Keylong is a small town with very narrow roads. We thought to have some tea and momos at Keylong but at one of the sharp turn, we got stuck with two or three cars with some heavy duty dumpers. After hundreds of small and tiny forwards and reverse manoeuvres, we managed to get out of that mess.We dropped the idea of tea and momos, got out of Keylong and drove towards Jispa.
The Birthday, the Stars, and Village Tandi!We spent the morning unwrapping all the gifts that I had brought for Mansi, followed by a quick chatting session with the villagers, who had come to wish Mansi, a long and happy life.They shared a lot of stories of their village, and like true pahadi stories, they were mostly based on ghosts and spirits. Nonetheless, we enjoyed listening to them.We spent the rest of the day exploring the untouched trails of village Tandi, chasing butterflies, eating all the good food we had ordered and well, laughing.
Well Tandi is famous for its Fuel Station, after this we do not have any Fuel Station for the next 365Kms
Day 2: Manali- Palchan - Kothi - Gulaba - Marhi - Rani Nala - Rohtang – Gramphu - Khoksar– Sissu - TandiWe relished momos, rajma-rice and a hot cup of tea at a dhaba in Khoksar(Lahaul Valley), refuelled the cars at a petrol pump in Tandi (last on this route, so quite crucial) and stopped by to witness the beautiful confluence of Chandra and Bhaga rivers at Tandi.Overnight at Tandi (camps).
August 17, 2014Next day I woke up around 6.30am and saw everyone was already awake. As I went outside camp I was mesmerized by the natural beauty around, big snow mountains with small waterfalls, simply one of the most amazing moments of my life.We reached Dharcha .From Keylong to Dharcha distance is approx 28kms, the roads are good enough but get smoother as you approach Jispa and eventually Darcha.Our next target was Sarchu which is 84 kms from Dharcha. Roads were very bad and as the altitude increases, we started noticing the first effects of Acute Mountain Sickness. It is advisable to take it easy and not over stress yourself, especially at the summit of Baralacha La, 16,500ft.From Baralacha La it is again a downhill but a rough ride till Bharatpur, after which the road’s condition starts improving gradually as you approach Sarchu.Before Sarchu we also covered Zing-zing bar, a beautiful place and camps are also available there to stay. Sarchu, at an altitude of 14,000ft, is a collection of tents and a militarily base. Even though it is quite a windy place and high in altitude. It is a preferable night stop for most travelers. But we didn’t stop there, kept moving on. While moving from Bhartpur to Sarchu, we saw plain green grass ground and beautiful colored mountains. The scenic beauty of the place will surely remind you of a wall-painting.After that we moved for Pang, the distance between Sarchu & Pang is around 80 kms and road from Sarchu till the start of Gata Loops were in good condition and the progress of road-building looked pretty fast.Gata Loops are a collection of 21 loops that take you to an altitude of 15,302 ft, roads in the loops were not in a good condition and the slow moving trucks leaving cloud of thick smoke make the ascent feel tougher than it actually is. Next up was the third pass on the Manali-Leh route, Nakee La (15,547ft). While few kilometers down the road was Lachulung La pass situated at an altitude of 16,616 ft. The descent from Lachulung La took us to Pang.We reached pang around 4:00pm.The road from Pang, it took us through the famous Moore Plains situated in a Plateau, it was hard to believe this flat piece of land could be located at an altitude of 15,400ft; the roads were relatively straight and in good condition, inviting us to indulge in speeding up to our limits. The road was quite bumpy making it a good workout for the vehicle’s suspension and our stomach.The sun had started to set and it was around 7.30 pm when we reached a small village Debring on the Moore plains.Then we went off to sleep as next day our target was T Pangong Lake.August 18,2014