India, a Himalayan Adventure... in 'moderation'...

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by MaddBrit, Sep 25, 2009.

  1. Misery Goat

    Misery Goat Positating the negative Super Moderator

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    I threw together a little montage of the trip, youtube put the kybosh on my audio file and I went with one of their recommended files. I don't really like it but don't feel like changing it at the moment.

    <object width="640" height="385"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/XCfxRa058MA&hl=en_US&fs=1&"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/XCfxRa058MA&hl=en_US&fs=1&" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="640" height="385"></embed></object>
  2. coop

    coop Narkyhippo

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    "Do whatever the hell you like" does NOT mean what you think it does!
  3. MaddBrit

    MaddBrit Now officially a Yank.

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    Oh well....better late than never.

    :D

    Part Deux coming right up...

    [​IMG]

    :drums

    :lol3
  4. Johnny Drunkard

    Johnny Drunkard Todo utz Super Moderator

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  5. MaddBrit

    MaddBrit Now officially a Yank.

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    Sooo....

    While Dragoon and Misery Goat carried on around the loop, JD (Johny Drunkard) and yours truly decided to head back and ride the foothills. We had limited time and didnt really want to have to hammer it every day, instead choosing to stop and smell the roses so too speak.

    We therefore decided to take a day out at Keylong and just explire the small town, and then recharge before setting out back across the Rohtang Pass.

    Its a great little town.

    [​IMG]

    Simple pleasures...

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    ..and it was high time to smarten myself up a bit! :D

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    Indian music!

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    Today the weather cleared. So JD and I looked forward to a nice scenic ride back across the pass the next day.

    It was not to be...
  6. dragoon

    dragoon I'm the REAL Dingo Joe

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    It's about time :lurk
  7. MaddBrit

    MaddBrit Now officially a Yank.

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    :augie
  8. MaddBrit

    MaddBrit Now officially a Yank.

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    Soooo... the next day JD and I head out to return back across the Rohtang Pass to Manali. Our trip out was challenging to say the least, but at least this time we are prepared for the worst, and JD now has a new layer to add to his leaky Darien jacket.

    The clouds are down on the mountain, but we set off and hope for the best...

    The weather comes in again, first rain, and lots of it. We decide to stop for noodles and a break before hitting the summit.

    The rain is coming down real hard, so the road is as slippery as snot (technical term :D ), and the big Tata trucks keep coming up...

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    We have a brief stop, then decide to plough on to the summit. Not a moment too soon, and the snow starts coming down heavily again, and JD and I gingerly ride on trying hard to keep the Enfields rubber side down..

    Its like Siberia up on top again... :vardy

    [​IMG]

    We slowly and carefully make our way down from the summit. It was hairy coming down the switchbacks, as the road had become a slurry of mud and crap from the rain, and you really dont want to slide over that edge...

    [​IMG]

    Its much worse than it looks - trust me on that!

    :lol3
  9. MaddBrit

    MaddBrit Now officially a Yank.

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    The Rohtang Pass is a challenging road in those conditions, but the good thing is being so difficult its a memory that will stay with me forever.

    We come down into Manali, and after such an ordeal we both decide to stay in the most upscale place in town...

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    Its simply decadent!

    :jkam

    JD negotiated a really cheap price, so we decide to stay for 2 nights to decompress. Niiiice!

    It turns out they had closed the pass while we were on it yesterday, so we really were quite lucky to get out when we did. Obviously we were a bit concerned about MG and Goonie who had continued on, but as you will have seen from their earlier report, they lucked out in the main.

    :thumb

    The famous Johnson Lodge served up a full English breakfast!!! Yeah!!!!!!!!!

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    :clap :clap :clap

    It was outragiously expensive, but worth every penny!

    I was in heaven!!

    :D

    The next day we would explore a local temple up in the foothills...

    :ricky
  10. MaddBrit

    MaddBrit Now officially a Yank.

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    Coming up next, a ride up to the beautiful Hadimba Mata temple, an experience that would have a lasting effect on me...

    [​IMG]

    Hidimba Devi Temple is located in Man&#257;li, a hill station in the State of Him&#257;chal Pradesh in north India. It is an ancient cave temple dedicated to Hidimbi Devi, sister of Hidimba, who was a character in the Indian epic, Mah&#257;bh&#257;rata. The temple is surrounded by a cedar forest at the foot of the Him&#257;layas. The sanctuary is built over a huge rock jutting out of the ground, which was worshiped as an image of the deity. The structure was built in the year 1553.<SUP class=reference id=cite_ref-0>[1]</SUP>
  11. coop

    coop Narkyhippo

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  12. Johnny Drunkard

    Johnny Drunkard Todo utz Super Moderator

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    Have you guys heard the news about this years Monsoon?

    Himachal, Ladakh & Kashmir got hammered this year.

    There was a freak storm in Leh which has washed out the town. The road is washed out between Pang & Leh, as well as between Leh & Kargil. Leh airport also got flooded and is closed.

    Many dead or missing in and around Leh, including Army Jawans who's camp washed away.
  13. Johnny Drunkard

    Johnny Drunkard Todo utz Super Moderator

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    I can't believe you left out the poofs on the guided tour.

    :lol3
  14. Johnny Drunkard

    Johnny Drunkard Todo utz Super Moderator

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    I'll back it up a bit to Keylong.

    As MB mentioned, we decided not to continue to Leh.

    Here's Dragoon and Misery Goat getting ready to leave Keylong for the high passes:

    [​IMG]


    Misery Goat: "Can you believe these poofs are gonna turn back now?"

    Goonie: "Well, it ain't for everyone."

    :lol3

    MB and I took a day off in Keylong to relax while my gear dried out.


    MB looks on as local women walk by chatting away on cell phones:

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    A woodworkers shop in Keylong:

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    A weaver's shop:

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    MB, refilling the oil in his Enfield Mr. Pink style:

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    Dinner in Keylong:

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    MB enjoying a "Monkey Piss 10000":

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    The Himalayas, the peak in the distance is +20,000 ft:

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    It was dry that day in Keylong, but the clouds gathering on the peak at sunset where a sign of the wet day we where to have on our second ride over Rhotang La.
    MaddBrit likes this.
  15. coop

    coop Narkyhippo

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    :evil Arrrrr - I'm all interested again :-)
  16. peter-reebok

    peter-reebok Been here awhile

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    Been a year since I was there, and pictures still ignite a spark in me.

    Takes quite some time to appreciate just what you see and experience on a trip like this.

    The time and $$ to travel at an enjoyable pace is indeed one of lifes luxuries.

    Keep em coming and keep inspiring people.
  17. TravelDoc

    TravelDoc Day Tripper

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    Worst floods in recorded history, Pakistan.
    Major flooding with deaths in Leh, normal annual rainfall = 0.
    (minor flooding in Leh 2007 when I was there on my first trip.
    .......I reckon there might be something in this climate-change stuff.
  18. MaddBrit

    MaddBrit Now officially a Yank.

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    No kidding!

    BTW JD sent me a link to a proposed tunnel to bypass the Rohtang Pass :huh

    Say it isnt so.... :cry

    PS Guday TravelDoc :wave
  19. arn

    arn Been here awhile

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    Don't worry, a similar project was announced 9 years ago, the foundation stone laid with a lot of ceremony, and thats as far as it got. At the very least, this too will take it's own sweet time before and if it gets completed.
  20. MaddBrit

    MaddBrit Now officially a Yank.

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    After JD and I spent a decadent 24 hours recharging at the Johnson Hotel in Manali, we ventured out to see the Hadimba Mata temple, just a short ride up the mountain side from the town.

    The place is beautiful.

    [​IMG]

    As luck would have it, there was hardly a soul around.

    Just walking up to the place, it was an amazing feeling, almost as if time was standing still - a real sense of being instead of doing.

    [​IMG]

    Just incredible energy!

    No pictures allowed inside, but it was magnificent. Really simple and just a cool dark place to collect your thoughts, and pray to whomever your god is.

    My heartbeat went down to what seemed like 10 beats a minute. It really was a wonderful place.

    Namaste!

    [​IMG]

    :bow

    [​IMG]

    This was the start of what was to become quite a special journey for me, but more of that later...

    :norton

    JD and I would now take off into the foothills on the roads less travelled. No GPS, and a tatty map that basically showed diddly squat! :lol3

    What could be better than getting lost on 2 wheels in one of the most stunningly beautiful places on earth! :D

    :ricky