Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Awesome Road Trip Manali - Himachal Pradesh to Leh - Jammu and Kashmir Part 2/5

{Darcha;Patsio; Zing Zing Bar;Suraj Taal;Baralacha la;Sarchu}

5th August -Woke up to lovely morning, shot a funny room review video and left at 8:34 am. Reached Darcha situated at 3,360 m (11,020 ft) by 8:45 am for breakfast. It’s is small stop over spot with a few huts/tents which double as accommodation in case it’s needed. After climbing up hill for a while we reached Patsio at about 10:00 am it’s situated at about 4721 meters. Rested here for about 30 minutes there’s something about having nice warm Chai at these altitudes, I just can’t explainJ, the stalls are located just off a nice pristine pond off the road, it’s a favourite stop over for most bikers before heading towards the High pass. Watch the video below to get a better look.



Left Patsio at about 10:27 am reached Zing Zing Bar at about 10:58 pm. Then we stated the climb through various hair pin bends towards Baralacha la, saw a lot of glacier remnants on the way. The topography was similar to Spiti, mixture of dry snow capped peaks, with sparse greenery.

Reached Suraj Taal aka Vishaal Taal at 11:25 am, it’s situated at 4,883 m (16,020.3 ft), extremely beautiful and cold, mainly because of the winds blowing from the ice capped peaks. Experience Suraj Taal by watching the video below.    



Passed through Bara-lacha la at about 11:50 am, it’s situated at 4,890 m (16,043 ft), it’s a high mountain pass in Zanskar range that connects Lahul district in Himachal Pradesh to Ladakh in Jammu and Kashmir.
Contrary to what I had thought unlike Rohtang this was a small camp with beds and stalls, mainly because of the altitude.

Passed through Killing Sarai at about 12:20 pm and reached Sarchu at 12:50 pm, it’s situated at 4,290 m (14,070 ft). Surprisingly most of the camps here were occupied, luckily we came across Snow Gold Camp, they courted INR 1000 got a bargain for INR 800.

The camp was well equipped with a dining area, car park and about 4 guest toilets, there were 8 smaller spacious tents with bedding set on the floor for 2 occupants and about 4 bigger Family tents, the caretakers Tent was equipped with television he had his own satellite Dish. Watch the video below it covers the entire Snow Gold Camp



Lunch for two consisted of Roti, vegetable and Dal, cost INR 160. After a nice nap we had some tea, the crowd started pouring in, we decide to have some fun and we shot the “Cure for AMS” video, we had some spectators and apparently one of them was suffering from AMS, shit happens ;) the van from Jammu consisting of 12 people, a mixture of Maharashtrians from Nagpur and a few Bengalis. There was another group of 4 people who drove all the way from Mumbai - Borivali, their travel path was Mumbai - Madhya Pradesh - Agra - Bilaspur (HP)- Manali – Leh (J&K) - Rajasthan - Gujarat and back to Mumbai. There were also 2 bikers who drove from Manali, we chilled out in the caretakers Tent,  he had set up a sleeping area with TV along with his cooking space which made it nice and cozy; even though it was one of those open tents. Bittu along with the other Van driver were there too, sharing life stories and getting drunk, a suppositional remedy to beat the cold. The cold winds outside the tent were relentless after a nice warm dinner and some TV we called it a night.


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