Monday, January 15, 2007

10th September, 2006

We started off at 4:45 from my house in Noida, planning to cross Rohtang pass and reach Koksar by day end. Though Koksar looks a bit over ambitious, weather (at Rohtang) permitting this is possible. We reached Manali around 5:30, and as we refueled up at Manali, we looked all set to cross Rohtang and reach Koksar by night fall. So we put on the extra layers as we got ready to give Rohtang a try. But the moment we crossed Manali and started the climb for Rohtang, the weather gods had a sudden change of mood, and it started drizzling. Nothing surprising though; in fact I was half expecting this to happen. So, out came the rain gear, and on we went, aiming to reach and stop at Marhi for the day, if not cross Rohtang. The drizzle turned into pouring rain and the light disappeared as we gained altitude. The bad stretches were at their worst, with deep slush giving us a tough time, even with the FKRs. After all, we still had the stock MRF Zapper up front.

We reached the shops at Marhi around 7:30, wet and shivering, and rushed into a coffee shop and ordered coffee. Decided over coffee to stay put at Marhi for the night. I was not sure if there was any place at Marhi to spend a night. Asked the shopkeeper, and came to know of a HPPWD rest house not far from the shop. But the day was not over yet. The PWD Rest house asked for 1000 for the night, way too high than the standard rates at PWD rest houses on either sides of Rohtang pass. Some bargaining and threats of pushing on to cross Rohtang pass and over to Koksar instead of staying here for 1000 rupees brought the rates down to a more realistic 300 Rupees.

Once in the room, we had to unpack the sleeping bags and hang them over the windows to dry them, as water had seeped into them after riding in the rains. Got up early in the morning to find the whole of the rest house and

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