Sunday, July 25, 2010

Tour Diary-Trip to Spiti Valley-Day Zero

Day Zero – A Random Start
The much awaited Leh trip started on 1st July with numerous confusions and no tour plan. We had decided to go to Leh in March, then we decided to go to Mumbai and then finally, we decided to go to Manali. However, none of the plans could be materialized and we decided to go to Keylong. (केलोंग)

.Those who traveled together and never agreed with each other for a single moment.
.The Pandoh Dam.
We planned to go by bike but then, there were five people and one bike. Thereafter, there were five people and one car and lastly there were four people and an Old Warrior.
Keylong is a famous tourist spot, which is just ‘365’ kilometres away from Leh (लेह) . We thought of hitting Keylong on 2nd July itself and as it was just a random decision, I decided to call it Day Zero.

.The Rohtang Pass.
The Good:
We finally got a camera; in fact a DSLR, Nikon 3000 and for the first time in my life, I got a chance to travel ahead of the Solang Nala. The weather was pleasant, birds were chirping and I was happy ;) People were cooperative and we met a group of bikers traveling from Delhi to Leh on their bikes. A German or French or I don’t know what, was traveling alone and he did not know [proper/understandable] English that was the most adventurous part of his trip and that is why admire Europeans. They don't fear anything. Few cyclists were traveling on their hi-tech bikes [cycles] towards Leh or [China probably].
The Bad:
The worst thing that can happen to you is injury or loss because of someone else’s mistakes. The fast travelling tourists drive rash and inflict damage to other people. Blowing horn is out of the syllabus and overtaking is their inherited property. However, I (and JP + Varun as well) kept hurling abuses at them and I am an expert in driving-cum-kickboxing.
Informational Content:
The roads never looked like National Highway 21 but it is an admirable fact that the BRO and HPPWD have maintained the standards of the roads. Water, snow and rocks keep coming and the labourers and the engineers never say no. Hats Off to their good work.
Those who intend to go towards Leh from Manali-Rohtang route must ensure that they get their tanks filled at Manali itself because things become nasty after you leave Rohtang pass.The next petrol pump is at Tandi and the pump owner sets the price on his own. On 2nd July, he was selling petrol at the price that would be implemented by Government of India by December 2011, considering the current price movements.
Khoksar is a place where the road diverges to Kaja and Leh. Just opposite to the Police Chowki, there is a Super-Economical dhaba that cooks/sells delicious food. The most interesting fact is that the Dhaba Owner never charges you more than the printed rate, which is an uncommon practice in every other part of country.
At some points, the roads were like devastated oil mines of Iraq and Afghanistan. We had to get down from our ‘vehicle’ and remove the stones, sand and soil from the road to make way for ourselves.
Day Zero ends:
As we were getting late, we started looking for accommodations in the villages, 10 Kilometres before Keylong. Luckily, we sneaked into a rest house belonging to the Agricultural Department where people drank beer and enjoyed a nice and sound sleep.
And by any means, did I tell you about ‘The Warrior’?
Yes, It was a 'Maruti'
We wanted to travel/drive on our own and thus hiring a cab was totally out of question. Four people riding a bike is unhygienic, unsafe and totally immoral, so we decided to take this 1997 model with almost 85000 kilometres under its belt.
Varun+JP+Old Warrior
The Route Map:
Sundernagar-Mandi-Kullu-Manali-Marhi-Rohtang-Gramphu-Koksar[eat parantha+tea]-Sissu-Gondla-Tandi.


Ankesh at Talk said...

bhai congrats for ur ever continued adventure... mai bhi aajkal banglore ke chape chape me gum raha hu... :P

yaar mai bhi udhar gumne jane ko soch raha hu..december me comp ka shut down hota hai.. sayad ustime mai bhi kahi jane ko niklunga :)

Anonymous said...


Deepak Bagga said...

sahi be, mast hai,, ejoyed a lot. full pe masti huyee hogi. vo nadi kinare wali baat explain karo ....
suna hai nadi kinare kuch saman gayab hua tha ....

vicious said...

exciting start ....
eagerly waiting for more !!!

Biju said...

Nice starting.......w8ing for next day.....bcoz I know there is lot more in this tour :)

Maddy said...

oye tarun...first i read the next one :) btw, i have been to that rohtang pass wen i was in 2nd year!!i m eagerly waiting for ur next one!!jot it soon!!

Gaurav Vashist said...

Tarun i really have loved the things that you have been doing lately....

It's just grt to see someone who has thrown convention out of the window and is njoying life on his own terms....

These are not just random trips,they speak a lot about ur exploratory and courageous nature...they speak a lot about your expression of freedom....

Keep rocking BRO... super liking watever u r doing :)