. You cannot roll down your windows because the next passing vehicle will let loose a huge cloud of dust that would inevitably enter the car and then get into places like your ears, your eyes, your throats. Aaargh. Throughout the day, I had this feeling of grit on my face.

We reached Zingzingbar around a quarter past nine. Zingzingbar. Has a nice sound to it. Nice place too. All three tents that made up the place. Clustered together. Aah. It felt nice to stop and get into one to have our breakfast. Chatting with the owner, we took out our paranthas and eggs. Mamaji and Nandika refused to have the eggs since it was Navratari. Rashi doesn't like boiled eggs. Ouch! Jiju and I looked at each other and realized that it would be upto us to polish off those 10 eggs today. 10 eggs! No way I'm gonna eat half of that lot! We ordered some tea, pepsi etc. from there to accompay our breakfast. The owner mentioned that in another few days, the last remaining tents would wrap up and leave as well. When asked about his water supply, he told us that they get the water from a nearby spring. (I wanted to see this on the way out but forgot.) We mentioned the car accident that we saw and he told us that the car was an Alto being driven by two drunk guys from his village. Unfortunately, neither of them survived.

With the sobering thought of the Alto crash in our minds, we left the place. After the mandatory bio break that is. Aah. The bio break. Rather the bio breaks. Oooh aaah ouch. A little known side effect (note to myself: shouldn't this be in a side note? End note) of Diamox is that it is a diuretic. (Diuretic (n): Any substance that tends to increase the flow of urine, which causes the body to get rid of excess water). Excess water? Dammit, we were getting rid of all water in us all the time! The whole day's exercise was drink water, pee, drink water, pee ad infinitum! I guess in the 14 hours that we drove, we must have had at least 14 bio breaks. Most of them of the stop-here-or-my-bladder-will-burst kind! (Side note: The relief on each of those breaks was immense too. Kinda like banging your head against the wall cause it feels so wonderful when you stop )

A few minutes after getting out of Zingzingbar, we started climbing upwards for Barlachala. Somewhere up there, we could see some snow on the peaks. Enticing, enchanting, enamouring. How we wished we could just get out one more time and touch it. And then, somewhere, the snow decided to take heed of our pleas and lies down near our path. On both sides, we could see some snow. Mandatory photostop. A little bit of playing and photography later, somebody (most probably mamaji) mentioned that we should be getting along now as we had a looooong journey ahead. Got back into the cars, and stopped again three minutes later. We had reached Suraj Tal. A beautiful sapphire set in the mountains. Ooohs and aahs and photographs time. Started off and stopped again a few minutes later. Acres of pristine snow surrounded us. How could we not take photographs? A little photography later we started again. To stop in another 5 minutes. We had reached Barlachala. We had to take photographs again! Photographs? Looks like I need to put in some photographs. Otherwise, you will get a little bored. And afterall, I am saving myself a few thousand words .


Snow


The Road Through Snow



Jiju




Wah Kya Pose Hai Mamaji



Shararat On Snow



Shararat Climbing Up Barlachala



The Beautiful Suraj Tal




Barlachala



Barlachala Baba


Taking A Break At Barlachala


To Be Continued....
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Old 3rd November 2009, 10:54   #45
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Next chapter please? There is indeed a sense of childish charm built into your writing which makes it great to read. Great going!!!
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