In the search of Snow

May 9, 2010 at 11:00 am | Posted in Travel | Leave a comment
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The day started with a very cold morning, hot coffee and a much debated plan to go to Solang Valley. The nice didi at the coffee place had guided us to this garage where we could rent a bike. The guy was unwilling to rent out his bike to go to Rotang as the roads were bad and it was snowing at Rotang. Anyways we had plans to go to Solang valley so we assured him we were not going to Rotang and started checking out the bikes. Let me add all were in pretty bad condition. After trying about 5 we decided on 1 Yamaha RX100 which showed some promise. So all geared up we set out to Solang Valley. The road weren’t the best possible but the distant views of the snow capped mountains at Rohtang were breath-taking, that’s why when my husband asked where we were going; Solang or Rotang, my answer was Rotang. How was I to know what an adventure the Lord above had planned for us!

The first 50 km were quite uneventful with the sun shining bright and the cold breeze. Then started the adventure (the 1st of my life I should add). The roads had turned into the moon’s craters and the climb up got steeper. Soon it was not possible for the bike to carry me up the moon craters so whenever the road got really bad I had to run behind my husband and bike to the next stretch of better road. I lost about 2 kilos with all the running. In the midst of this, the kick on the Yamaha called its quits and decided the crazy lady running could do some more exercise. So now I was pushing the bike to get it started whenever it stalled. My instincts told me to turn back but Rotang was calling. Plus I was dying to see the expressions on my friend’s faces when I told them I went Rotang on the bike. All seemed to be going well from then on and soon we were at Marhi, the only village near Rotang. We had a little snack and continued on our way. The roads for the next few kilometres were a drivers dream but like all dreams it came to an end with a rude nightmare, we had run out of fuel 16 kilometres from Rohtang.
Assumptions are the mother of all fuck ups, we had assumed that the bike had a reserve and the fuck up was that there was no reserve. We had no other choice but to go back to Marhi so we pushed again and got back to the village. There we were told that if we were lucky we would get fuel at Raj Dhaba. We were lucky but not as much as we would have hoped. The guy there had only half a litre of fuel. Our dream of going to Rotang was going down the drain. Thats when Sanjeev and his wife drove into the parking of the dhaba. Very politely if not a little cheekily i asked them if they were on their way to Rotang and if they would give us a lift; Thankfully they agreed, and the journey began again.

The roads really got bad now. It took us all of 2 hours to get to Rotang with a few landslides to dodge. Finally we were at Rotang pass – the highest pass in Asia. Sorry forgot to mention that while dodging landslides we had our first encounter with a frozen waterfall. We all ate a piece of it. So finally at our destination, our saviours were off for some alone time giving us ours.

We started to walk in the midst of every “khachar” guy trying to get us to hire them. We were determined not to take a horse but walk up there. However with all the warnings I caved and my nice husband hired a khachar for me and the journey up started. This part was quite uneventful but very exciting and the view was marvelous. We were finally in the snow. The khachar deposited us at the snowline point and we started walking up which was a task as its quite difficult due to lack of oxygen. Anyways we played in the snow, got photos, and finally decided to let my butt feel the snow too by falling. All too soon we were going back as we had to get our ride back. Once we got back our new friends were waiting for us ( I thanked god a million times ) and our journey back to Marhi started. It took just as long as coming up and just as tricky with the landslides and traffic jams.

Anyways we reached Marhi by about 5. We had about an hour of daylight left and half a litre of fuel. I was a little panicked but we set off. We were making good progress after we managed to get the bike started but soon the night was creeping up on us. This is when we realised our troubles were not over as yet. The Yamaha had no lights on them. This is when i was sure that we were going to end up dead in the valley. This is when i really started to pray telling god that i was newly married and wanted to live longer with my husband. God truly came to our rescue that night. We were making progress with the lights of the the other vehicles coming down but they were all passing us by. Soon it was dark and we could not see anything in front of us. That is when god sent us a bus. I don’t know whether he knew we were in need 0f help or what but he stayed behind us and we made quite a distance down with the help of his headlight. Also my husband was under strict instructions to ride in the middle of the road giving him no road to pass us. This strategy worked till we ran out of fuel some 15km from Manali. Once again god came to the rescue. We were pushing the bike down when one guy on a bike was coming up. I flagged him down and explained our dilemma, all ready to beg plead and rob some fuel. I did not need to do any of the things. The kind man offered us as much fuel as we needed to get back. Magically he produced a bottle and a pipe and was getting fuel out of his bike for us. He gave us a litre of fuel which solved one problem but we now had no lights to restart our journey. Again…YET AGAIN god to the rescue in the form of another motorist coming down going towards Manali. He agreed to be our guiding light. Anyways with the help of the angels and riding in the middle of the road letting no light pass easily we were back in Manali. We were wet, cold and hungry as hell but we were back and more importantly in one piece.

Ended our adventure by getting some chole at the restaurant with our shoes and socks off and trying to get warm in any way possible.
What an adventure to tell our friends and family, all in the SEARCH OF SNOW.

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