North by Northeast ‘13 – Chandra Taal To Hurling’

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Chandra Taal (rest day) – Losar – Kaza – Hurling HPPWD

Distance this period: 237.68 km Total Distance: 2439.77 km

Chandra Taal – 0 km
Losar – 36.92 km
Kaza – 68.04 km
Hurling – 60.08 km

Took a rest dat at Chandra Taal. Campsite is way below the actual Taal. Ask a tent wallah if I can camp in front of his tent cum food stall, he said yes! ate maggie, 80 rs. for that one bowl of noodles, can you believe? hilarious. got stomach-ache, a sick day, loosemotions, headache. No good.
Total KM – 0 kms
Total expense – 0/-

early morning packed everything, saw another cyclist spreading his sleeping bag open in air at far. bumpy ride continued. Ate nothing the previous day so thought of going back to Batal and have a meal but the thought of the ride back said no so skipped it. 9 kms up to the Kunzum La Top, pretty bumpy and sunny day. at 12 noon made it the top. Rested a bit. Then starts worst downhill, hands shaking like anything, took a lot of energy on concentration & riding. Then some flat and came Losar. 1st restaurant up, ordered food, got talking to the owner, he says I can camp in his premises at the back. He tells me one cyclist met with an accident and taken back to Manali. Then came the other cyclist, from Boka ( a country sandwitched between Spain & France) he tells me.
Total KM – 36.92 kms
Total expense – 280/-
Approx time – 5.42 Hrs

Losar is the place where you need to register yourself with the local police.
Bloody punctured day today; 5 in total. Started with new European guy at 7, 1st puncture just after 5 kms of ride, the guy helped me to fix it. At Kuato, asked locals about Kibber route, got mixed response some said yes we can cross it some said no. The GREF guy confirms road is being built till Chichim; to reach Kibber, a suspension bridge is there, you cannot ride on it. So we went towards Kaza. Flat after flat tire so changed the rear tire just after the place called Hal. The guy continued his journey I fixed my bike. Got ATM near Kaza bazaar. took out 2k, had chowmin momo, then got puncture again. Camped by the road and fixed it. Took off the mudguard as well.
Total KM – 68.04 kms
Total expense – 210/-
Approx time – 6.00 Hrs

Got up at 5, cleaned the bike and started at 9. today was a no water route. Some pretty bad stretches. Following the Spiti river. Lunch at Tabo, other than that no food option in-between. Got talking with the owner Ramesh, nice guy, been there for 15 years, originally from Bilaspur, now organises tours trekking and all. Made it to Hurling. Tea and enquired about Sumdo stay options, reply came as strict NO, said better check with HPPWD right here. Nice guy the caretaker. He allowed me to camp inside. Talks and then dinner at some restaurant Tengin Fast food.
Total KM – 60.08 kms
Total expense – 180/-
Approx time – 6.30 Hrs

Missed the route towards Gue, the mummy place. its 8 kms off the main road. Had tea samosa jalebi at Sumdo. Sumdo is the place where foreigers need to show ILP, can get it from Kaza. I just registered mysellf. Sumdo is just a army transit place no stay option. Here you cross the Spiti river, now it will flow to your left side. Road widening work in progress. Easy climb of 13 kms before Nako. Lunch. Lovely downhill till the bridge where Spiti river meets ugly mighty Sutlej river. Namgia, you can take a turn towards ShipkiLa, doors ro ChinaLand. thought of going up but heavy headwind + late. Made it to Pooh by 7 pm. 3 kms up from main road, found a hotel (Om Hotel).
Total KM – 92.80 kms
Total expense – 610/-
Approx time – 9.11 Hrs

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The Kunzum La top
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The X’ resting 
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The downhill starts, jolting bolting and falling
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This is the road
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Then I could smell the food
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Got a company for a day, lovely
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Amazingly carved
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Some town is coming
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Kibber, I guess and Kibber monastry a little up. The other side of the river Spiti
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Everyday morning routine
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Somewhere into the wilderness
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Not so far to the touchdown

Driving License procedure – Delhi

Driving License procedure – Delhi

Okay, so now that I have got my driving license (2 wheeler vehicle only), let me jot down the procedure here.

  1. First go to https://dlpay.dimts.in/app/index.aspx
  2. Apply for Learner’s License, fill up the form online.
  3. Pick a time slot to book appointment, pay fee, which is rs 30/-+service charge for two wheeler. I booked early morning slot of 07:00 – 07:30 AM. I would advise you to book early one to avoid long queue there.
  4. Print out your filled form, paste a photograph and sign below it, fee receipt along with self-attested below documents.
  5. You need 2 documents –
    • Residence Proof of Delhi
    • Age Proof
    • Passport size photograph
  6. For residence – Aadhar card or voter id card or passport etc. I submitted Aadhar Card.
  7. For age – Pan card or School certificate or birth certificate etc. I submitted School Certificate.
  8. On appointment day carry your original documents, with a copy of each self-attested.
  9. I went to Sheikh Sarai office for 2 wheeler license; there you need to go to counter no 9. Give your filled form, he will ask for original documents. Confirm your details on the system, like name, address etc.
  10. He will give you a fee receipt and pass your form to counter no. 10. There you have to give finger prints; signature and they will click a photo of you. This photo will be there in your DL, so make sure you smile. J
  11. Once this is done they will attest your form, stamp and will return to you.
  12. Now you have to go 2nd floor room no 210 for online test.
  13. Wait for your turn, hand over your form. Keep the only fee receipt with you. Give test. Result will be in front of you. If fail you have to go back again after a week. If pass, you have to wait till 2 o’clock.
  14. At 2 o’clock they will distribute the learner’s license from room no 212.
  15. Now you got your learning license, learn to ride. You got ONE month time to apply for permanent license.
  16. After 30 days you again need to go online https://dlpay.dimts.in/app/index.aspx
  17. Apply for permanent license, book appointment pay fee of rs. 250/- + for 2 wheeler vehicle. Again print the filled form and fee receipt, affix a photograph of yours, self-attest.
  18. On appointment day, carry your bike with a sign L at front & back (imp.) with you, filled form with photo, fee receipt. Go to counter no 9 (Sheikh Sarai), give your finger prints and collect fee receipt.
  19. Carry your form, pick your bike and go to the main road just outside office building.
  20. There will be a long queue with vehicles with sign L, give your form to the inspector. Wait.
  21. As soon as you hear your name; fasten your helmet, start your bike, go to the start line. Listen to the inspector carefully and proceed. Complete the round and reach to the inspector, he will inform you the result. If pass your DL will reach to your address within a week. If fail, come back again after 8 days.
  22. He failed me on my first driving test.
    1. Reasons-
      1. Helmet not fasten correctly
      2. Crossed the zebra line at the red light.
      3. Did not give left indicator while parking the bike.
  23. So I went again after 8 days, (10 days actually). Had to pay 50/- rs fee at counter no 1 and finger print at counter no 2. Gave test again and passed.
  24. I actually forgot counter no 2 thing; didn’t give finger prints. I just paid fees and gave test, went home and then office. At evening I got a call from rto office to come again and complete finger prints part. So next morning went again there and completed.
  25. So on 19th Oct 2016 all formalities completed; on 22nd Oct India Post delivered my permanent driving license at my door.

Happy driving everyone!

North by Northeast ‘12 – Grampo to Chandra Taal’

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Grampo campsite – Chhota Dara – Chandra Taal

Distance this period: 70.24 km Total Distance: 2510.01 km

Grampo – 0 km
Chhota Dara – 36.01 km
Chandra Taal Camp – 34.23 km
Chandra Taal Camp – 0 km (rest day)

Now that I have officially entered the Spiti part of the Lahul and Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh. Saying good bye to the comfirt of food and company was hard, started as late as 11 am. The guy made a farewell early lunch, shared some pics together, he took my hat and said he need one. As a gesture to his hospitality, gifted the hat to him and left.

As soon I took left turn from Rohtang road, I knew that this is not going to be a joy ride. The road is national highway and in such a bad shape that I could only cover 36 kms at the sunset. Chhatru is the first place where you get something to eat. Had just tea here and moved on. I should have known that reaching Batal for dinner was next to impossible on such road. Made it to Chhota Dara, saw HP PWD rest house but no one was there. Found a campsite nearby and camped.
Total KM – 36.01 kms
Total expense – 30/-

Next day, bad road continued. Batal was about 18 kms from here, nice kadi-rice lunch at the famous uncle-aunty’s place. Aunty welcomed me saying you have come from such a nice road, smile exchanged. Newspaper clips and articles of their brevity were posted all over. Loved the Kadi-rice. Then crossed the bridge and at some 2 kms there’s a cut to Chandra Taal. Narrow road, needed too much concentration on heavy wind. Camping not allowed near the lake. Campsite is some 2 kms below the lake, you can take your vehicle nearby lake, still need to walk about 10 min to reach the lake from motorable road. Rode back to the campsite and camped.
Total KM – 34.23 kms
Total expense – 200/-

Took a forced rest day, sick day, stomachache, loose-motion, headache, no food.
Total KM- 0
Total expense – 0/-

Grampo campsite with the Nepali guy
It was a beautiful stay
Green pea. Far from Nepal, his home he came here to earn fat. This is what he told me – every year during season which lasts about 6-7 months, the landowners lease-out these lands to such farmers. They provide all the equipments, all you have to do prepare the field, grow seeds, keep tight vigilance, cut and selling will be taken care by the landowner. You get your share. He aims to earn some 2-3 lakhs INR from this field, unless it snows.
Now this is going to be a normal routine till the time I am in Spiti valley
Go figure out the road and ride. Met and saw so many bikers with punctured tire or group of bikers trying to fix their bikes.
Madness is so much fun. isn’t it. This was the longest water crossing today, took some 20 min to cross this chilly water. In between saw a car, ladies standing in a stone away from water, guys fixing the punctured tire. They looked amazed to see me. Crazy
Chhota dara HP PWD rest house but I camped just below this stone, quietly.
This is national highway, can you believe? you dont even call it a road, let alone national highway.
Batal. It has good food points, a HP PWD rest house. Buses stop here to have lunch.
Diversion to Chandra Taal. its about 20 kms from here
Chandra Taal campsite below. This road leads to Chandra Taal.
First glimpse of the LAKE
I tried to look closely, if I could see any jalpari to come out and say hi to me!
Then sat there for like eternity, pleaded to the Jalparis to come out but no. they were to shy to come out I guess, or unhappy to see all the tourists invading their privacy.
Other side of the lake looked like this. anyone scaled those peaks? no idea.
I belive this is Chenab river. In full glory.

Morning Chaos

Made an effort to wake up early today, then a walk. Now there is one bus stop just where the gali from my building emerges to the main road. Every morning this bus-stop is very busy filled with newspapers around. People sorting out bundles of newspaper. Lots of cars, even more the cycles; ready to make the delivery to your door step.

This chaos every morning at this bus-stop makes me to go there, watch people stacking the compilation of words written on a paper. Such a joy of standing there and watch everything.

And then there is a mother dairy shop, the man handles me a full cream milk pouch even before asking me for it. I think he also understands the meaning of thoughtfullness. The joy of happiness.

North by Northeast ‘11 – Pang To Grampo’

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Pang – Sarchu – Darcha – Grampo campsite

Distance this period: 237.68 km Total Distance: 2439.77 km

Pang – 0 km
Sarchu – 79.16 km
Darcha – 79.22 km
Grampo – 79.30 km

From Pang, the charm of Manali – Leh highwayturns pale. Bad road starts, the rain made it worse. Now that Tanglang La was closed, traffic coming from Leh was stopped too. So it was a good ride. Made it to LachungLa top, then down to Whisky Nallah, had maggie then uphill to NakeeLa. Then downhill, 21 loops of Ghata Loops started. Loved it. Touched the riverbed, then a bridge, broken. BRO was working, even though peoples were walking on that bridge, the main guy didn’t allow me to pass through. Wasted an hour, he made me first to cross, everyone was clapping, nice.
Then flatish ride to Sarchu. crossed a bridge and officially entered into Himachal Pradesh. One guy from tid shed shouted stay dinner daru here, so here I was sipping a bottle of bear in my tent. Adios J&K. Camped
Total KM – 79.16 kms
Total expense – 310/-

One day of rest makes a lots of different.. good ones.

Early morning heard peoples talking about God; well I am in HP now.
Flattish ride to Kilingsarai BRO dett. uphill starts, Bharatpur. Lunch time. Met 2 cyclists going in same direction, then met Worldbiking couple (going opposite, to Leh), some chat, then 2 more Spanish cyclists going towards Leh. Baralacha La Top, again got a chance to salute entire army convoy. Zingzingbar. Tea Chana at Patseo. Made it to Darcha. Room for 100/- rs.
Total KM – 79.22 kms
Total expense – 470/-

Good road continued all the way to Keylong. Had piranha. Then a bad patch of road, Tandi Bridge, THE famous Tandi bridge heard a lot this bridge before now here I was. Two rivers Chandra and Bhaga meets here. Then dusty uphill to Gondala. On this dust met Ahmedabad family of Pang stay. Tanglang La was still closed so they turned back. Luch at Sissu. Koksar, a bridge, the starts the horrible dirly climb of Rohtang La. Dragged myself to a spot where I could camp. Found one, as soon as I opened the tent, a guy comes and enquires what am I upto. Nice guy from Nepal. Invited me to camp next to his camp other side of wallah. He made a nice dinner for me, how lovely.
Total KM – 79.30 km
Total expense – 90/-

first pass of today.. LachungLa
Whisky Nallah at the bottom. Lunch point.
Inside view of the temporary tents..
Sleep is 45 kms away..
2nd pass of the day.. NakeeLa
HP roadways runs a daily bus Delhi to Leh..in 2 days. First stop Keylong. Only during the season.
Well, its time to park The X and salute the braves…
Ghata Loops starts, Thank God, I’m going down..
Sarchu approaching
They look pretty, but quite dangerous to cross. Chilly, fast and too many holes in there…
Baralacha La Pass… Way too windy to breath..
Road is freshly tared and smooth like a skin..
Darcha approaching
Keylong..
from campsite..