Sunday, June 04, 2006
Day 1 : Noida to Kinnaur
Day 1 : 4th June, 2006
After keeping ourselves busy preparing during the last few days leading to the trip, it was finally the morning I and Dixit have been waiting for. The day was going to be a long one, with about 500 Kms planned to cover, from Delhi to Jeori. So, we had planned to set off from Noida by 4:30 AM. Dixit arrived at my place by 3:45, and we spent some time making a few last minute adjustments to luggage and finally, tying them all up to the bikes using bungee cords. It was quarter to 5 when we finally started off from my home.
Last trip to the hills, I and Yogesh had succeeded in making a non stop ride till a few Kilometers after Kalka. I was not sure if Dixit would be able to do this, since this was his first major trip had no experience doing such long rides. But I was in for a pleasant surprise, and we did much further than the last time and only stopped some way after Parwaano. Not only this, he kept pushing I and this ensured that the speedo needle hovered between 95 and 100 instead of the planned 90 Kmph. We had breakfast at our first break. Dixit took a few photos, and we saw the Himalayan Queen passing by high above in the hills.
The ride to Shimla was good as usual, with the smooth hill roads and pleasant weather allowing me to eat up kilometers fast and allowing me to take liberties at the curves. At one point, when I got in sight of the Jabberthatti air strip, I stopped to take a few photos. Dixit, who was lagging behind a bit passed by without either of us seeing each other, as I was engaged in getting a good shot of the air strip from this distance. I decided to wait while Dixit caught up. But soon I got a call from Dixit, who was already waiting for me at Shimla! I hurried up and caught up with him just before the tunnel which takes us along our way towards Narkanda.
Progress after Shimla was slow on account of crowded streets and heavy traffic. We soon ran into 3 of our friends who were on a weekend trip to Chail. After a few exchanges and receiving wishes for a good trip ahead, we parted. We reached Narkanda at about 3 PM, had lunch and continued on our journey forward. From Narkanda, which is at 2700 meters is a descend till Ani, where we reach quite close to the level of Sutlej, and then the climb starts again. I used to experience a slight problem of pressure build up in my ears with change in altitude. I could normally control this by swallowing or a yawn. But this time, nothing I could do seemed to normalize the build up inside my ears. We had to take frequent breaks on account of this, making progress slow. At one point, I even had to ride back up a few kms after a similar break, when it started paining and I could barely hear things. That seemed to ease things inside me a bit and we could then continue normally after all the delays. The Sutlej was our constant companion from here on for the next two days.
Dixit was quite used up to taking the curves smoothly and we kept up a good pace. It was still bright daylight when we reached Jeori. So we decided to proceed a bit further before calling it a day. We entered Kinnaur, and registered at the check post and also received information about a PWD rest house at Bawanagar. It was 7.30 when we reached Bawanagar. The rest house was a bit high on a hill and we had to carry our luggage uphill to our room and then park our bikes on in front of a shop on the other side of the road.
Kms covered : 560
Expenses : 1075 (Food, fuel and accommodation)