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 ‘1 – Delhi to Kangra’

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Delhi – Karnal – Ambala – Nalagarh – Amb – Kangra
July 2nd to 6th 2015
Distance this period: 490.68km Total Distance: 490.68km

Original plan was to leave Delhi on 1st but then planning is like journey itself. Couldn’t leave on 1st, there were so many memories to leave behind. Finally 4 o’clock next morning I was all set to leave.

First day first show, made it to Karnal on flat road, rode 145.53 kms (longest, record of the tour) in about 8 hrs on a damn hot day. At Karnal bus stand found one hotel, called Hotel Dreemz. It was a long ride today and crashed after dinner.
Kms covered – 145.53
Total expense – Rs. 990/-

Second day; flatish road continued. nothing unusual. Before Ambala cantt. witnessed something cheary, army mens going and coming out of the bushes. On close inspection found some ladies down there doing their business. 😉 LalKurti is the area in Ambala Cantt where you get cheap hotels, I found one, Hotel Sunstar.
Kms covered – 74.49
Total expense – Rs. 600/-

On third day I was riding on foot of the hills, which was pleasant. In Himachal, you must try tasty kadi-chawal on a local dhaba or roadside tin-shed eateries manned by a woman. Made it to Nalagarh, Hotel Shrikant.
Kms covered – 93.00
Total expense – Rs. 660/-

At Nalagarh, got news of Sach pass being open for traffic and also came the first change on original route plan, instead of going towards Swarghat, wished to visit Nangal Dam. So, continued towards Anandpur Sahib, famous Gurudwara. Had lunch there, the lady at the counter was not happy that it took me 4 days of cycling to reach here. Nice. Then it rained heavily. Found one raodside dhaba at Amb and a night stay there.
Kms covered – 96.21
Total expense – Rs. 370/-

Today was 5th day of riding. Lots of ups and down, the killing climb of Mubarikpur, had fruit chat at the fruit chat corner. Skipped Bharwain; I had promised a friend that I will meet him at his home but his nummber was not reachable so skipped. Made it to Kangra. Hotel Jai Maa.
Kms covered – 81.45
Total expense – Rs. 670/-

After 5 days of continuous riding, took a rest day at Kangra. Its my Birthday today.
Kms covered – 0.00
Total expense – Rs. 575/-

Photo-shoot of the gear
One of my such nights to come. for RS. 200/- it was a deal. The best way to find a cheap hotel room is to ask around for Bus stand or Railway station.
After two days of humid and hot ride, now I was headed to foot of HP hills.
First change, headed towards Bharatgarh, to Kiratpur Sahib. Placed nice parantha at dhaba, the lady at the counter offered it for free.
The X resting.
Some Gurudwara on the route
After crossing the Nangal Dam, some climb and back to HP. Crossed the border and entered Una.
Roads were beautiful, so was the scenery.
Tunnel Time zz
Litchi time. Refreshing after such a hard ride.

Epic Bike Trip – North by Northeast

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Its been a year; more than a year actually, but as they say ‘better late than never’ so publishing the travelogue here now.

It took about a year of planning this tour. It was one big plan but there were hell lot of changes in route like cut short the trip by 2 months, returned from Guwahati by train etc. etc.

Planning phase –

Tracing the foot of Himalayas was a long dream; this circuit was due for a long long time.
Planning took almost a year, reading logs, blogs and checking google maps, making notes on kms to be done per day, staying options etc. etc. In Feb informed office and July 1st was set to freak-out.

List —
Bike ‘The X’
Racks 2 (front & back)
Computer 1
Bottle cage 2
Mudguards
Lock 2
Helmet 1

Carrriers
Set of rear panniers
Handlebar bag
Rear underseat bag
Plastic bag 3

Tools & Spare
Allen key set 1
Tubes 4
Puncture Kit 1
Pump 1
Tape 1
Gear Cable 1
Brake Cable 1
Stiching Kit 1
Plastic Ziplock Bags 10
Chain lube 1
Small knife 1
Spare tyre 1
Front light 2

Camping
Sleeping Bag 1
Tent (2 Person) 1

Cloths
Riding shorts 3
Shorts 1
Lowers 2
T shirts (Half sleeves) 5
Shirts 1
Arm Warmer
Waterproof Jacket 2
Waterproof Lower 1
Socks Pairs 2
Under Garments 3
Towel 1
Shoes 1 Pair
Sandals 1 pair
Warm Jacket 1
Hat 1
Hand Gloves Full 1
Goggles 1
Spare glasses 1

Photography
Gopro camera
Camera Olympus
Camera & Phone Charger
Cellphone 2
Solar Charger 1

Medical
Bandage 5
Volini 1

Misc. Items
Toothbrush 1
Toothpaste 1
Comb 2
Compass 1
Voter ID card
Photocopies of ID & permits
Maps
Books 3
Pen 2
Notebook 1

The Man –

The Man

The Machine & The Material

The Machine. Surly Cross Check; I named it “The X”

The Plan – Part1

Route Map- part 1. This idea of mapping came from http://ultralightcycling.blogspot.in
Route Map- part 2. Thanks to http://ultralightcycling.blogspot.in for the valuable inputs on light bicycle touring.

The Plan – Flip side

Guwahati Half 2014

[Plan] [1] [2]
Green Valley bus was ready at 0430 to take us to the race start point from IIT campus. By the time the bus started it was already 0530. Then it was the race start point. Unlike other races they started registration giving bib number, which was strange. 21K run started around 0700, early morning sun, running by the Brahmaputra river was a unique experience. Since there was no timing chip and everything was manual. As per my own calculations I finished within 0230 bus. Overall race was okay, water glucose points were at every km mark, a running ambulance too. But medical facility on round was lacking. I asked for spray as my knee started giving me pain after 15 km mark, but there was none.

Apart from that a good run, in a different location: in city of eastern Jones.

Airport was some 24 kms from the run finishing point and auto wallah charged me 400 bucks for an hour ride.

Flight was delayed by 30 min, however, was able to cover up half of it. A walk and bus ride; I was at my place.

My heaven!

No matter how far I go
Feelings don’t feel like a magic one,
Beauty of whole world comes to
At a place to please to have fun,
I don’t see nothing how high how low
The only thing I remember I know
Nowhere but in your arms is my heaven!!!

Bus Trip: Shimla – Reckong Peo

5th of July afternoon I woke with a horrible dream; felt like all alone in a barren ocean. So packed the bag with a wind cheater a towel a book some toiletry items and headed towards the Kashmiri Gate ISBT.

While in metro towards was thinking where to go. Uttarakhand or HP or J&K and chose HP randomly with a decision that first bus boarding towards anywhere with be my destination. I found a Shimla going bus and booked a ticket.

Reached Shimla next morning and saw a bus going towards Lippa, there is a Buddha Monastery in Lippa. The route goes through Rampur-Reckong Peo. It’s an adventurous route in itself, running along the Sutlej River. It was blocked in-between and the linking route was 25 kms more with sharp 360 degree bends where bus couldn’t turn in a single go. That was the best part of the journey. A pure work of hard work and craft on hard rock.

At evening reached Reckong Peo and decided to halt there. Like all the border areas, here too I could see all govt. officials, didn’t felt good so walked across the semi open market and boarded the last Shimla going bus at 0730pm.

Next morning I was in Shimla. Gave myself a tea party; hey c’mon it was my birthday!!

Initial plan was to go to Dehradun to visit a old buddy of mine to have a scooty ride to some watery place but the time crunch; first Dehradun going bus from there was suppose to reach at evening so decided to head back to Delhi.

Life still seems unreasonable sometime. It is like ending everything and start it again with all the freshness but as they say; time goes on’ so do everything else around us’. I didn’t want to be sitting alone at my empty smelly room on my birthday so was this trip. Though there was nothing to witness or something majestic about it but being with the road somewhat solved the problem.

I wish to have some good year to live by and most importantly have some close good companionship; yes, I know I have started talking about company, I think have lived a lot alone.

Happy Birthday to me!! Belated by 3 days now though!

Hyderabad – Ooty Train Trip Itinerary

Itinerary for the weekend trip to Ooty.

Date – 17-01-2014 to 21-01-2014.

Hi-tech to Secunderabad – MMTS local, Train# 47194, Departure 21:58, Arrival 22:27

Secunderabad to Vijayawada – WL4. Train# 17232, Departure 23:30, Arrival 05:35.

Vijayawada to Chennai Central – 2S, D4/72. Train# 12711, Departure 06:00, Arrival 13:00.

Chennai Central to Metupalaiyam – WL40. Train# 12671, Departure 21:15, Arrival 06:15.

Metupalaiyam to Udhagamandalam (Ooty) – WL45. Train# 56136, Departure 07:10, Arrival 12:00.

Udhagamandalam (Ooty) to Bangalore – Via Bus. Unreserved, Night travel.

Bangalore to Hyderabad – Undecided, confused soul.

 

17th Jan – Starting day

Train No Train Name Runs From Source  
17232 NSL NS EXP NAGARSOL    
SNo Stn Code Stn Name Arrival Time Dep. Time
11 SC SECUNDERABAD JN 23:10 23:30
20 BZA VIJAYAWADA JN 05:35 05:50

18th Jan – Todays target is to reach Chennai and have beer with a friend.

Train No Train Name Runs From Source  
12711 PINAKINI EXP VIJAYAWADA JN    
SNo Stn Code Stn Name Arrival Time Dep. Time
1 BZA VIJAYAWADA JN Source 06:00
13 MAS CHENNAI CENTRAL 13:00 Destination

18th Evening –

Train No Train Name Runs From Source  
12671 NILAGIRI EXP CHENNAI CENTRAL    
SNo Stn Code Stn Name Arrival Time Dep. Time
1 MAS CHENNAI CENTRAL Source 21:15
9 MTP METUPALAIYAM 06:15 Destination

19th Jan – The heritage journey begins…

Train No Train Name Runs From Source  
56136 MTP UAM PASSR METUPALAIYAM    
SNo Stn Code Stn Name Arrival Time Dep. Time
1 MTP METUPALAIYAM Source 07:10
8 UAM UDAGAMANDALAM 12:00 Destination

19th Jan After-noon’s – Ooty visit & exploration.

Return journey starts via Bangalore…

Jai Bhole!!

A Morning Walk to Everest House Mussoorie

09th November 2013

Sun was resting and mother earth was still waiting to be enlightened by gold’ish sun- rays. Fresh morning cold breeze, on top of mountains, resting mighty Himalaya and doon valley disappearing somewhere, I was in Mussorie, Uttarakhand.

I wanted to experience morning run on hills so I was out before sunrise. Fully geared, walk on mall road was pleasant. Singing birds, lonely roads, gold’ish hills and doon valley lightening was so awesome that I didn’t realized I was at the end of mall road, at Gandhi chowk! Then I decided to have a walk till Mt. Everest House which was, as per google maps, 6 km away from here.

So took a right turn towards from Gandhi chowk, towards Kempty falls road. Crossed the LBSNAA (IAS training institute), early morning peoples were inside their beds, I could see the mountains top getting a color change, ringing bell at far temple. On the way near Company Bagh I found one shop open and purchased a water bottle and continued.

It was 0830 hrs when I crossed a cyclist coming on opposite direction at Everest point restaurant cum hotel. Till this point proper road is there. I continued to my right into the jungle area on a concrete path. At some distance I saw CRPF camp doing their morning routine, I kept my pace into the lonely peaceful jungle path.

At some point I lost the google maps pointer/arrow, it was pointing my location off route but I didn’t encounter any diversion on the way though, so continued ignoring google maps. Then I saw old stone marking my destination, Everest house and some local names, I continued happily.

Then there was a well and some workers were there, I asked for the route to Everest house.

I thought it will be a massive or something fort like place but what I saw there was a collapsed building, marked walls, some graffiti, declaration of love (as usual). In front of the house was a big lawn, a ground full of cow dung, some water. This was supposed to be a man’s house, who surveyed our entire cost-line and upon him; the highest Himalayan peak of the world was named Mount Everest. A little disappointed on that front but then thought this is India, this is who we are.

The view from there is awesome; I sat there for almost an hour to admire the doon valley one side, snowy Himalayan on the other and bushes around. Pleasant weather, it was like top of the world, flying!

I came back from other side of the road, which meets at Everest point restaurant, had tea-parantha lunch there. One mini-can ignition started, I asked the driver whether he would be going to Gandhi chowk, affirmative, I sat on the van. At drop he said whatever fare you wanna give, confused me saw 20 bucks note on my pocket and handed it over.

Later, I went to Woodstock School to collect my bib for next day’s race and saw the same cyclist distributing the bibs. Steve, a nice energetic man, organizer of the race handed me over the bibs, described the route and I found that it was the same route I walked today morning!

Evening was at the mall road, sitting on the road side bench, reading ‘Life of Pie’, enjoying sunset, happy people walking here n there, vendor’s selling local food items, and photographer’s approaching to every couple “sir, one pics. See, just like this. Will give you print in 2 minutes”.