Travelogue: The Himalayan Road Trip

Travelogue: The Himalayan Road Trip

Day 2

Route: Keylong – Jispa – Baralacha – Sarchu

Was a beautiful day! We all woke up at around 6 am and quickly had our shower to leave the crappy hotel asap. Must say that the view from the hotel window was amazing.

With only ginger tea in our stomachs, we started our journey to Sarchu and had many photo sessions on the way.  The scenery was awesome and it just kept getting better.

..we had a perfect morning, with this kinda view just about 10 minutes drive from Keylong! The sad part was that we forgot our tripod on the roads after this photo session!!

Suzuki Alto got stuck, but Toyota Innova made it through!! Motorbike – a better option(only if you have it in you!)

Travel Tip :

  • Never fancy venturing out in the Himalayas with a vehicle with low ground clearance, you have more things to feel adventurous than getting stuck in the streams and rock piles every 100 meters.

After a couple of hours, Baliram bhai pulled over near some dhabas (small restaurants). The dhabas were very clean with beds covered in colorful bed sheets. The place was cozy and food homely. We had double of everything… tea, coffee, omelette, toasts and aloo parathas. The kitchen was tiny but very clean. On another bed near the cash counter, some elderly women were knitting woolen socks and greeted us with warm friendly smiles. ‘We should have halted here last night’ I thought to myself observing the difference in cleanliness between the two places. We packed some food for our drive ahead and left the place with our stomachs and hearts full.

After a couple of hours drive, we reached Baralacha which is 4890m (16,043 ft) above sea level and is completely covered with snow. It was afternoon and as the sun was shining, we didn’t feel cold even with all the snow around us. And for the first time I also saw what a frozen lake looks like. We played around with snow, threw stones into the lake, took a lot of pictures and got into the car when we started feeling the hunger pang.

Travel Tips:

  1. After we got into the car, we realized that we were panting heavily even without much exertion. Be careful, this is how our body reacts to the rarefied air at this altitude.
  2. Take in lots of water & black tea to get acclimatized to the place.

To regain our energy, we gobbled on our packed food and some chocolates. After Baralacha, we started to descend. We passed through narrow roads in between the rocky mountains and gradually the climate became very warm. The roads were so narrow that we had to pullover for a military convoy to pass by.

After a couple of dangerous bridges, the roads became wider and smoother. It looked like the green mountains had spread out to give way for us. The place is called Sarchu and the beauty of the place is amazing! It was 1500 hrs and the weather was warm and we were very excited when we were told that we were going to halt there in tents. Staying in a tent in the midst of all that beauty… wow!

We jumped out of our cars and ran around the lovely place clicking lots of pictures.  We then thought it’s a good idea to get some sleep before we set out for our next photo session. Being very happy to see our orange top spacious tents, we comfortably settled in but couldn’t sleep.

As the afternoon passed by, the weather changed drastically. Geared up in two of everything…from socks to caps, we set out to take pictures of flocks of sheep on the mountains.  But we were feeling very heavy and stiff, and could not even walk fast. Once the sun went down, the cold crept in… and it was so cold that within an hour’s time the temperature dropped from 20 to 0 deg C. So we got back and planned to have quick dinner and get some good sleep.

Dinner was terrible! To start with, the tomato soup was a mix of chilli powder in hot water. I didn’t feel like having dinner, but my better half and my buddy chatted over rice and dal curry. We got back to our tent, settled in our beds for our 9 hr sleep, switched off the lights… and then the nightmare started.

The ice-cold wind was very harsh and was hitting hard on our tents. Our heavy clothing and layers of blankets didn’t help a bit. The cold wind made sleeping impossible. Ruby showed the symptoms of altitude sickness first, as she was feeling very uneasy and finding it hard to breathe. She tried sitting, standing and lying down in different positions, but was in vain. At around 2 am she had that urge to puke and all the dal came out! She took a tablet and after that she never puked for the entire trip. By then my friend was showing symptoms of altitude sickness. He puked and puked again and got tired like hell. I advised ruby to keep 2 pillows under her head, which made it easy for her to breathe and she slept off in a couple of minutes.

Travel Tips :

  1. Do not halt at Sarchu as the place is high in altitude and low in oxygen.
  2. The best alternative is to leave very early from Jispa/Keylong and pass through Sarchu by noon.
  3. Sleeping bag is again a very good option, even if you are staying inside a tent.

 

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The Himalayan Road trip continues….

Skills

Posted on

October 22, 2010

35 Comments

  1. Lisa

    Very beautiful! A little scary for someone like me, who has never been out of the US.

    Reply
    • WildBlack

      Thank you very much Lisa! 😀 I think you should explore more. There is always a first time for everything.

      Reply
  2. Ed

    Dude! Truley a once in a lifetime adventure, thank you so much of taking us along on your trip. Fantastic photos, you should make a coffee table book out of them, I’ll let mom know you posted, she misses your posts..:-)

    Reply
    • WildBlack

      Thanks dude! 😀 My pleasure. Glad you like it 🙂

      Reply
  3. Beyond Bluestockings

    So many beautiful pictures!

    Thanks for sharing your experiences with us 🙂

    Reply
    • WildBlack

      Thanks Jo! 😀 This one was worth sharing! 😀

      Reply
  4. Shafeel & Shyleen

    Shafeel:- Superb work bro…as i said to you, i thought only europe in this world is most beautiful, but i was wrong..u proved me that….It was simply awesome,…and what else i should say you are truley blessed by the God, no you both (ur better half) are. My wife saw ur blog to all our flat mates, they all were like WOW…….. You see the world in different way from other..keep it up mate………

    Shyleen:- I have seen many pics before,,but when i saw ur pics and read along with your blogs,,,only then i realized,,how much effort is there for each single clicks.. and i really admire your works..hats off…

    Reply
    • WildBlack

      @Shafeel: Thanks bro! I’m flattered 😉

      @Shyleen: Thanks dear 😀 Glad you both like my photos and the post 😀 Your husband made me a hero in the office! I’m in love with photography..so I’m more than happy to put in some efforts to get some good ‘Winks’.

      Reply
  5. Henry

    Dude!!!!!!!!

    Amazing travelogue and a very theatorical unfolding of true feel of The Great Himalayas. Regret i missed the chance with you guyz and a very little i can write about my trip last year.

    Well done

    Henry

    Reply
    • WildBlack

      Dude!!!! Thank you so much 😀 I’m so happy to know..that what I wrote in the post..brought in the feel of the trip 🙂
      Don’t miss it..if you get another chance!

      Reply
  6. chloe

    LOVE the 3rd & 6th photo!! stunning

    Reply
  7. Nidheesh.

    Dude..
    Great fotos as always & well penned down..

    Reply
    • WildBlack

      Thanks Dude! 😀 Glad you commented.. been long time! 🙂

      Reply
  8. Brenda

    I can only imagine the places that you have been! They are beautiful. thanks for sharing your pics!

    Reply
    • WildBlack

      Thanks alot Brenda! 😀 You are most welcome.

      Reply
  9. suraj

    heyyy this is freaking awesome …never i have seen so descriptive and the pictures a mind blowing and even cud imagine the pain and pleasure u guys had there ……..cud get to know high altitude conditions ….hopefully the friend of urs is better now 🙂 keep posting am a fan of urs

    Reply
    • WildBlack

      Thanks Bro! 😀 You said it ..Pain n pleasure! Our friend is fine 🙂

      Reply
  10. Lushfun

    the pictures seem to curve into themselves on the sides. sorta like they are curving around my view sorta interesting

    Reply
  11. kcjewel

    Oh my goodness the scenery is fabulous and your documentation is perfect. There is one thing for certain… even if given the opportunity, I will never be driving the Rohtang pass!!! or, riding for that matter.

    Reply
    • WildBlack

      Thank you so much! 😀 I think everyone should go there..its Fun and will be an amazing experience! 😉

      Reply
  12. Chloe Sam

    rather useful material, in general I imagine this is worthy of a bookmark, thanks a lot

    Reply
  13. Gert

    Wow! Talk about a psotnig knocking my socks off!

    Reply
  14. scoo

    omg omg!!!ur blog is really amazing!!! leh has always been my dream destination!! i feel as if I am also experiencing this heavenly beauty when I read ur blog..n must say…beautiful pictures!! just like some Russian painting,,,best were the one with wild horses. I have seen lot of leh pics but has never seen one with these horses!! m jus running out of words while complementing you..jus perfect..n also really sorry about your tripod 🙁

    Reply
  15. Toshi Chan

    Thank you for such an excellent article and wonderful photographs.
    The place else may just anybody get that type of info in such an ideal means of writing?
    I have a presentation next week, and I’m on the look for such info.

    Reply
    • Nivin Kadar

      Thank you for your kind words 🙂

      Reply
  16. Lacey

    Good web site you’ve got here.. It’s difficult
    to find quality writing like yours nowadays.
    I honestly appreciate people like you! Take care!!

    Reply
  17. Suze

    Love your panoramic shots! What camera is it you’re using? 🙂

    Reply
    • Nivin Kadar

      Thanks Suze 🙂 I used Nikon D90 with kit lens 18-105mm for this trip.

      Reply
  18. Alexandra

    breath-taking images… beautiful work…

    Reply
  19. Afham Baramy

    really informatic and beautifully written.wish i too get a chance to visit these places in my life.have great passion for these roadtrips but don’t know from where to get started.

    Reply

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Skills

Posted on

October 22, 2010