Monday, March 26, 2007

Harsil and Beyond, March 2007

Day 1: Noida to Uttarkashi

After our aborted trip to Harsil, this had to happen soon. So off we went, this time, Me, Manik and Sparsh. The route planned was basically the same as the last time, only this time we decided to deliberately take the off road stretch from Champa that goes around the Tehri lake and brings us back to the main highway, some 60 Kms after Champa towards Uttarkashi. Along with some adventure riding, this route has good scope for photography; I just might ride this stretch again after the mosoons. We started off at 4:30 from Mohan Nagar. The upgarded headlight setup on my bike meant that I remained the pilot as long as we were riding in the dark. Everything went on smoothly till around Muzzaffar Nagar where the roads were in a pitiable condition and things slowed down a lot. However we were greeted by smoothly carpeted roads just as we entered Uttaranchal and we had breakfast just after Haridwar. We took the left turn towards Narendra Nagar after crossing Rishikesh and were soon on the almost empty hill roads cruising towards Chamba.

Sparsh had a punctue just after Chamba, and this took some time to fix. Once fixed, we took the kuchha road that I had to take the last time after we took a wrong turn from Chamba. And then the fun began.

A first-timer on the hills!

One of my Favourite shots from this trip. courtesy Manik

The Tehri lake. Conditions were less than ideal for photography, with all the foggy conditions around.

But the offroading was good fun.

The road by the lake in the above pic was the original road in this area and is now consumed by the waters of the Tehri lake. We decided to explore this old road. The dhaba owner (above pic) gave us more info about the road. This will go on for about another 2 Kms, after which it is submerged. We wanted to continue till the road ended.

I was leading and soon I could see the point were the road ended. The road we were riding on right now was under water for some time and came back up when the waters receeded. This was something I realized later. I had my eyes fixed on the end point where the road went right under the Tehri lake when suddenly...

I saw it too late to even try to use brakes. I just let it go.. flew on and landed safely.. thank god! Looked back as soon as I came to a stop and waved at Manik who was some way behind me to stop immediately.

Sparsh decided to take a walk all the way to the end.

Don't know what he saw, but was all smiles when he came back!

Fortunately there was a way to get back up safely

Turned back to get back on the road to Uttarkashi soon. On the way back...

The new road (read replacement road to the now submerged road) is almost 50 Kms longer than the old road. The one we took from Chamba, though unsurfaced saved us alteast 20 Kms. Once we got back up on the new road it was smooth sailing. Stopped about 40 Kms from Uttarkashi for a tea break. We reached Uttarkashi just as it got dark. Manik found his tyre almost flat. We had to hunt around a bit to find a puncture wala. Fixed it, found a hotel and settled in for the night.

Day 2 : Uttarkashi to ITBP camp

Day 1 : Noida to Uttarkashi
Day 2 : Uttarkashi to ITBP camp
Day 3 & 4: ITBP camp - Nalupani - Noida

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