Day 10 – Manali to Keylong

Beautiful morning. Perfect for taking your two wheel set to a nice ride. The mountain was bright and majestic. The concerns about tent, petrol and other things immediately took back seat when I saw Rohtang Pass in the morning. I was going to do it.

Packed, filled my tanks and was on the road by 10.30 am. Had noodles and saw teenagers from Delhi bawling around high on adrenaline and new found hormones. And then, almost immediately hit the first roadblock of the way. Fresh landslide – less than 20 minutes ago. Thankfully, it was close to Manali and before Rohtang. BRO was already on work with their huge earth moving machinery.

From Earning My Quarter Mile

Half an hour of waiting around and we were going again. The road till Rohtang Pass was strewn with SUVs and trucks. For such an important tourist destination, the road is suprisingly bad. Especially given that the rest if the highway is actually in much worse surroundings. Anyway, slowly the bone crunching cavalcade of some 10 SUVs, 5 trucks and one bike reahced Rohtang after what seemed eternity. Over a 100 people frolicking in the snow. It was a good sight. But one I had no time for. I had other thoughts in my head.

From Earning My Quarter Mile

There was snow. SNOW!! You will have to forgive my excitement but this is the first time I have seen snow let alone been in the place where I am surrounded by it all over. There was snow as far I could see. I didn’t know the texture of snow. So, I had a handful of it by the side of the road. I was excited like a schoolboy who just talked to his crush for the first time. It was amazing. But unfortunately I couldn’t stop there. I had to keep moving. Because I was holding up traffic. On both sides. Because in front of me there was a hug puddle which I just had to cross if I wanted to stay dry. So I put her into first gear and rumbled on. After about 20 minutes I stopped again for a more leisurly look and feel of that beautiful thing called snow. It was like there was a white blanket all over. I took a few photographs. Saw two guys astride a Bull coming from the other side. Stopped them and asked them about the way.

From Earning My Quarter Mile
From Earning My Quarter Mile

There is awesome news. The road is cleared and working. All the way to Leh. I was jumping around all over again.

The road till Khoksar continued in its bad form. Endless puddles of mud. Big stones strewn around. 3 feet deep puddles of water. Gravel. Sand. Anything apart from a nice tarmac. Had a couple of close calls (as usual). Came across atleast 2 accidents and one hanging by the thread.

Khoksar dhaba

From Earning My Quarter Mile

The junction at Khoksar where the road from Spiti comes and joins the Manali Leh Highway

From Earning My Quarter Mile

After Khoksar, the roads improve very much. The first few kilometers are as good roads as you can expect on any express-bloody-way in the whole damn country.

From Earning My Quarter Mile

But then there was no dearth of the sand-gravel-stones-water-mud combine even here. The final 12 kilometers to Tandi and then to Keylong were beautiful. Pothole free twisties.

From Earning My Quarter Mile

Filled up at Tandi. It produly says – “Last filling station for 365 kilomters”. Now staying the night at Keylong. There are a couple more chaps staying here who are likely to go to Leh tomorrow. Will see if I can tag along.

Manali – Keylong: 9 / 10. NIRVANA.

4 Responses to “Day 10 – Manali to Keylong”
  1. saugata says:

    hey men, awesome read till now. i can only guess how living those very moments wud be. the pics have added certainly brought the trip a whole lot more closer. have a safe journey till leh n beyond, enjoy the snow n everything else tht u get ur hands on, on the way.

  2. deepak says:

    Dude!! You’re the man! I am proud of you! Just call me whenever your Phone starts working-Deepak

  3. Ashish says:

    Hey ManYour blogs are like a burst fresh air reminding, reconfirming and motivating towards a long lost idea “LIVING UR DREAM”Great Job Call me Ashish

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