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Old 2nd September 2010, 16:56   #61
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How's the accommodation facilities in Kaza area? We couldn't go there this time due to blocked Baralacha. We had to come back via Srinagar. Only option was getting into Himachal from Pathankot.
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Old 2nd September 2010, 19:19   #62
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@ Rudra,
We stayed at the Hotel Khangsar, a small hotel on the main road. Pretty decent, with all facilities. We tried the HPTDC Hotel Spiti, but found the price too high. Besides if we had stayed there we would have been the only guests at the place!

@HVK,
Man the road to Chandratal was really very scary. I agree on your assessment of BC & AC!
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Old 2nd September 2010, 20:24   #63
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Day 10: 13th. July 2010

Rohtang Didn't Let me Pass; Spiti & Chandratal It Was!-_drd9198.jpg
Rohtang Didn't Let me Pass; Spiti & Chandratal It Was!-0136.jpg
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At Lossar Check Post.
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Cute ain't they!
Rohtang Didn't Let me Pass; Spiti & Chandratal It Was!-0143.jpg
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Rohtang Didn't Let me Pass; Spiti & Chandratal It Was!-0164.jpg

Day 10:
Kaza to Chandratal and Back. Distance covered-197 kms. Departure 6.45 am; Arrival 6.53 pm.
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Old 2nd September 2010, 20:25   #64
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Really awesome pics Bolbolero.
Really liked the amazing landscape captured by your lens.
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Old 2nd September 2010, 20:40   #65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sami316 View Post
Really awesome pics Bolbolero.
Really liked the amazing landscape captured by your lens.
Thanks buddy! The photos are taken using 3 different cameras; Fujifilm Finepix S5500/ Nikon D300/ Nikon D70. 4 actually if you count the Olympus FE150!
So it should be lenses!
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Old 2nd September 2010, 22:56   #66
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Although BolBolero had a bad experience with HPTDC at Kaza, I have stayed there and it is a great place but a little expensive. The staff were also very courteous and food great. Plus, a large car parking lot.

Gautam, fantastic photos of Chandratal.
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Old 3rd September 2010, 11:33   #67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BolBolero View Post
@HVK,
Man the road to Chandratal was really very scary. I agree on your assessment of BC & AC!
Did you drive up to Chandratal. I though it doesn’t have a drivable road and one need to trek to it. Can you please shed some more light on this.
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Old 3rd September 2010, 11:54   #68
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>>> Gautam,

This is a once in a life time experience- with outstanding snaps.
I have to go through your entire travelogue multiple times to let it sink in.
Awaiting the rest with bated breath. Ditto your entire log (hopefully in an excel).

At various points in your expedition, I have been cheered by the sight of 'normal' steeds such as the Alto, the Maruti 800 and the fact that hvk made it in a Matiz. So there is hope for journeymen in non SUVs too.

Did diesel prove to be problematic at those altitudes? Cold starts? Fuel pipe blockages? Is ground clearance an issue? I guess even the Matiz has a good ground clearance as compared to the later cars.

Regards
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Old 3rd September 2010, 16:21   #69
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Excellent pictures especially the Chandratal Lake. See slightly more of greens than I remember it as. Yes the term jeepable is basically a notation that if you got guts there is a road. There are numerous such roads in HP. Even in some cases where it says ' Bus Yogya" i.e busable a jeep requires 2 point turns to make some of the turns. Basically this nomenclature Jeepable and Busable though doesnt signify the width ( though to a smaller extent it does) but generally means the load carrying capacity of the road at its weakest point or culvert.
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Old 3rd September 2010, 16:22   #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sanjaykaul View Post
Did you drive up to Chandratal. I though it doesn’t have a drivable road and one need to trek to it. Can you please shed some more light on this.
Yes Sanjay, I drove upto Chandratal. As the board mentioned, it was a Jeepable road. Being under the impression that the Bolero was a jeep, I drove on, and boy was I proved wrong; The genes of the Bolero may be the same as the jeep, but it definitely is not a jeep! Actually any car with a small track width can drive on this road. Only problem you may encounter is the Ground clearance. Other than that, it is mostly nature that may thwart your drive, what with landslides or the road getting washed out! We were lucky, the day we were there, there were no rains and the road was drivable, although just about! A part of the road had collapsed a week before we were there, but thankfully it was repaired before we visited. You need to park your car roughly a km & half from the lake and walk it up from there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by issigonis View Post
>>> Gautam,
This is a once in a life time experience- with outstanding snaps.
I have to go through your entire travelogue multiple times to let it sink in.
Awaiting the rest with bated breath. Ditto your entire log (hopefully in an excel).
At various points in your expedition, I have been cheered by the sight of 'normal' steeds such as the Alto, the Maruti 800 and the fact that hvk made it in a Matiz. So there is hope for journeymen in non SUVs too.
Did diesel prove to be problematic at those altitudes? Cold starts? Fuel pipe blockages? Is ground clearance an issue? I guess even the Matiz has a good ground clearance as compared to the later cars.
Regards
Thank you sir. Will be putting up the drive log and a link to my blog too.
In my opinion any car should be able to make it to most of the roads, as is evident from the many snaps at Rohtang and other places. All it needs is a good driver, and by good I mean someone who understands his/ her capabilities and limitations and that of the car he/ she is driving. Ground clearance at some places is definitely an issue, but it can be overcome, if one is careful. Do not get into a situation which is dangerous for you, the car or the people around, would be my advice. The people of this region are mostly very helpful and will come to your aid, if the need arises. Just that you may have to be patient.
As far as the diesel engines go, I have an older generation XD3P engine. I did not face any problem of cold starts, nor fuel pipe blockages. There was a slight loss of power, which was felt at higher altitudes and while climbing. Though while returning from Kaza to Nako, at the climb to Nako, the Bolero was belching out thick black smoke! Once we reached lower altitudes that problem vanished and in the plains there were no problems at all.
IMHO the newer generation of diesels should not have any such problems.
HVK is from a different planet as far as driving is concerned and I say this with the greatest of respect for the man and his abilities!
You can probably give him this to drive and he will take it wherever there is a ROAD- tarred or otherwise!
Rohtang Didn't Let me Pass; Spiti & Chandratal It Was!-2010_0105_173432.jpg
@HVK, no offence meant sir!
Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
Although BolBolero had a bad experience with HPTDC at Kaza, I have stayed there and it is a great place but a little expensive. The staff were also very courteous and food great. Plus, a large car parking lot.
Gautam, fantastic photos of Chandratal.
Sir, I did not have a bad experience at the HPTDC at Kaza per se. It's just that they were not ready to give a discount on the room rates, which is understandable, what with it being a Govt. run hotel. I'm pretty sure the service and the staff would be very good. But we were more or less looking for economy and hence the decision to stay at another hotel. But, yes their parking lot is very huge!
Thanks for the compliments on the photos.
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Old 3rd September 2010, 16:49   #71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wanderernomad View Post
Excellent pictures especially the Chandratal Lake. See slightly more of greens than I remember it as. Yes the term jeepable is basically a notation that if you got guts there is a road. There are numerous such roads in HP. Even in some cases where it says ' Bus Yogya" i.e busable a jeep requires 2 point turns to make some of the turns. Basically this nomenclature Jeepable and Busable though doesnt signify the width ( though to a smaller extent it does) but generally means the load carrying capacity of the road at its weakest point or culvert.
Thank you for the compliments sir.
As is evident, I've got a lot to learn from gurus like yourself and many others on this forum, as far as driving in the mountains is concerned. I appreciate all your feedback and imparting of knowledge! Thank you!
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Old 3rd September 2010, 18:08   #72
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Quote:
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In 2004, after we drove the Matiz on this wretched road, we returned to the spot and struck out "Jeepable" so that the sign board read :Matiz-able Road"!!!
And our trip became redefined as BC and AC - Before Chandratal and After Chandratal, meaning it was quite a defining moment of the entire Ladakh trip.
How can I forget this trip in 2004 in your Matiz? It is a record too.

Bolero, Amazing travelog you have brought and very beautiful pictures. Must do spiti once more, but on bike.
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Old 3rd September 2010, 21:17   #73
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The road to Chadratal goes down from Baltal to the valley. It is quite steep, very in some parts and for the entire stretch has steep valley on one side and cliff on the other. Problem is it is all rubble with landslide boulders on the road sometimes. On the climb back, the tyres grapple with the rubble to gain traction and that can be quite a challenge. I faced a couple of places where I had to back up to gain momentum on the ascent.

This road also opens very late and closes early in the winter snows. By mid-September, there will be hardly any water left.
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Old 4th September 2010, 01:01   #74
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The rubble as you have very correctly pointed out is a major issue on such narrow roads which are devoid of a flat tarmac to enable traction. At times the technique of backing some way down and then trying to clear with the momentum can get quite scary if the roads are narrow. The rear end fishtails and the sight of the rock face changing to clear blue skies in a matter of milliseconds can be quite unnerving for many. Best bet is to deflate by about 2-4 psi and then do it slowly. But only if you are carrying a pump to re inflate
Congrats bolero to you and your wheels for doing a road which can unsettle even the most tested local driver on a given day. Plus you should be proud that you saw what a majority donot even dream off let alone try. Hope you have a nice time in my state but as they say its a land where once is never enough. And believe you me after more than 30 years of roaming in this holy magical land I keep discovering new things with each drive.

Last edited by wanderernomad : 4th September 2010 at 01:03.
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Old 4th September 2010, 07:34   #75
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wanderernomad View Post
The rear end fishtails and the sight of the rock face changing to clear blue skies in a matter of milliseconds can be quite unnerving for many.
So true! Faced the same while coming back from Nubra. That part of the road was pretty well surfaced while going there.
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