Sunday 18 | September '05

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the great himalayan national park
today's pics (7)
the great himalayan national park
solitary tree
misty view
home in the forest
down by the river
river on the way down
Day 24 - Bilaspur - Heading back... << | >>
10.40am: Gushaini  >  Jalori Pass  >  Bilaspur  >  Hilltop View :8.40pm

Our plan today was to get up to Jalori Pass and descend on the other side, but all our plans were changed by the incessant rainfall. On the way up, soon after we started, we came across a landslide with logged wooden sleepers blocking the road. We had to get across this with our two right tyres going over one of the sleepers kept along the edge of the drop down to the valley - the other side being completely blocked by layers of wood.

Once we negotiated this dangerous crossing, we were met with a fresh landslide where a huge rock had fallen onto the road. We got out in the rain, moved some of the smaller boulders out of the way and Omi deftly manouevred the car through with inches to spare.

The Great Himalayan National Park is our biggest national park and looks lush beyond belief. This is definitely a place I need to visit again with time to spare, just for trekking through it if nothing else.

We got to the top of Jalori Pass through the rain and mist only to be told that the road all the way down the other side was blocked with landslides, so we had to bactrack, negotiate the same boulder and then gingerly get across the first landslide, this time with our left wheels being precipitously close the edge on the sleeper.

Once we got across, the concensus was that we ditch the Lahaul Spiti leg of our trip since anyway the roads that way were blocked, and the current bad weather would only be making things worse. So we started our return trip back to Delhi knowing that the trip of a lifetime was over.

a stream on the way
a stream on the way

Frankly, I was still eager to do some more - if not Spiti, then my favourite place in the mountains, Jilling Estate - but by this time I think everybody wanted to get back home, so unfortunately I had to agree that it wastime to head back.

We stopped at another of the many tacky hotels that we had stayed in all along the way - a Himachal Tourism place called Hotel Hilltop View after Bilaspur, close to Kiratpur. Tomorrow we hit Delhi and we plan to take the route back to Bangalore via Rajasthan so we can avoid the miserable roads of Madhya Pradesh.

Highlights: The beautiful Great Himalayan National Park

Downsides: The dangerous drive past the landslide
  << | >>
today's route - 216 km
day 24 km odo
Gushaini   185552
Banjar 6 185558
Around Banjar    
Banjar   185571
Jibhi 7 185578
Shoja 8 185586
Jalori Pass 5 185591
Aut 44 185635
Pandoh 25 185660
Mandi 14 185674
Sundernagar 26 185700
Bilaspur 35 185735
Hilltop View 46 185781
total 216 5081