Tuesday 13 | September '05

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snow oasis
today's pics (29)
tents at sarchu
entering himachal
greenery begins
local fauna
glacier comes to life
snow peak
more snowscape
more snow
colourful himachal
surreal colours
red hill
himachal beckons
once a glacier
tiny lake
mountain home
river again
landslide into the river
river mountain
river valley
home on the range
Day 19 - Keylong - The beauty of Himachal << | >>
7.45am: Sarchu   >  Baralachala  >  Darcha  >  Keylong :1.00pm

It had rained practically all night and we woke up to a drizzle. The tyre had held up beautifully so we left early from our Nepali tent and set off into Himachal, getting ready for our journey into Lahaul Spiti.

Unfortunately we heard that a bridge was blocked at Khoksar which is the only way out from this side, and this may delay us by a day.

Almost as soon as we started, the greenery began taking over; we had left Ladakh. We got some snowfall too which made me want to listen to Rain and Snow by the Be Good Tanyas.

early morning snow
early morning snow

When we started the climb to Baralachala, we got into fairly heavy snowfall. All around us was white and we stopped and actually flung snowballs at each other at one point. After Baralachala we have covered 12 passes in 11 days including two of the highest. Not bad going at all.


Once we started our descent the colours of Himachal came into view and the stark browns and rust of Ladakh gave way to some brilliant yellows, greens and reds.

snow giving way to colours
snow giving way to colours


No wonder Himachal is the prettiest state we have, it has everything - stark high mountains, snow, incredible greenery and lots of rivers and gushing streams.

We kept along the Bhaga river till we came to Keylong, a tiny little town, but critical for us since it was our first contact with an STD booth since Leh. There is no sign of Internet having reached these parts, but I ended up spending some time helping a computer centre guy with his MS Word. A while later, he was using his newfound knowledge to recreate a government document for a seventy year old lady.

bhaga river
bhaga river


We got to Keylong in time for lunch and found a decent place to stay.

The plan is to try and make it to Manali by tomorrow, do the tyres properly, then backtrack into Lahaul Spiti, instead of going directly in via Khoksar. Of course, this depends on whether the news that the bridge is now open for traffic is true or not.

Highlights: The lush scenery of Himachal Pradesh

Downsides: A sense of sadness at leaving Ladakh
  << | >>
today's route - 110 km
day 19 km odo
Sarchu   185170
Killing Sarai 20 185190
Baralachala 13 185203
Surajtal 3 185206
Zingzingbar 19 185225
Patsio 6 185231
Darcha 19 185250
Jispa 5 185255
Stingri 18 185273
Keylong 7 185280
total 110 4650