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Old 12th May 2009, 11:59   #16
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Originally Posted by toiingg View Post
did the safari give any problems ?
Not exactly

Originally Posted by Gasolinejunkie View Post
Your pictures are unnaturally AWESOME, remind me of some of my Xbhp buddies, they were incredible photographers and loved taking pictures in the Himalayas.
Looking forward to the next bit of your trip. Was off-roading in the snow fun? Iíve never been 4WDing in the snow and now that I have some time on my hands Iím eager to try out my new set of snow chains.
We did snow off roading, but without chains.
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Old 12th May 2009, 12:09   #17
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great travelogue dude!

ps, the 'live to drive' sticker is made for the tata safari! It fits perfectly with tata's reclaim your life thingy

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Old 12th May 2009, 12:38   #18
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Good stuff. You Dilliwallas are really lucky living so close to wonderful mountains. You have so much to do and places to go. It gets even better for you guys around the winter months.
Waiting for the next installment.
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Old 12th May 2009, 13:37   #19
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Good show, TSK!

The photo, where you say was taken in the moonlight, WOW! It is so bright!

You people are soo lucky! Such beautiful places all at just a drive away. Sigh!

And whats with the ventilator! I guess someone is not doing it right! I have had a similar issue in my car, with both setting letting in nature, and with the local A.S.S saying it is all proper. But a visit to a known outside mechanic fixed it for good!
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Old 12th May 2009, 14:25   #20
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Good pics man. Two quick questions:
- What is black snow?
- What is IR mode in context of the photos?
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Old 12th May 2009, 14:33   #21
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Originally Posted by Su-47 View Post
Good pics man. Two quick questions:
- What is black snow?
- What is IR mode in context of the photos?
Black snow is snow mixed with horse manure, paan spit, trash and other unspeakable things.
IR is Infra red. I just used an infrared filter
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Old 12th May 2009, 15:04   #22
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Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
Black snow is snow mixed with horse manure, paan spit, trash and other unspeakable things.
Nice description Tanveer... People were wondering where did Tanveer saw Black Snow... It is only possible in India.

Nice adventurous travelogue...

In one of your post you mentioned that for your White Elephant they charged green tax of Rs. 300.
You really love to hate (or hate to love) your White Elephant, LOL ...
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Old 12th May 2009, 16:05   #23
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Default Day 3.. Dejection

So dejected and unhappy and sullen we started back towards the Marhi bridge. By now I could see a traffic jam.
took a dirt trail down to the river. The sensible taxi wallahs were driving down to river and parking there, but there were enough idiots parking on the road side at narrow sections to cause a jam.
The river
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We saw some people on the little snow on mountain sides. The winds were chilly and biting. Decided to just drive around there

Got down and I see a smallish ATV guy coming. These are 4 wheel ATVs which are like dune buggies, and for 100rs/person he was willing to give a 100 meter ride.
I told me to go away, no mood for such circus.
But he was persistant.
Then I told him, look buddy, if you give me 100rs, I will take you for a ride beyond what your ATV goes, and also take you beyond the river.
He told me "gaari nahin jayegi upar, sirf hum jaayenge".
with that he caught hold of a couple dressed in snow overalls, and started taking them up the mountainside.
I decided to follow him. Where he took U turn, I just went up, and the white elephant did all this in idle speeds in 1st Low.
The look on his face when he crossed us when we were going up was priceless.
I took a few pics
White elephant on mountain
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View from the top, the tourist rush was increasing by the second
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Took a couple of IR shots, IR river
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IR tourists in dirty snow. It looks whiter in IR
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After that we started back, and got caught in a humongous jam on the bridge
It was 10am, and already the place resembled a mela
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view from the bridge. Its 10:06am and we are in the thick of the jam. Its getting thicker, and its neither sweet, nor tasty
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10:30am we have moved 20 meters. I shut off the engine. No point burning fuel. Most cars have switched off now, and tourists are scuttling about with skis. Where will they ski? On sand or on the rocks, I dunno.
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Atleast the view is not bad. What else to do except roll down window and click
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Its five minutes past 11, and we have moved 5 meters
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30 minutes later we are no better
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The jam stretches endlessly, and our frustration only increases. The road is wide enough for 2 trucks to pass, but with taxis parked on both sides, its barely enough for one car. There are BRO trucks caught in the JAM, and they are carefully trying to avoid the parked cars. I wonder why, a few nicks and dents won't hurt.
A traffic cop has come, and he is trying to fix things but I doubt they can do much unless they impose 500rs parking fee on the road side.
Here is the humongous jam, and its almost noon
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Thankfully after this traffic clears, and we are driving downwards, aimlessly.
What to do What to do.
Suddenly I spot a meadow. Its a sharp drop from the road, and I am sure none of the pesky tourists can follow me down. Yippee
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Old 12th May 2009, 16:16   #24
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Default Day 3... The Enchanted Forest

The meadow is not exactly smooth and goes into a forest. We park our elephant, and proceed on foot. This is once place no tourist is following us.
Just sit there, and soak up the scenery
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Its silent, and calm. It looks like an enchanted forest. The sullen mood lifts up. This is nice quite scenic and fun. But there is something missing. Unicorns. Yes, we need unicorns here.
No sooner I think that, sharp clack clack of hooves makes us turn around. Its a horse, running down. I click, but am too slow. Actually to taken aback. By the time I realize there's a camera in my hand, the brown unicorn has already run away
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Walking further, my wife spots some white horses grazing.
Time to bring out the 300mm
Light is fading, so I could not get fast shutter speeds, and 300mm seems too short!
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After that I train the lens to the snow clad mountains. If you cannot go there, you need to use the zoom!
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through the branches
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Another green meadow far away
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More snow clad mountains
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The view
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this is freedom. To soar high. No checkposts or barriers to stop you
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Finally it was time to get back on the road
It was almost 1pm now, and we were hungry. Esp after eating that lousy breakfast.
Notice, how the tourists haven't spared even the remote sections of the road. Wherever they can, they will throw trash. And that too non bio degradable plastic trash
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And then we headed down towards manali

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Old 12th May 2009, 16:28   #25
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Beautiful pictures Tanveer! Travelogue as usual......can't be done better.


Last edited by deepgautam_qa : 12th May 2009 at 16:30.
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Old 13th May 2009, 10:19   #26
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Default Day 3.. Let get wet!

After spending some time at the meadow, it was time to move on. It was still early afternoon, people who wanted to go to Rohtang, had already gone, and the time to come back had not really started.
Which meant a relatively empty highway downhill.
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First goal was to have lunch.
We reached manali, and thankfully not much of a jam.
At delicious chicken at Sher-E-Punjab, the original one. Lovely food, and excellent service.
With pet pooja done, it was time to plan for rest of the day.
What better way to spend the siesta time than to jump in a raft?

So with that aim in mind we started heading towards kullu.
there were lots of one man setups on the way, which we gave a miss.
It started to drizzle,and we knew that today there will be no rush for rafting. Yea!

Taken on the highway
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Finally few kms from manali we came across a decent looking setup with multiple people.
Spoke to them, and they told us 3ikms and 7kms option is there.
Chose the former, as it was our first time.
Bargained the 600rs price down to 450rs/couple, and we were all set to go!

This is where we go rafting
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So with stomachs full of food, we went. since getting wet was guaranteed, put shoes in their jeep, and on we went.

Now this was the first time we have done such a sport. And the experience was exhilerating to say the least.
the first time we went down a rapid, cold water drenched us to the bones! It was so cold, and it started raining also.
But with Beas drenching you every few seconds, who cared about rain!

Cold river water is an anti depressant, and all our disappointment of not being able to Rohtang vanished.
Got out of the raft, and had to walk on dirt. Since I did not want to get shoes dirty(even though i had a spare pair), I decided to drive barefoot.
Now this was another first for me, and now I realize why many drivers drive barefoot.
The feel is great, and your feet do not slip of the wet pedals.
Its kind of enjoyble to feel the engine vibrations and road through the pedals. Something like a foot massage

The spirit is up again. So what we were refused Rohtang. we went to Beas. Tomorrow morning we will go earlier, and definitely go to Rohtang!

It was evening when we finally came to the guest house.
Went for a long walk in the woods on a dirt track, and generally lazed around.
Had delicious chowmin at Yak cafe, and decided to sleep early, as tomorrow we will go to Rohtang!

But not before I shot the night again
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Snow really shines in the moonlight, but light clouds can play spoilsport
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Moonrise behind the mountain
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Photography done, we retired early, with Rohtang in our dreams.... again!

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Old 13th May 2009, 10:44   #27
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Nice to see you enjoying the the scene despite the mood spoilers. Excellent photos. Did you try the Beas Kund Trek? It would have buoyed your spirits even further. Very true, cold water especially from a mountain river is an anti depressant.
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Old 13th May 2009, 10:49   #28
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Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
The signboard which says Rohtang 16kms. sigh! only 16kms!
Which area is this Tanveer? Mari?
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Old 13th May 2009, 10:53   #29
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Originally Posted by wanderernomad View Post
Nice to see you enjoying the the scene despite the mood spoilers. Excellent photos. Did you try the Beas Kund Trek? It would have buoyed your spirits even further. Very true, cold water especially from a mountain river is an anti depressant.
Nope, no treks, though we went for a jog at Kothi. Again an exhilarating experience as compared to running on treadmill in smelly hot gym!

Originally Posted by Rudra Sen View Post
Which area is this Tanveer? Mari?
Yes Rudra, its at Marhi, actually right at the end of Marhi town.
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Old 13th May 2009, 11:47   #30
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Default Day 4 - Part 1 Rohtang Rohtang Rohtang....

If you chant a places name again and again, do you get to go there. I dunno about that. Seriously no clue.
But on Saturday, 9th May 7am, we were chanting Rohtang, and driving towards it. Being a Saturday, lots of people were already heading there. If we wanted to go, we would have to beat West Bengal. The KKR IPL team may be languishing at the bottom, but their fellow statesmen are the leaders when it comes to tourism.
We passed countless taxis, as we drove on.
The water crossings had become worse, but BRO men were on their toes, redirecting the water, picking up large stones which roll down. Hats of to these men.
With every meter we gained in altitude, our spirits soared. So did our aprehension.
Today was the last day at Manali. We had to go to Rohtang, come what may.

Reached the Marhi bridge well before 8, and thankfully no jam yet.
Couple of minutes later we are at the same check post.

This time the soldiers are smiling. Both of them recognize us.
And then with same smiling faces they say no.
A local taxi guy tells us we should have come at 6am.

We beg and plead. For 30 minutes we are after their lives. But they do not budge.
Finally I tell them, I will come again in evening, can you let us go then. They tell me that evening they will see, I can come at 4 again, and then they will see.

We are dejected, our spirits are low, and we don't know where to go.
With heavy hearts we turn back, hoping that the bridge would be clear. Thankfully the jam is still short.

Tired and hungry we stop at a shack at Gulaba, and have horrendous omelette and tea, pretty expensive too at 30rs

Before 11 we are at our guest house again. We will go to Rohtang again in the evening. No matter what.
Even if we have to go in the middle of the night, we will go.

With that determination, we go for a 2km jog in the high mountains. Jogging in cold mountain air is an antidepressant. It cools your nerves and soothes your senses.

We have no plans for the day, so we decide to get ready and head to vashisht to see some spring thingy there.
However I decide to take some pictures, and take the gear out of the bag, for the first time, quarter past 11am.
There are some clouds in the sky and sun plays hide and seek
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But what better time to take some IR shots!
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More IR shots
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Satisfied with the pictures, its time to head downhill, towards vashisht.
But we are not reaching in any hurry. there is a jam just after Kothi as BRO constructs the road.
It takes 45 minutes for the road to open, and we drive down. Thankfully hardly any traffic. We skip solang, as we had driven there yesterday, and found it lousy with too much rush and garbage.

Soon we are heading on the high road up to Vashisht.
The road is narrow, traffic okay, and soon we are at the parking.
Millions of tourists, parking problems. All to see some silly hot springs.
Not our cup of tea. We decide to turn back.

Have some maggi at a dhaba, and then head to beas river, and contemplate on the plans for the day.
We will go to Rohtang, thats final.

But before that we check out river crossing. I decide to skip it but my wife takes a shot, and thoroughly enjoys it.
This small detour has also cheered me, and something tells me that Rohtang will be conquired.
We look at the high mountain, and the dark clouds forming on the top. Good sign or not? Time will tell
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As we start proceeding, the cloud seems to be getting thicker and thicker.
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So with a silent prayer, we charge at the cold mountain

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