Kullu to Baralacha: 230 km
Height of Baralacha pass: 4,890m (16,040ft)
This was a fairytale trip complete with breathtaking scenery, amazing sunset and SNOW! Starting early in the morning, we drove down from kullu to reach baralacha at 4 pm in the evening. It's an amazing drive with each turn revealing yet another treat for the eyes. The raods are 'ok' mostly with some really bad patches. However, googling at the pretty waterfalls-snow laden peaks and peering into the valley one tends to overlook the bad roads. We went towards the end of September-it was autumn time and the trees were shining golden!
Here are some pointers I would like to share:
1. Start early. Starting early is the key to covering maximum number of places without actually rushing. It takes more time to cover a certain distance in hills compared to the time taken for covering same distance in the plains. Also it's adviced to be at places like mountain passes (baralacha etc) during daylight hours. It's safer that way and of course best for exploration and photography.
2. Carry sufficient snacks and fluids. Though there are dhabas at some places along the route (some of which are really good dhabas) its always best to carry snacks, some fruits, juices, water etc. Assume you may not find anything along the way and then pack.
3. Carry basic medicines. Better to be cautious.
4. Dhabas along the route provide simple but tasty food. Try Dal-chawal-sabji, parathas or maybe momos. All of it is simply delicious.
Chamba dhaba – Marhi (before Rohtang pass)
Tawang Deleg – Keylong market.
Leh dhaba – Darcha (before Baralacha pass)
5. At higher altitudes its tougher to breathe. So take deep breaths, walk slowly and don't talk while walking.
All in all it was a lovely refreshing trip and a peek into autumn.
A final thought; "We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us."