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Old 4th September 2010, 16:02   #76
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dwaraka View Post
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.
Thanks dwaraka.
Anything and everything with HVK sir is a record!

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Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
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.
I faced a similar problem while returning. At one part which had caved in and been repaired, there was a raise in the road, where they had done the filling. The first time I tried to cross, I could not clear it, because of lack of speed. I reversed, gathered momentum to cross the raised portion, but while trying to manoeuvre on that narrow portion of road, I practically drove into the mountainside. I had to reverse again and I got it right the 3rd. time around! It was a scary experience nonetheless. (I managed to break one hub cap on the rear left wheel)

Quote:
Originally Posted by wanderernomad View Post
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.

Thank you Sir. I had a wonderful time in your state and ofcourse once is not enough. I plan to drive to and in Himachal many times in this lifetime, to as you so rightly said discover new things everytime!
Truly Dev Bhoomi.
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Old 4th September 2010, 17:26   #77
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Day 11: 14th. July 2010

The start of the return journey from Kaza. But a slight detour to Kibber Village and Kye Monastery, before heading to Kinnaur Valley. Departure Kaza: 8.45 am.


Kye Monastery in the distance.
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Kibber Village. Second highest inhabited village in the world.
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Entry to Kye Monastery.
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Kye Monastery
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Road to Kye Monastery
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Rooms at Kye Monastery
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Main Prayer Hall at Kye Monastery
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Prayer wheels at the entrance passage.
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Old 4th September 2010, 17:32   #78
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Gautam, this Kibber location would be superb with late afternoon light. Did you try any?
Or I suppose you guys had to leave this place early.
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Old 4th September 2010, 18:59   #79
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The bolero looks in its elements with all that dust. Feast for the eyes I must say. The monastery with the Mountain backdrop looks superb.
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Old 4th September 2010, 23:16   #80
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@ Rudra, All the places we visited would have been very different and a photographers delight, if only the Sun God had decided to be benevolent. We were at Kibber at 9.30 am, and had to leave for the return journey to Nako. Could not take the risk of waiting till afternoon. Anyway the Sun was playing a game of hide and seek and mostly it was hiding behind clouds. Hope to rectify this in my next visit!

@ wanderernomad, we did not wash the car till we reached Bombay! Sort of like a memento, but some of the dirt got washed in the rains we encountered in Rajasthan, on the way back to Bombay.
You mentioned Himachal is your state, which part?
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Old 4th September 2010, 23:35   #81
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Day 11: 14th July 2010

No, no, these are not wildebeest in Africa, but sheep and goats running down the mountainside!
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Pashmina Goat!
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Old 4th September 2010, 23:50   #82
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The goats running down the mountainside look great under your lens!

Any idea if the roads from Khibber upwards is complete? There is a new road that goes on to the Losar side that way.

One of the Khibber residents told me that winter temperatures reach - 35 C in the winter.

One of the Ke Monastery monks told us that the monastery is under snow 2-3 months during winter and they are all virtually stuck inside with nothing but their prayers and daily chores.

You get some delicious tea inside the monastery, the monks are very hospitable and insist that you partake of the tea free. With the heady smell of burning candles and wick oil.
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Old 5th September 2010, 22:43   #83
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Day 11: 14th. July 2010


Dhankar Monastery
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Enroute to Tabo.
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Old 5th September 2010, 22:52   #84
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Gautam, this place is stunning! Just thinking if end October is a right time to go there. Again I'll disturb you with accommodation options. Please let me know.
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Old 5th September 2010, 22:56   #85
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The Dhankar section has some of the most expressive photos! I liked the one of the prayer wheel-driven water pump, and the greens in the midst of the barren Dhankar ravines, which remind you of termite mounds.
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Old 5th September 2010, 23:08   #86
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rudra Sen View Post
Gautam, this place is stunning! Just thinking if end October is a right time to go there. Again I'll disturb you with accommodation options. Please let me know.
End-October is as good a time as any, just before the winter snows the place down. However, water flow in the river Spiti and its tributories will be very low. The entire Spiti region gets shrouded in snow by end-Dec till end-Mar.

Most of the hotels start closing down around October, including HPTDC, but there are still some hotels which will remain open in Kaza and Tabo, but am not sure about Dhankar. IN deep winter (Jan onwards), there is hardly any water supply - pipes frozen - and I am told the hotels do not encourage visitors! The petrol pump at Kaza also may be closed down - or at least that is what the attendant told me last year.
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Old 6th September 2010, 10:27   #87
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Gautam

Every shot captured is beautiful, and the travelogue was very interesting, I am coming along if you planning to do it again next year.

Cheers
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Old 6th September 2010, 10:45   #88
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Rudra if you plan on going to this area plan in the first week of october to be on a safer side. End October you will have problems relating to Food, Accomodation, Fuel, Miscellaneous back up support. However, if you are planning to go at it Stag, end October will do and give you a life time of memories besides proving yourself to be a Manager. lol. Wont advise that time with family though.
OT: I belong to Parwanoo the gateway to HP.
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Old 6th September 2010, 11:25   #89
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Awesome shots of Dhankar.

I am thinking of doing this stretch during long weekend of 14th October, with some additional leaves. I want to go specifically to Kaza and monasteries around.

BTW Hotel Khangsar is in Tabo or Kaza?
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Old 6th September 2010, 11:33   #90
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You guys were really lucky. You went till 1km of chandertaal I think.
Around 20th August, Forest department dug up the road completely after the 10kms point, and also made a stone wall.
So we had to trek 3kms. I guess you could go till 750meters of the lake, right?

Those planning to do chandetaal, do it before end september. Around end sept, PWD digs up the road so that nobody goes there, as around that time the dhabas are lifted up too.

As for the track, its very narrow, and now all dhabas and tented acco is 3kms from the lake instead of at the lake.
Forest dept did this because people were littering a lot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rudra Sen View Post
Gautam, this place is stunning! Just thinking if end October is a right time to go there. Again I'll disturb you with accommodation options. Please let me know.
Oct timeframe you will get acco everywhere in kaza. Kunzum may close in october(if it snows heavily), so you will have to do it via Tabo side.
We saw a lot of good hotels everywhere in kaza and hardly any tourists, and this was last week, supposedly a tourist season

Last edited by tsk1979 : 6th September 2010 at 11:37.
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