NORTH BY NORTHEAST ‘20 – CHISAPANI TO POKHRA NEPAL’

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Agaiya – Chainpur – Butwal – Syangya – Pokhra Nepal

Distance this period: 465.47 km Total Distance: 4874.97 km

Agaiya (camp) – 117.2 km

Chainpur (camp) – 125.61 km

Butwal (camp) – 89.66 km

Syangya (camp) – 91.0 km

Pokhra – 42.0 km

Today’s ride was full of excitement. Started with fear while crossing Birdia National Park. Previous night people at the dhaba told me scary stories of wild animal attacking passerby in broad daylight that too on a wide road. So rode like anything… then at the end, already getting dark and entered Banke national park, again all alone big jungle both the sides of the road. Scary.. Dinner and found a tin shed to camp.

Total KM – 117.2 km
Total expense – 400/- rs.
Approx time – 6.35 hrs.

Hate these flat roads.. breakfast at Kusum. Lunch at Amilia. Met 2 cycling couple all the way Spain. Roads were empty due to strike. Chainpur…. asked a hotelwala if I can camp in his yard, but thats for bus parking he says. But he opens his terrace though, bike parked in garage.

Total KM – 125.61 km
Total expense – 410/- rs.
Approx time – 10.00 hrs.

All flat to Butwal. At Junction turned left to Pokhra road. En-route lots of hotel and food points but none offered proper meal and stay. They were open but offered drink and snacks only. Found a flat ground by roadside and camped.

Total KM – 89.66 km

Total expense – 280/- rs.
Approx time – 7.20 hrs.

Hills again, and I’m loving it. Speedometer stopped working today. Kali-Godawari river bridge… ups and downs continued.. Camped 5 kms short to Syangya town.

Total KM – 91.0 km
Total expense – 290/- rs.
Approx time – 9.00 hrs.

Ups and downs continued.. Sunny day. Made it to Pokhra today. Lake Side area is where all the fun is someone told me.. At 1st roundabouttook left to Taal area, saw a bike shop, went in, found a nice guy, little bit of talking and he refers me to a cheap hotel nearby. Booked it for 3 rest days.

Total KM – 91.0 km
Total expense – 290/- rs.
Approx time – 9.00 hrs.

A goodnight it is..
They say they found first civilization proof somehwere here..

 

Nice spot by roadside.. a cold one though
Views are lovely

 

Nepali breakfast..

 

First view of Pokhra Nepal….

NORTH BY NORTHEAST ‘18 – BIRTHI TO DHARCHULA – NEPAL’

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Birthi – Munsiyari – Jauljibi – Dharchula – Darchula Nepal

Distance this period: 138.25 km Total Distance: 4020.14 km

Munsiyari – 32.60 km

Jauljibi – 71.60 km

Dharchula – 30.90 km

Darchula Nepal – 3.19 km (yes, its without h…. Nepal side town)

Morning short walk up to Birthi Falls was refreshing. After breakfast started riding up to the top then some down to Munsiyari. Booked a room @ KMVN rest house. Then shopping, TV after a long time. The caretaker tells me entry to Nepal from Dharhula is not possible. Jhulaghat is also doubtful. Looks like its going to be a long ride to Banbasa.

Total KM – 32.60 km

Total expense – 720/- rs.

Approx time – 3.41 hrs.

So September month has stated today, weather is nice, Panchachuli view is refreshing and I continued riding downwards. Rear tire giving me headche, fixed two times already. Got talkin to a guy who tells me of robbery. And as I recall same robbery story one guy at Tabo Spiti shared his travel stories of this area. So told myself no camping till I touch Nepal. Then a car stops, police van actually. The DSP of Dharchula sitting inside, a cyclist himself. He tells me once I reach Dharchula go to police station they will arrange my stay. Nice. Jauljibi is the place for tonight though. Sharda river from Dharchula side and Gori-Ganga from Munsiyari side meets here.

Total KM – 71.60 km

Total expense – 680/- rs.

Approx time – 5.20 hrs.

It will be a uphill ride today. Sharda river and other side Nepal. Met the DSP again on the road, he tells his name Himanshu Shah, yeah I forgot to ask yesterday. Then road-workers, the GREF, lovely bunch of people. One guy plays tough on me initially asking so many questions then he offers food, taught me how to play rummy. Talks, advises I loved their company. Dharchula. Found a hotel (Hotel Shivam). Went to border crossing, well first went to police station, they had no information of my arrival. yuck! KMVN rest house is nearby but no luck there. One batch of Kailash-Mansarovar yatra coming today. So the hotel room booking. Then the Border crossing, SSB guy tells its possible to cross. Lucky me.

Total KM – 32.90 km

Total expense – 570/- rs.

Approx time – 3.40 hrs.

Started at 9am from hotel. DSP saw me riding past police station, sent one orderly to fetch me, how nice…. Listened to their planning of a meeting on some matters, then he takes me to his residence. Tea parantha, his cycle adventures. Showed me his trek MTB. Took his number said my good-byes. Now at crossing bridge, SSB guy needs written permission from SDM office, wow…. rode back to SDM office, asked the guard where to approach. Met the orderly and waited… the young reluctant SDM fellow says no. He cannot help me… Now back to bridge, then to the senior offices cabin. He says type a letter. The guard takes me to his quarters, his colleagues wrote a letter for me to let me pass, here are my credentials.. Happy officer lets me pass through. Bag checking on our side and checking at Nepali side as well… Into Nepali land now…. First thing I need Nepali rupees. ATM charges 50 bucks to withdraw..great… exchange counter exchanges note for free. Pretty messed up day to ride so booked a room. Parked my bike at the back. Ate Nepali non-veg thali. Went back India side on withdraw money, crossed the border over bridge again, exchanged the notes at the exchange counter. Time to relax at buggy smelly room.

Total KM – 3.20 km

Total expense – 480/- rs.

Approx time – 00.30 hrs.

Birthi KMVN rest house… nice place..

 

Birthi Falls
Selfie time…

 

Tea break at the top..

 

Waited long here for the Panchachuli view but no luck..

 

After about 2 hours.. still out of luck.. no view

 

Well… from KMVN rest house room window got some view at the evening though..

 

O yes.. thats the road.. thats river flowing furiously alongside and thats right in the middle of the road, good for car wash but me? you get the memo right?

 

Road widening work in progress, thats Sharda river.. other side is Nepal… tomorrow I will be there..

 

Dharchula.. Indian side.. last day today here…

NORTH BY NORTHEAST ‘17 – ‘DEHRADUN TO BIRTHI’

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Dehradun – Rishikesh – RudraPrayag – Harmani – Bharari – Birthi

Distance this period: 442.80 km Total Distance: 3881.89 km

Byasi, Rishikesh – 86 km

RudraPrayag – 100.10 km

Harmani – 79.90 km

Bharari – 105.50 km

Birthi – 71.03 km

3 days of rest and family visit was lovely. Reached Doon by bus, had breakfast there, by 10 am was ready to say good-bye. Went firefox, changed tire and sarted riding towards clock-tower onto Rishikesh via Raipur, a quite road. Rishikesh but then continued. Found one empty tea stall shed, pitched my tent inside and slept.

Total KM – 86.00 km

Total expense – 1180/- rs.

Approx time – 6.30 hrs.

Started pretty early following The mighty Ganges on my way up to Dev Prayag sangam, took right to Srinagar and found one hotel 15kms short of Rudraprayag.

Total KM – 100.10 km

Total expense – 560/- rs.

Approx time – 8.30 hrs.

Rudraprayag. then good road to Gaucher KaranPrayag. At junction asked a hotel guy for night stay he says Narayan Bagar for night. Road is bad now, widing work in progress. it was 6 already so continued in dark. A bad decision. Scared but found a place called Harmani, bought juice n stuff and camed at the varandah of SBI branch by the roadside. One drunk guy came said he is a local reporter and I need to get permission from the brach head before camping there.

Total KM – 79.90 km

Total expense – 250/- rs.

Approx time – 7.30 hrs.

Started early, at Tharali took left turn towards Roopkund road, thinking of a trek upto to Bedni Bugyal but couldn’t make a decision at the junction. Pretty good road till Gwaldam, lunch there and downhill to Baijnath, turn to Bageshwar. Rakhi day so market was closed. made it to Kapkot. School kid came asking for a ride so gave them for a round. 2 kms up Bharari and found hotel Glacier for the night.

Total KM – 105.50 km

Total expense – 330/- rs.

Approx time – 10.00 hrs.

Bharari is the place where you get perters for your Pindari Glacier trek. I went up riding to Sama. Pretty quite road. Then the road was hell, small stones big stones you name it. I was pushing my bike downhill crazy!!! so many punctures. Then up/straight at the junction of Tejam. Talked to a policeman he offered me tea, 2 cup of them and said KMVN TRH Birthi some 12-15 km from here. Made it there by 7:30pm headlight clutched in-between my teeth. Got dormitory, dinner and sleepy good night.

Total KM – 71.30 km

Total expense – 450/- rs.

Approx time – 8.10 hrs.

Up along the Ganges

 

For the good-night
DevPrayag- where Alaknanda (right) and Bhagirathi (left) rivers meet and take the name Ganga or Ganges River.

 

Beautiful but time to hurry to find sleep
Yes. this road will take you there.. The Mana Village. last town at China Border

 

Lets take a U turn
Well.. distances to go

 

Lovely day to ride..
Some sleep time…

 

See the nightmare? downhill & rocky surface full of accidents..
Nice TRH at Birthi… yes thats a beautiful Birthi Falls up right corner

NORTH BY NORTHEAST ‘16 – SUNGRI TO DEHRADUN’

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Sungri – Hanol – Damta – Dehradun

Distance this period: 283.90 km Total Distance: 3439.09 km

Sungri – 0 km

Hanol – 85.10 km

Damta – 99 km

Dehradun – 99.80 km

I entered Uttarakhand today. Its all downhill from Sungri. Rohru… Got a puncture. And while fixing that my front wheel got a bad alignment, which I realised very late. Result… well the tire got some bad cuts which foreced me to take a decision to de-tour towards Dehradun. Thats the only place I could get a new tire. Luch rajma-rice @ Tiuni. A bridge then left turn to Hanol. Right turn goes Chakrata. Before bridge the road leads to Shimla. Rohru to Katkoti is dusty bad riding, bad traffic. Booked a hotel in Hanol, by roadside ovelooking a temple.

Total KM – 85.10 km

Total expense – 410/- rs.

Approx time – 6.00 hrs.

Next day started uphill to Mori. From here straight goes to har-ki-dun. I look right turn to Purola. Lunch. At Naugaon, took straight road to Dehradun. Nice road, Rained. Made it to Dumta. Booked Hotel.

Total KM – 99 km

Total expense – 480/- rs.

Approx time – 8.00 hrs.

Good road till the junction, where left goes via Mussoorie right goes vai Vukasnagar. After lunch of parantha there look left turn to uphill ride. Quite road till the Fall, Kempty Falls then lots of traffic. loud music and waste by roadside. Foggie top at Mussoorie then downhill. Track & trails shop is near Kalika Market but they had no tire for me. Gave address of Firefox store near Wadia Institute. They had one.. Called a friend, stored The X there for next 3 days and went to Haldwani to see my family.

 

Now leaving Himachal… Approaching UK

 

This river divides HP to UK

 

Hanol Temple.. Mahasu Devta Temple.. ASI has marked it as heritage site.. that Tons river or Tamas means the water in it is forbidden.. not to be used for irrigation etc..

 

And I got a weired look
Then there are beautiful villages..

 

Yup.. thats the road I just peddled up..
Thats Kempty Falls on the back.. Me climbing up in fury

 

Mussoorie… in its gloryness

North by Northeast ‘15 – Chitkul To Sungri’

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Chitkul – Chaura – Daran Ghati – Sungri

Distance this period: 232.30 km Total Distance: 3155.19 km

Chitkul – 0 km

Chaura – 100.90 km

Daran Ghati– 56.0 km

Sungri – 75.40 km

Plan was to stay in Chitkul for a longer duration and relax, but I felt kind of odd there so left next day. Breakfast at Sangla, Tea, piranha, Jalebi & kept Bananas for the ride. Urni climb took some time, lunch at Tapri, a nice dadi chawal. Jyori was the target, asked one guy about staying option there. Turned out to be a nice guy, offered me to stay at his place. Had a nice bath, his family was away so just both of us. His cousins cook food for us. He was on leave from his unit J&K rifles. Opened a bottle, rest I have no idea when I slept.

Total KM – 100.90 km

Total expense – 160/- rs.

Approx time – 8.04 hrs.

Army-mans cousin helped me pack my stuff, it was a nice stay. At Jeori took left turn and climbed all the way up to Gharat. Apples everywhere. From Gharat it was a flat ride. Mashnu was messy so was the left turn from there. Real bad kacha road, slush and jungle, on top of it there was no human soul around. I was scared like hell. It was a 12 kms of scary ride all the way up to the top. Tea shop at the top and a HPPWD rest house. Caretaker was there at the tea shop, drunk. I asked if I can camp there inside the rest house perimeter, he says no. So booked a room, bath followed by tea. He tells me it was built in 1913 by British, re-newd recently. Rice meat for the night, lots of stories, his Arunachal trip for a marriage, his encounter with a bear and langoor hunting. The rest house is lovely, in between jungles.

Total KM – 56.0 km

Total expense – 400/- rs.

Approx time – 6.00 hrs.

HPPWD stay was awesome, had the leftover meat in the morning with parantha. Started the journey downhill, real bad loose stones for 4 kms. Hit bottom at the river bridge, Taklech. market, had chowmin, Just after the bridge took left turn. right goes to Rampur. Uphill starts, some curves are quite steep. At top jungle starts, flat riding to Bahli. Lunch, waited for PWD rest house caretaker, but bad luck! no rooms. worthless 2 hours of wait. Withdrawn some cash from SBI ATM, and started towards Sungri around 6pm. Again scared of bear attack peddled hard. Asked The caretaker at Sungri PWD rest house if I can camp. A suspicious guy, but offered me room, ordered food. At night some other fellow came and slept in the same room. Nice view from the rest house. Britishers surely had a good taste.

Total KM – 75.40 km

Total expense – 455/- rs.

Approx time – 7.30 hrs.


Some marvelous job cutting the rock.


Road


Then this iconic cut, selfie to banti hai


After a long long time charm of home & home cooked food.


Place called Gharat at the top. Left goes to Sarahan. I took right turn


Ride at the top was great, view of valley, bad road but worth riding


Through that jungle, scary ride. A bear attack any time!!


Was so happy to see some building and hope of finding some company and rest


The rest house, bike and the caretaker


A tough and challenging ride


The views were fantastic tough

North by Northeast ‘14 – Hurling To Chitkul’

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Hurling HPPWD – Pooh – Sangla – Chitkul

Distance this period: 237.68 km Total Distance: 2439.77 km

Pooh – 86.69 km
Sangla – 92.80 km
Chitkul – 24.40 km

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 foreigners need to show ILP, can get it from Kaza. I just registered myself. Sumdo is just an army transit place no staying option. Here you cross the Spiti river, now it was flowing on my 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 to the China Land. 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 – 86.69 km
Total expense – 400/- rs.
Approx time – 9.30 hrs.

Now that I was in lowland and going pretty much downhill. Good road mixed with some bad stretches. After Spillow, by the roadside saw a workers camp, made me kind of sick seeing the work condition. At Akpa police check point (ILP check point) again needed to show I was indian, not a foreigner. Moved on, lunch at Pawai, nice rajma rice. Then there’s a cut to Recong Peo, I kept straight. Karcham Dam. Took left turn towards Chitkul. 13 km brutal climb to Sangla, some really good gradient. 4 km before Sangla is Kuppa, saw some guest houses. Baspa is the name of river that I was following now. Found a hotel in Sangla for rs. 300/-

Total KM – 92.80 km
Total expense – 610/- rs.
Approx time – 9.11 hrs.

Started as late at 11 a.m. had nice tea pakora at Rakcham, a lovely charming place filled with greenery all around. Then there’s a ITBP check point at Mastarang, 8 km before Chitkul. Saw a sign of last indian dhaba there, although there is being build beyond Chitkul, 21 kms to Dumpti, very close to the China border, a worker tells me. I booked a room at Chitkul.

Total KM – 24.40 km
Total expense – 600/- rs.
Approx time – 3.50 hrs.

Life inside a tent.
Following the river, a bumpy road
One wrong step and you go swimming in furious current
Sumdo, an army canteen
Tea, Samosa Jalebi… Sumdo
Some snacks time on the road
Some snacks time on the road
A place of faith, worship and hope.
A quite place of faith, and hope
Road sign. Flood has ruined the road going alongside the river, so is the climb
Some show offs
The road.... speechless efforts. headwind was so strong
Road was lovely, so heavy was the wind
Thumb rule on the road.. wherever you see water, clean yourself.. filled yourself.. pack some for the day
Thumb rule of the road.. you see water, freshen yourself and stock up
Dangerous road..
Some marvelous job on the road
Sangla Valley
Sangla Valley
Jungle all the way...
Jungle all the way
Chitkul.. Thought of staying here for a longer duration, but didn't feel much.
Chitkul Finally, Thought of some rest days

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

P8111591_12.JPG
The Kunzum La top
P8111602_12_full.JPG
The X’ resting 
P8111611_12_full.JPG
The downhill starts, jolting bolting and falling
P8111618_12_full.JPG
This is the road
P8111637_12_full.JPG
Then I could smell the food
P8121640_12_full.JPG
Got a company for a day, lovely
P8121662_12.JPG
Amazingly carved
P8121706_12_full.JPG
Some town is coming
P8121716_12.JPG
Kibber, I guess and Kibber monastry a little up. The other side of the river Spiti
P8131724_12.JPG
Everyday morning routine
P8131756_12_full.JPG
Somewhere into the wilderness
P8131760_12_full.JPG
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.

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..