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Old 27th October 2009, 21:34   #76
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Originally Posted by jaysmokesleaves View Post
Sen da, I will certainly make a trip to Chitkul next time and most certainly remind the hotel chap about the green Safari, in an effort to reclaim some glory , for the Safari!!
Dude, im enjoying your sense of humor in every post.

3 cheers,
J
Sen, I am sure you have paid all your bills and not bluffing with us, otherwise we know who is going to pay your bills, Mr Jays , in his next trip
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Old 27th October 2009, 22:02   #77
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Originally Posted by adc View Post
Pancholi Resort is the place to be in Chitkul - absolutely. Amazing views. Any person named "Govind" still out there?

And the oil filter?
Govind.. hmm! I don't recall. I'll check and confirm with family.

The reckong peo guy did not have oil filter, so I had to keep the old one.

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Originally Posted by rkbharat View Post
Sen, I am sure you have paid all your bills and not bluffing with us, otherwise we know who is going to pay your bills, Mr Jays , in his next trip
I settled the room and food bills. But they later may have come up with painting bills... I've sooted there exterior nicely!

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Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
...and I wonder what was surgically removed from the top left corner!

Edit: Maybe the link to this: The Telegraph - Calcutta (Kolkata) | Metro | 50 reasons not to marry...
Nice read!


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Originally Posted by genesis View Post
All this bengali talk brings to mind the following picture from Sarahan

Bengali Run Hotel.
Attachment 216813

We are a strange breed indeed...
Bengali stuff is real big in Himachal. Other than the banners and festoons, I also spotted a good number of permanent hoardings there.
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Old 28th October 2009, 00:31   #78
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Chitkul has a thing for safaris. right? One goes limp, other refuses to start.
BTW sen, even when the car was buried in snow, the glow plug light went within 5 seconds. There is something wrong with yours if glow plug light lasts 20-30 seconds.
I suspect they are not working in your case. 5 degree C is actually an easy temp for safari to start. Heck I started her with temp guage showing 1 degree C, and the entire vehicle in snow, early morning
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Old 28th October 2009, 01:50   #79
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Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
Chitkul has a thing for safaris. right? One goes limp, other refuses to start.
BTW sen, even when the car was buried in snow, the glow plug light went within 5 seconds. There is something wrong with yours if glow plug light lasts 20-30 seconds.
I suspect they are not working in your case. 5 degree C is actually an easy temp for safari to start. Heck I started her with temp guage showing 1 degree C, and the entire vehicle in snow, early morning

Must be that then.
Even the cab guys there was surprised that the car didn't start easily. I've my service due up ahead. Will get the glow plug and the whole starting system checked thoroughly.

True enough - 5 degree is not really that cold for the car to start easily. More so when the glow plug gave it about 30 seconds before the first crank (30 secs will still be lesser than what you in total gave it in 3/4 switch on cycles - right?).
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Old 28th October 2009, 07:49   #80
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AFAIK Diesel refusing starts have two elements
1. Not enough heat to fire - glow plug : This is over come by way of Tanveer's procedure. Or heating the manifold by hot water and/or lighting fire under the oil sump as done by truck / bus drivers in that region. Or even sometimes keeping burning paper/rags right in front of air intake to heat the air being sucked in. Alternate is long push or tow start where by repeated compression cycles the head warms up sufficiently to fire diesel.
2. Low temperature - diesel freeze : Occurs at temperatures around -5 or so. Here heating of tank/lines become important. Once the car starts the constant recirculation of "hot" diesel from pump overflow keeps the diesel from freezing again. In this situation tow or push start will not work.

In this case it was not problem#2 so you need to get glow circuit checked up to make it work properly. Problem would be that back home you can not replicate the situation so the garage mech has to be good.
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Old 28th October 2009, 10:22   #81
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You mean the glow plug light stays on for 30 seconds! Something is wrong with the glow plug circuit. Tell me, when you came back to plains, how long does the glow plug light stay on?
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Old 28th October 2009, 10:55   #82
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Default Day 8 Part 1

The morning was cold, real cold.

The Himachal Tribal Circuit - 2009-01-cold.jpg



Somehow, I managed to come outside to check if the car would start. The car roof and windshield had dollops of snow deposited on them. Time for hot water treatment, but all hotel staff are fast asleep.

The Himachal Tribal Circuit - 2009-02-car-snow.jpg


The engine cranks effortlessly. So much difference just by changing engine oil!
Ladies somehow fetched a bucket of hot water. The windshield is cleared of the ice and we hit the road.

The Himachal Tribal Circuit - 2009-03-hit-road.jpg


Plan was to move ahead a little and have breakfast somewhere down the road. Waiting for hotel staff to oblige would have caused much delay.
The cloud lifts in a little while, but it's still very cold.

The Himachal Tribal Circuit - 2009-04-still-cold.jpg


Our first stop was near a waterfall.

The Himachal Tribal Circuit - 2009-05-first-stop.jpg


It was large and it roared. Sprinkles of water coming upon the road were like ice cold knife.

The Himachal Tribal Circuit - 2009-06-large-water-fall.jpg


The water was white, plain milky white.

The Himachal Tribal Circuit - 2009-07-white-water.jpg

The Himachal Tribal Circuit - 2009-07a-white-water.jpg


Some photos,

The Himachal Tribal Circuit - 2009-08-photos.jpg



and videos later, we marched ahead.

The Himachal Tribal Circuit - 2009-09-videos.jpg




Road condition slowly deteriorated and habitation vanished faster. Our breakfast plan was getting in serious trouble, people started to get hungrier by the passing mile.
We came across a small village, Akpa. Of course nothing was there for food, but a nice dirt trail led down to the river on our right. We decided that to be our maggi spot.

The Himachal Tribal Circuit - 2009-10-maggi-spot.jpg



It took us a good one hour to cook the so called 2-minutes stuff and hence negating all the headway we achieved by skipping breakfast at hotel.

The Himachal Tribal Circuit - 2009-11-one-hour.jpg


But, it was great fun nonetheless. Roaring river, rocky river bed, snow capped mountains and hot maggi with tea.
During cooking, this little gentleman gave us a walk by. We asked him if he wanted some maggi. Guess what?! He refuses!

The Himachal Tribal Circuit - 2009-12-little-guy.jpg


After tea and breakfast, we start back. My right fog light gets a crack from a jumpy stone chip.

The Himachal Tribal Circuit - 2009-13-fog-crack.jpg



Our little guy surfaces back. He is quite interested in our car.

The Himachal Tribal Circuit - 2009-14-guy-checking-car.jpg

He looks at it from various angles. After Sonalika Rhino, anyone could be spy!

The Himachal Tribal Circuit - 2009-15-guy-checking-car-again.jpg

Back home, I can't even open my eyes without tea, and here I had to mountain drive 2 hours! After tea and breakfast, I felt quite energized. We have had lost quite a lot of time on breakfast, so I decided to speed up. Only to be slowed down.

The Himachal Tribal Circuit - 2009-16-men-work.jpg

We got halted at 3/4 such "Men at Work" situations till the Janghi checkpost.
Here one needs to enter the details of the car and driver. The cops posted there watch too much TV. They examined the papers and came to know that the car belonged to my wife, and I am the driver.
One had to see the winks they exchanged! I felt they evaluated the rich gal running away with driver scenario.

Done with the cops, we headed towards Ropa Valley. We crossed Spello in a little while.

The Himachal Tribal Circuit - 2009-17-spello.jpg


The scenery morphed slowly in to more of yellow and shades of brown as we reached the turn off to Ropa Valley.

The Himachal Tribal Circuit - 2009-18-scenary-morph-yellow.jpg


Given the descriptions on T-Bhp and local information, it was easy to identify.
Ropa village is about 12 odd kilometres from the turn off at NH22. The road is narrow and rocky but not too bad.

The Himachal Tribal Circuit - 2009-19-ropa-road.jpg


Some 2/2.5 kilometers inside the valley, one reaches the Ropa gate.

The Himachal Tribal Circuit - 2009-20-ropa-gate.jpg


Actually there is no such name, but since the "Checking out of Ropa Valley" snap at Team Bhp, I mentally named it so. And made up my mind to get my Safari snapped here too.

The Himachal Tribal Circuit - 2009-21-ropa-gate-adc.jpg


Some unknown river (Not marked in HPTDC maps) flows down below.

The Himachal Tribal Circuit - 2009-22-unknown-river.jpg


Inside Ropa Valley, itís purely apple country. Every 5 kilometers, a road will go down to the river bank and there would be numerous apple gardens and a small village.

The Himachal Tribal Circuit - 2009-23-apple-country.jpg



In this otherwise barren valley, one can spot greenery only near the river. And when there is greenery, there are apples.

The Himachal Tribal Circuit - 2009-24-green-apples.jpg


The road ends at Ropa village beyond which itís a purely trekking route.

The Himachal Tribal Circuit - 2009-25-ropa-village.jpg



Seeing so many orchards for last half an, ladies want to steal again.

The Himachal Tribal Circuit - 2009-26-so-many-apples.jpg



But, so far we found no un attended orchard to steal from. Finally at Ropa, my wife asked one apple guy his permission to pluck a few. They readily and happily agreed and this is what we did Ė

The Himachal Tribal Circuit - 2009-27-stealing.jpg


The apple guys watched us in amusement as we behaved like kids in wonderland.

The Himachal Tribal Circuit - 2009-28-apple-guys-watch.jpg


I for one, don't at all like apples. But, here I plucked and ate them like they were mangoes (which I like, FYI). So much nature can do to you and packing boxes can't.
They also gave us 15-20 ripe juicy apples. These were of good taste as opposed to the kuccha ones we plucked and ate. Mom got hell bent in buying a crate from them, it was just "Rs. 20/- a killowow!"
But we managed the situation by parallely citing lack of space in the car and furiously winking at the apple guys. She complained for next 50 kilometres about the utter uselessness of such a large car when one cannot carry one apple crate in it.
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Old 28th October 2009, 10:59   #83
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Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
You mean the glow plug light stays on for 30 seconds! Something is wrong with the glow plug circuit. Tell me, when you came back to plains, how long does the glow plug light stay on?
The car started smoothly with a single normal crank ever after since Chitkul...So I didn't check!
Let me check it up and post in the evening.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sudev View Post
AFAIK Diesel refusing starts have two elements
1. Not enough heat to fire - glow plug : This is over come by way of Tanveer's procedure. Or heating the manifold by hot water and/or lighting fire under the oil sump as done by truck / bus drivers in that region. Or even sometimes keeping burning paper/rags right in front of air intake to heat the air being sucked in. Alternate is long push or tow start where by repeated compression cycles the head warms up sufficiently to fire diesel.
2. Low temperature - diesel freeze : Occurs at temperatures around -5 or so. Here heating of tank/lines become important. Once the car starts the constant recirculation of "hot" diesel from pump overflow keeps the diesel from freezing again. In this situation tow or push start will not work.

In this case it was not problem#2 so you need to get glow circuit checked up to make it work properly. Problem would be that back home you can not replicate the situation so the garage mech has to be good.

Hmmm... looks like glow plug was the villain indeed. In light of subsequent starting performance, engine oil could be it too!
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Old 28th October 2009, 11:04   #84
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Originally Posted by sen2009 View Post
She complained for next 50 kilometres about the utter uselessness of such a large car when one cannot carry one apple crate in it.
Yes Ma is right, such big SUV with 4X4, can not even carry one apple crate, very unfair ,.
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Old 28th October 2009, 11:24   #85
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Originally Posted by sen2009 View Post
The cops posted there watch too much TV. They examined the papers and came to know that the car belonged to my wife, and I am the driver. One had to see the winks they exchanged! I felt they evaluated the rich gal running away with driver scenario.
ROFL. Great humourous narration.

Ropa valley has this great contrast - Those green-yellow valley colour within the barren brownish earth surroundings.

Last edited by adc : 28th October 2009 at 11:27.
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Old 28th October 2009, 11:28   #86
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Sen2009, I was just wondering what the title was all about. On just going through your teaser has put me through your thread completely. Amazing, looking out for more good works from you.
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Old 28th October 2009, 11:52   #87
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Originally Posted by Majic View Post
Sen2009, I was just wondering what the title was all about. On just going through your teaser has put me through your thread completely. Amazing, looking out for more good works from you.

Thanks man.


Quote:
Originally Posted by adc View Post
ROFL. Great humourous narration.

Ropa valley has this great contrast - Those green-yellow valley colour within the barren brownish earth surroundings.
Our itinary was quite tight, so people were favoring skipping Ropa valley. But, based on the snaps in your travelogue, I staunchly supported visiting Ropa.
And, snaps tell, I was not let down!

Especially, your "Checking out of Ropa" was a must for me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rkbharat View Post
Yes Ma is right, such big SUV with 4X4, can not even carry one apple crate, very unfair ,.
I reminded mom of all the comfort this large SUV gives her. But she sighed- "What's comfort in life if one couldn't buy apples for Rs. 20/- a killo, that too such good apples!."

You know.. Rs. 450/- for a Pizza or for 450 rasgullas! You can never convince them.
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Old 28th October 2009, 13:36   #88
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Post Day 8 Part 2

We are all energetic after eating some real nice apples and dodging the crate.
My wife tries to hike this little stream by the orchard. By now she got much better at these and the sheer fun of watching her struggling on rocks had significantly reduced.

The Himachal Tribal Circuit - 2009-29-stream-climbing.jpg


After she's done, we start back from Ropa.

The Himachal Tribal Circuit - 2009-30-more-weak-bridges.jpg


We cross all the apply villages on the way back. My mom longingly looks at them, and grumpily looks at us.

The Himachal Tribal Circuit - 2009-31-apply-village.jpg



Soon we are back on NH22. Yes, look hard, there's a road kinds thing on the left.

The Himachal Tribal Circuit - 2009-32-back-nh-22.jpg



The road leaves us speechless for long.

The Himachal Tribal Circuit - 2009-33-speechless.jpg



We push a little more and started to look for lunch, we surely were not going to eat maggi for next 100 years to come. We have had enough of it.!
We cross Pooh in a while.

The Himachal Tribal Circuit - 2009-34-pooh.jpg


We checked out at a place after pooh. They could cook dal chawal for us. Gleefully, we ask them to get started.
In between the conversation, they ask me where was I headed. I say Tabo!
They calmly inform me that Malling was CLOSED.
It was like a lightning strike for me.
What were we gonna do then?

They said it was closed for last two days and is expected to clear up by today evening.
They also asked me not waste anytime en-route and rush, as the place has tendencies of getting shooting stones from above after vehicles start running. So Iíd better not attempt it post sundown.
Lunch order cancelled, we rushed to malling.

The road deteriorates just a little, but the surroundings more than makes up for it. Even with our minds occupied with malling, we can't help but get engrossed.

The Himachal Tribal Circuit - 2009-35-lil-climb.jpg


As we progress to Khab, the road appears to enter a canyon. It becomes kind of dark, and gives a very very sinister feeling. Our minds already tensed, gets affected more.

The Himachal Tribal Circuit - 2009-36-khab.jpg

Soon we reach the Khab Bridge. I always wondered what was the big deal about it, it was just another BRO bridge. Only upon reaching there, I realized what was the deal!

The Himachal Tribal Circuit - 2009-37-khab-bridge.jpg



Since a while now, I kept stopping every other oncoming vehicle and asked the nullah status. Many of them came from Nako. They had waited two/ three days for the nullah to open up and now were coming down. We were more and more depressed.

Meanwhile road condition also kept us concerned. When it was good, it was really good. And when it was bad, it was crazy.

The Himachal Tribal Circuit - 2009-38-good-bad-roads.jpg


We started to climb the Kazigs, and the river was left down below.

The Himachal Tribal Circuit - 2009-39-river-down-below.jpg

The view of the loops from near the above is breath taking. From the photo one can hardly understand the sheer steepness and the climb of it.

The Himachal Tribal Circuit - 2009-40-kazigs.jpg


We spotted the Ka village, it looked nothing more than a few dots on the dotted yellow exapnse.

The Himachal Tribal Circuit - 2009-41-ka-village.jpg


To reach the Nullah fast, I had really pushed it hard up the Kazigs. Near to the top after crossing Ka Village, I felt a slight dizziness. I guessed it was nothing but a head rush. Still gave myself a 5 minutes break.

The Himachal Tribal Circuit - 2009-42-small-rest.jpg



The roads right from the Ka village till nako is in splendid condition, but scary nevertheless.

The Himachal Tribal Circuit - 2009-43-high-altitude-road.jpg



We reached nullah place around 3:30 PM. Oh yeah! It was CLOSED, and for good. Look at the situation here Ė One would wonder how the JCB got there!

The Himachal Tribal Circuit - 2009-44-malling-jcb.jpg


One of the guys there (from the road building agency) came to our car and asked if the car was from Maharastra, as he was. We chatted up a little and got to know that a big rock (bang in the middle) in sitting on the road. Road on both sides of the rock have vanished. They need to clear up the debris on both sides of the rock and then find some method to dislodge it from its kingís throne.

The Himachal Tribal Circuit - 2009-47-large-rocks.jpg


Once the big rock goes, itíd be 2/3 hours job to get the place suitable for movement of smaller vehicles.
The area in general looked like this.

The Himachal Tribal Circuit - 2009-45-general-area.jpg



We came back to the glass house. It's near where the Army camp of malling is situated, about 1 kilometers from the Danger Zone.

The Himachal Tribal Circuit - 2009-46-glass-house.jpg


The locals were frequently running across the slide.
If anyone reading this has played Prince of Persia Ė Sands of time or later, would understand the concept of wall run. The running across the slide is just PoP wall run. You start on a ledge, jump on the wall and run! While running your body is almost parallel to the horizontal. You need to jump on to a point which is significantly higher than the other side ledge, else by the time you reach there, your vertical downward movement will take you below the ledge. And you'll die.

I donít know if you could understand this,you would if youíve played PoP.
Else check this out -





Everytime someone runs across, the JCB stops. And it takes good ten minutes to get back to the job, and someone else had queued up for running by then.


We figured, it was not gonna happen today, so we better go to Nako and find us a place. Meanwhile, tourist cabs were pouring like anything and everyone had similar plans. So we hurried down to Nako to secure a place before Bengali brigade parades in.
We stopped at the bus stand. There were two hotels, one on the left and one on the right. Without looking at anything, we took the one at the right. Rs. 450/- per room.

The Himachal Tribal Circuit - 2009-48-hotel.jpg



The room was bad, even by our humble standards. The toilet stinked so bad that the owner himself had put agarbattis in his toilet.
However, he gave us rice, dal and curry to eat immediately. Basi or whatever, we gulped down like cows. Food was good.


After food, when we regained our senses, it was already about 5 oíclock. Sun was still there, but it did not feel like so. Gust of cold wind started and took away whatever body warmth we had acquired during the day.

Post sundown, we stuck to the room. Even if one peeks outside the door, his nose would freeze and break off. This was getting to be the coldest weather I had ever experienced in my life.
In the evening we sat close to each other. The power went out and it was candle stick time. We enthusiastically lit up five six candles to warm up the room along with lighting it up. I donít know if the warmth increased or not, but room was surely and quickly filled with carbon monoxide giving everyone a tough time to breathe. So we had to keep the door open for ten minutes for fresh cold venom to enter in.


We sat around on the bed and discussed strategies.

What if the nullah didnít open tomorrow? Today it was 9th October, and we must return to Mumbai latest by 16th October. My wife has got a flight to catch on 17th.

We will check out the situation tomorrow.

Case A :- It would open during the day (10th October). . We wait, cross and reach Kaza the same day (10th October). 11th and 12th we tour Kaza, 13th we reach manali, 14th rest, 15th Jaipur, 16th Mumbai.

Case B :- It would take one more day and would open on 11th. We wait and reach Kaza that day, 11th October. 12th and 13th Kaza tour. 14th Manali, 15th jaipur, 16th Mumbai.

Case C:- It wouldnít open for good. We go down to Rampur by 10th night. 11th Manali, 12th Kaza, 13th Kaza, 14th Manali, 15th Jaipur, 16th Mumbai.
We also discussed giving it up all together and touring some parts of Rajasthan instead , maybe Udaipur. We also thought of visiting Amritsar. In all that confusion, we ate and went to bed.



How do people survive here, and why do people survive here? This is nothing but a barren dessert of cold wind.

I canít much express how we passed the night. I must have woken up a hundred times and tried to fetch some warmth out of the stone cold blankets.
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Old 28th October 2009, 13:41   #89
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I thought there was a bypass route around Malling to Kaza or something?
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Old 28th October 2009, 13:53   #90
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Default Bypass

The Himachal Tribal Circuit - 2009-dsc08605.jpg



This is the bypass road. - Green Arrow.

The earlier road is situated down below - Red Arrow. The earlier road is completely out now.

The bypass road was made to avert landslides!
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