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 ‘19 – DARCHULA – NEPAL TO CHISAPANI’

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Pasti – Khichlek – Amargadhi – Godawari – Chisapani

Distance this period: 386.17 km Total Distance: 4406.31 km

Pasti (camp) – 35.44 km

Khichlek – 74.36 km

Amargadhi Dadeldhura – 80.49 km

Godawari (camp)– 112.22 km

Chisapani – 83.66 km

First day ride in Nepal. Tea and followed the Sharda river for about 20km. Good road so far.. lunch at dhaba then its up to Pasti top pass. lots of punctures today. At top got another while fixing that a nearby shop owner came and helped me. offered to stay with them for the night. Played volleyball, had dinner and set up a tent nearby.

Total KM – 35.44 km

Total expense – 150/- rs.

Approx time – 3.28 hrs.

From Pasti its about 3 km uphill ride, then flat, then downhill. Hit a bridge, then up 10 km to Sillake top. Made it to Khuchlek police check post, little verification and booked a room.

Total KM – 74.36 km

Total expense – 280/- rs.

Approx time – 6.20 hrs.

Uphill for 15kms to Satbanjh jn. right goes to Baitadi Jhulaghat, another entry point to here. I took left to Patan. downhill then up for 22 kms, steep and killing uphill. Khudpe. Left goes to Bajhang, further to China border on foot. I went straight after lunch there. Climbs here are pretty steep. Amargadhi. A motorcyclist offered a stay at hotel Greenland. Met the owner. Mild knee pain due to bloody climb, hope tomorrow’s good.

Total KM – 80.49 km

Total expense – 880/- rs.

Approx time – 8.20 hrs.

Wow… what a ride today…. Started 9ish without breakfast. Tried ATM but no cash. Too many ups and downs… the one steep downhill to Godawari bridge. Lunch at Budar. no pics taken today. Fog in the morning fog in the evening.. then rain made it worse…. Downhill was so fun but scary… low visibility… Found one empty govt. building and camped there. dinner at nearby hotel.

Total KM – 112.22 km

Total expense – 415/- rs.

Approx time – 7.36 hrs.

Speedometer started giving different readings, changed battery. Now I was in the flatland nepal, called Tarai area. Hot and humid. Atariya has ATMs, big town. ATM charged me 500/- nepali rupees for my 10k withdrawl. Night in a shitty room, food is nice though.

Total KM – 83.66 km

Total expense – 1190/- rs.

Approx time – 5.22 hrs.

First day in Nepal.. looks nice
Lunch time..

 

 

Nepal really has some steep climbs… my knee started hurting on some climbs.

 

Mela time… some mandir there

 

Celebration..

 

Sceneries are beautiful..

 

This climb all the way from down… exhausted me completely..

 

Bed time…

 

Bed time… I like this one… this is better than previous one..

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 ‘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
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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
P8131760_12_full.JPG
Not so far to the touchdown

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..

North by Northeast ‘10 – Nyoma To Pang’

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Nyoma Camp – Tsokar (Thugje) – Pang

Distance this period: 139.89 km Total Distance: 2202.09 km

Nyoma – 0 km
Tsokar – 79.23 km
Pang – 60.66 km
Pang (rest day) – 0 km

Nyoma has good home stays and hotels, food options available easily. But I was in no mood to spend money on leisure. So had some noodels and headed to a isolated place, camped and slept. It rained at night and continued in the morning. Gave a little window to pack my stuff and keep moving. The night was beautiful but felt lonely.

22 km to Nyoma is Mahe, right road goes to HorLa, KaksangLa to Chusul, I kept my left towards to Mahe bridge, Police check post. Permit and entry. Nice guy, gave me salty tea, I was hungry, wet, shaky completely drenched. Straight road goes towards Leh, I crossed the bridge to my left. 12 km is Sumdho, Before the town is a junction, left goes to Tso Moriri. I took straight to my right. A shop is there at Sumdho but no one was there.

Further 7 kms is Puga, just few houses. Some tarmac road and then starts the bloody rocky climb to Pologongka La. This 11 km to the top is damn nasty, pushed all the way up. 2 days of no food made it worse. It was already 5 pm when I reached the top. Found two guy drinking, continued, hurders camp, kids chased me on downhill. Then weather turned ugly, rained, crossed two dangerous water crossing, water was flowing like hell up my waist. wet pannier, wet cloths, dark, way to windy to handle the bike. Flaged down upcoming vehicle but he responded with a bad news, next town further 10 kms. He suggested to cross the watercrossing from middle of the road, smart guy.

My bike The X was in full mood today, rode it like running for my life and it obeyed me like a partner. I almost kissed it. At 8 pm a shop keeper offered a room for 300/- and warm food. Bargained for 200/- all. One hell of a ride today.
Its 16 kms to Manali-Leh highway! yay..
Kms covered – 79.23 km
Total expense – 550/-

Next day started as late as 11 am. Theres one short cut to the Manali – Leh highway but took a long one. Debring, 40 kms to Pang, Moore Plains, met one Irish cyclist solo and a guy from Banglore, both riding towards Leh. Weather turned ugly, strong headwind, some rain. Then Pang. A lady offered a bed for 100/- rs.
Kms covered – 60.66 km
Total expense – 615/-

Took a rest day at Pang, nothing much to do here. Borrowed some carosine from the owner lady and washed The X nicely.
Then met a family from Ahmedabad, they stayed at Manali for a day and rode straight here at Pang, complaining of headache. I advised to check with doctor and they did. Frightened whole family.

It rained and got a news of Tanglang La being closed.

Sumdho. Left goes to Karzok Tso Moriri.. I took right
Road is full of such stones and hard to ride uphill. Puched all the way up
At Pologongka La Top.. Those who say Cycling touring is easy; look at the face, its no sunshine all the time. I had no proper food for 3 days now… Previous day was just a plate of noodels, today not even water let alone food. Carrying just one bottle on such hills is a suicide mission. And I was in one.
It has started raining other side, I must hurry.
This man at Thugje, Tso Kar keeps oscilating between Leh and here. Entire family moves with him here for 4-5 months to help tourists like me to survive.
Good to see tared road after so many days of off-riding. Its gonna be smooth ride for rest of the day. Manali – Leh highway near Debring..
Moore Plains…
Weather turning bad.. Moore Plains.
Vastness has no limit
The X resting
Pang.
Now its time to rest and eat like hell. I really need to fill my stomach put some serious calories and other stuff.

North by Northeast ‘9 – Tangtse To Nyoma’

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Tangtse – Spangmik – Chusul – Nyoma Camp

Distance this period: 180.85 km Total Distance: 2062.20 km

Tangtse – 0 km
Spangmik – 43.94 km
Chusul – 48.08 km
Nyoma – 88.83 km

Tangtse is the first place for inner line permit check point. There is a bridge before you enter the town, just after the bridge you park your vehicle and go inside a tent. One punjabi aryman was funny enough to make me smile. He told me to be on my right side for the next two days journey. Its a short ride to Pangong Lake. yes, THE FAMOUS PANGONG LAKE. So great to be here. Food was too costly, too windy to camp; so moved ahead to the next settlement called Spangmik. Got a room for rs. 200/- rained whole night.
Km covered – 43.94 km
Total expense – 410/-

So the touristy thing ends here. I was heading to a barren land today; to CHUSUL. It was one hell of a ride, and a memorable one. Along the beautiful Pangong Lake. Started as early as 0830 am and made it to Chusul by 0400 pm.
Lonely road along the lake, so much in love with its water and sorrounding air. Merak, a police check point, here deposited a copy of permit. Didn’t see any food joints, however the policeman told me to ask any villager and they will be happy to serve you one. One motorbiker from Mumbai was turned back, riding without permit.

Alongside the lake, downish ride, just one small hill before Chusul. Rocky, sandy, water you get everything but no proper road.

Chusul was silent like hell. Asked local about staying accodomation, one fellow offered his house, accepted his offer but camped outside in his courtyard. Dinner with them was nice. One policeman came to check upon me, took a copy of permit, a long chat.
Kms covered – 48.09 km
Total expense – 210/-

The Stay was nice, good and honest people. Only man in the house, taking care of his lady and four daughters, a camper jeep. Food supply comes from Leh, little bit of farming, have a small shop, lady runs it. Men & women both do hard work, BRO hires them for road work, and things like that. God! how much for survival. I felt very bad, was worried how he gonna marry his daughters.

Said my goodbyes and kept on the bad road. Very bad till Tsaga village.

Chusul is the point from one road goes to Pangong Lake, another one goes to Tangtse directly, another goes all the way up to Kaksang La and HorLa, and then one goes along the China border which I was going to ride today.

I was out of my emergency food supply. But kept riding. One army convoy passed, I chased the last truck, it happens to be a food supply truck. The man sitting at the back was kind enough to through some dry fruits and a tetra-pack of real juice. wow, felt like rescued from a fight.

20 kms from Chusul is 13 Kumaon War memorial. Strong headwind, bad full of stone road, slightly elevated up road leads to Tsaga La top. There’s army camp at further up and one helipad. Downhill starts here and then tarmac road. Great to be back on proper road. Tsaga Village, then CRPF check point, submitted a copy of permit. Met a jawan from my own land, got hot tea, snacks and some warmth inside the camp. Tarmac continues on downhill. Then Loma Bend, a roundabout, and CRPF checkpoint, another copy of permit, another hospitality from CRPF jawans. From here left goes to Hanle (~ 50 kms), Hanle is the place where you get to see stars in amazingly different way; like the whole of milky way galaxy comes to visit here.
I took right to Nyoma. Barren land again, not a single soul along the road, just army camps at distant places. Nyoma, camped.
Km covered – 88.83
Total expense – 60/-

Another day of no proper food.

From Tangtse I am headed to the famous Pangong Lake
And then here it is. Smiling beatifully
Relaxing water, relieved after so much of intense riding..
Another view
Found this map in Spangmik hotel room..
Along the lake you move on, snow filled hills another side..
And then there was some photographer, national geo I gues,
Selfie to bantaa hai with Pangong Lake..
Small but bad climb towards Chusul..
Lovely lady at Chusul, my host..
13 kumaon War memorial, RezangLa.. tribute to heroes who died for our better future… 114 out of 120 Jawans laid down their lives in the battle here with China. details available here https://www.facebook.com/notes/indian-air-force-fans/unforgettable-battle-of-1962-13-kumaon-at-rezang-la-by-col-n-n-bhatia-retd-court/595886010448427/
These kids came running all the way from their homes, see at far corner, just to say hi…
Tsaka top.. too windy
Yes, I was here.. hahaha
Approaching food and some talks…