Saturday 17th September 2016
Today we were starting the last leg of the ride and were understandably a bit somber. Plus thanks to the child weather through the night, we didn’t have a good sleep too. But soon the spirits were high again and we were up & running, fully determined for our target of the day – Prini near Manali!
After staying put in our tent through the night, I finally came out to check out the early morning chill at 6:30 AM and was soon blasted by child winds hitting my face. Our bike seats were covered with a thin layer of ice and it was quite a sight!
I went back to the tent again to get away from the cold and waited inside till the sun came out. We finally came out at 9 AM to do our daily chores which were quite a task. But I love having such type of fun when you have minimum resources available and you are in an absolutely beautiful terrain. I missed my time when we did camping at Triund near Mcleodganj during our BoP Mcleodganj Mavericks Ride in April 2009 and also with Bandita & Abhay when we did camping at the gorgeous Wadi Rum Desert in October 2014.
After enjoying another breakfast of Aloo Parathas and Tea, we bid goodbye to the Camp Site of Nomadic Destinations where we had a fabulous time and thanked the staff for their gracious hospitality.
The first stop of the day was Batal and we stopped at the famous Chandra Dhaba where we met Mr. Bodh Dorjee and his wife Mrs. Chandra better known as “Chacha-Chachi” who are running this dhaba for four months every year since the last 40-odd years. In June 2010 due to heavy snowfall, 75 odd travellers were given food and protection by Chacha-Chachi in inhospitable conditions for which they were given multiple awards.
It was so nice to meet them with their warm smiles plus enjoying hot cups of tea prepared by them. May God always bless the revered couple! Watch this video to learn more about them.
And then the mayhem began! We were treated to some absolutely ridiculous “paths” – I won’t dare calling that a road. Till Chhatroo we were in for a torture. Check out this to see what we experienced and encountered!
I gave up after an hour of this ordeal and took a break to rejuvenate myself and waited for others to join me. I got a Red Bull out in the hope that maybe I would also get wings and fly away!
The other Leonines also joined me and we had a photo session especially to highlight the ViaTerra gear we were using!
George and Adit were using their ViaTerra Claw Tail Bag whereas I was using their ViaTerra Claw Pro V2.0 Tailbag along with ViaTerra Fly Magnetic Tankbag. We were 100% satisfied with the quality and durability of their gear and it deserved a special photo-shoot!
The roads maintained their quality and didn’t get any better. We went through the motions hoping that the ordeal would end soon!
Our spirits were never down though! Life as a Motorcyclist is tough but it never gets boring and we are always elated to be on the roads and experiencing such roads which majority of the people have not even seen in photographs!
We crossed a lot of small water crossings as well. Adit shot one video of George and myself clearing one too. The last few moments are quite hilarious! Do check out the video!
And finally we came to that T-Point in the road where we bid goodbye to the Lahaul Spiti circuit and entered the Manali circuit. It was quite a poignant moment for us as we had spent 5 fabulous days in the Lahaul & Spiti valleys having such a wonderful time exploring places we had only heard or read about! I thanked God for keeping us safe so far and giving us this opportunity.
And then the fun began! The roads became much better and we saw black tarmac after a long time! There was nothing which could stop me now. I was another animal then. I kept riding like a mad bull overtaking everybody and negotiating those curves with such elan! I didn’t even stop once till I reached Rohtang Pass!
I waited for almost 10 minutes till Adit joined me and I asked him to take my photograph at the “Rohtang Pass” Board. I was at this same exact spot after 8 years and nostalgia was taking me over!
I had been here in June 2008 during the last leg of our Mountain Tamers Ride to Ladakh and I remember having a real good time here then too!
After bidding goodbye to Rohtang Pass we headed towards our destination of the day – Prini which is located just after Manali.
We had to cross atleast 50-odd Army trucks as a convoy was just ahead of us. It was such a huge pain overtaking those trucks one after the other and it spoiled all the fun of riding downhill through Marhi to Manali.
We finally reached our B&B accommodation named Karma Cottage which was quite a quaint little place. And it was the perfect place to stay, away from the hustle & bustle of Manali and yet accessible to the main highway. All of us got freshened up, I chilled at the hotel while the other 3 Leonines went to the market to get “snake items” packed for the BBB Session up ahead.
Finally the Single Malt bottle was opened which I had got for the ride. We used to be so exhausted after riding all day long that the bottle remained unopened. But tonight was the special night when it was destined to be opened! We were celebrating the successful completion of the Lahaul Spiti circuit with a special Single Malt! Cheers to Life and Jai BoP…
We had ordered our dinner in the evening and enjoyed fresh trout fish grilled for us which is quite a popular Manali speciality! It was as always delicious and the Arhar ki Dal went along with it perfectly. We also enjoyed a traditional Himachali preparation of Chicken specially cooked for us by the caretaker’s sister. It was quite delicious indeed!
We called it a night soon after as we had a long day waiting for us the next day as were to cover the Manali to Gurgaon stretch and had to start really early.
It was another well-spent day after crossing the back-breaking Chandratal – Batal – Chhatroo stretch, ripping apart the pristine roads enroute Rohtang Pass, enjoying a superb BBB session at our B&B and ending the day on a high with a fabulous dinner! We rode a distance of 132 kms that day.
Day by Day Travelogues of the Ride:
So till the time we meet again…
Cheers to life…
Till then ride safe and have safe sex…
Hasta la Victoria Siempre…