|11th May 2009, 13:52||#1|
Of cold mountains, and tonnes of snow
45 degrees, said the newspaper. However you do not need a newspaper to tell you that.
The loo which constantly hits you is an indication enough, and to rub it in the power department cuts power in the middle of the night.
At times like this all you want is to be cold. To be freezing, to have a runny nose without swine flu.
So with 4 days at hand, there was one objective. Go find snow.
So where will you definitely find snow in the may? Maybe even snowfall?
Well of course Rohtang.
Newspaper reports confirmed that Rohtang was still closed. Well that meant snow!
With destination decided, it was time to head over to Manali, and kothi was the place zeroed on due to less tourist rush.
Since its a 600kms journey, we decided to break at Anandpur Sahib. It had been a long time since we visited the Gurudwara, and this was a perfect oppotunity. We started on the 6th around 3:30, and thanks to google earth and my knowledge of rural punjab roads, we were there around 10pm. Hardly any traffic jams(no chd on the way), and zero traffic on the rural routes!
Did not stop much, except for Mcdonalds at Rajpura and sunflowers before that
The Gurudwara sahib
We slept by midnight. Tomorrow would be a long drive up the mountains!
|11th May 2009, 17:32||#4|
Senior - BHPian
Join Date: Sep 2005
Thanked: 269 Times
Great beginning, now time to speed it up. Eagerly waiting for all the gory details - yes, all of them, especially on the Manali-Rohtang-Manali leg. Hours stuck in jams etc etc.........
|11th May 2009, 19:54||#5|
Senior - BHPian
Join Date: Jul 2008
Thanked: 1,060 Times
Sorry this might be a very basic question, but thought I would still ask as I am totally unaware of the distances and the time it takes.
You said started at 3:30 and reached at 10pm ?? is that 3:30am or pm?
Eagerly waiting for the rest of the pics!!
|11th May 2009, 20:16||#8|
Senior - BHPian
Join Date: Jul 2008
Thanked: 1,060 Times
|11th May 2009, 21:46||#9|
Senior - BHPian
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: SAAT BUNGLA, BAMBAI.
Thanked: 305 Times
|12th May 2009, 08:24||#10|
We started at 3:30pm, after attending office
|12th May 2009, 09:57||#11|
Day 2 - Anandpur Sahib to Kothi
It was a relaxes day. Manali was only 7 hours away. We paid our respects at the shrine, and started quarter past 11.
within a few kms, the hill road NH21 started.
And boy, what a road it is.
Even the early birds start from Delhi at 5am, and its only around noon they hit this highway, which meant most of the traffic from the plains was behind us. Since elections in Punjab are on 14th may, this meant the 7th thursday had little traffic from chd.
The only spoilsport were the cement and rock laden trucks to ACC before sundernagar.
They would climb at 5kmph, with their ancient NA engines groaning and belching out black smoke.
Thanks to wonderful ventilation system of the safari, we experienced each and every bit of it.
Whether the HVAC is on internal circulation or external, it does not matter, she will let in the environment, and help you be with the nature.
Had a quick lunch after Mandi, at one of the countless lousy "Bhojanalyas" on the highway, and soon truck traffic also vanished.
The most wonderful part was the Aut tunnel. It was the first time we used this tunnel. Reminded me of konkan railway ratnagiri tunnel.
The scenery after the tunnel was awesome.
Saw lots of river rafting camps also, but did not stop, the goal was to reach Kothi before sundown.
Another wondeful thing about NH21 is that most towns like Mandi and Kullu are either fully or partially bypassed. The road is wide and smooth, with gentle sweeping curves. No nauseating curves like the shimla highway.
Traffic was thin, and around 5pm we were at the Manali checkpost, where the green tax was.. 300rs!
Cars pay 200, bikes pay 100, but white elephants pay 300.
Thankfully its valid for 7 days.
After entering manali filled up at a HP pump. FE came to 10kmpl. Not bad for uphill drive!
Then we encountered our first traffic jam, which thankfully did not go into hours.
Reached kothi around 6, and took the short narrow road to PWD. Due to rains on the 5th, it had a small waterfall crossing it, with lots of loose stones. However did not need to use 4WD and crossed it.
Later I saw an alto also crossing it, but with lots of clutch burn and high revvs.
Had tea at the rest house, and clicked a few snaps
PWD rest houses are always at good locations, and this one was no exceptions
An adventure camp behind the guest house
The view. again
After that we headed towards Kothi for dinner
The water crossing
Another pic. the water is muddy due to recent rains
At Kothi we went to Yak cafe opposite a restaurantish place called saggu cafe.
It was a small shack run by a local lady.
We had one of the most humongous aloo Paranthas, and then went for a short drive upto Gulaba.
Tomorrow we will again come to this route, and then go to Rohtang!
Before sleeping I took this shot in the moonlight
Around 10:30 we told the caretaker to get tea at 6:30am, and went to sleep, with Rohtang in the dreams!
|12th May 2009, 10:18||#12|
Join Date: Jan 2008
Thanked: 11 Times
Another fascinating trip! Nice to see that you are using the Safari and your camera to their fullest. Is this trip in preparation for the Leh-Ladakh trip?
Waiting for the remaining story and pictures.
|12th May 2009, 11:49||#14|
Join Date: Apr 2006
Thanked: 14 Times
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? I’ve never been 4WDing in the snow and now that I have some time on my hands I’m eager to try out my new set of snow chains.
|12th May 2009, 11:55||#15|
Day 3.. We wil go to Rohtang..?
6:30am : The caretaker is ready with the morning tea.
We make haste and get ready, but not before I take some morning shots. Its not even 7am, but the light is bright, and the sun is shining.
I can see lots of snow on the mountains towards Rohtang. A good sign for sure!
The snow shines in the sunlight
I take a few IR pics also
We get ready, and before 8 we are headed towards the Pass. Its 50kms+ from here, and the road is supposed to be trecherous.
Thankfully we have beaten part of the morning rush, and we make a brisk pace till Gulaba on the excellent roads.
After Gulaba the roads turn bad. Water crossings, slush and loose rocks. You name it, the road has it.
Altos, Innovas and sumos struggle and spin their wheels as they go up the slushy hairpins, but the while elepthant just ambles along.
We are passing most of the taxis, and soon we are at Marhi bridge.
A traffic jam will form here later, and already the traffic is slow, and that too with 4-5 taxis parking wrongly.
We cross the bridge, and many shopkeepers rush at us with skis etc., even shouting in Bengali. After all most of the tourists here are Bengali! It looks like west bengal. The amazing thing is that the locals have picked up quite a few phrases of Bengali. Reminds me of french speaking locals in Jaisalmer.
But we are in no mood to play in the black dirty snow. There is trash everywhere, and we just want to get away from the Marhi bridge. Rohtang Checkpost is a km away, and we rush towards that.
At the checkpost stand 2 BRO soldiers, and they halt us. Our high spirits come crashing down when we realize that no amount of pleading will help here.
I tell them I have a 4x4, it will go up, they simple say only locals allowed to take food etc., up.
Taxis from other side are coming down assisted by gravity, but going up is still too slipper, esp after the 5th may snow.
Today is 8th may, and if it does not snow at all, maybe tomorrow they will let us go.
We are disappointed and dejected. After all why would be not be. We came here to go to Rohtang, and we can't go to Rohtang.
The views are nice, but we are not enjoying them much
Take a couple of pics
The signboard which says Rohtang 16kms. sigh! only 16kms!
We try some more pleading, and then decide to turn back.
What else to do except enjoy some trash filled black snow.
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