A Travellerspoint blog

October 2010

Day 6: October 7th : A Rest Day at Jogindar Nagar.

A tour of Jogindar Nagar, organising my four day trek into the Himalaya, a key note speech to students, and a very pleasant evening dinner with Dr Naresh.

sunny 40 °C

A bit of a lazy morning and late breakfast, although at 8am, there is a knock at the door, and it’s Vikka with my strong morning coffee, he is like my own personal valet, “Morning Sir, your coffee”. I said to Vikka, “Its Mike”, he replied, “Okay Mr Mike”. He has been so helpful already.

The view from the balcony of my room at Trekkers Nest looks over the Kangra Valley, and looks down to Jogindar Nagar. The high ridges of the Dhauladhar rise steeply above. The area is very lush and green.

After breakfast I had a tour of Jogindar Nagar, a busy and pleasant town, with two main streets, a bus station and the eastern railway terminal of the Kangra Valley Railway, one of the twenty or so, narrow gauge railways in the world. Trekkers Nest Hotel will be my base for the next week.

After lunch I get my kit organised for the planned four day trek. Naresh has supplied a down sleeping bag , rucksack and tent. Robin will be my guide, and Mukesh my porter. Naresh and I go into Jogindar Nagar to buy food and supplies for my trek. In the afternoon all the kit is packed and ready.

I am invited to Naresh’s house for evening dinner. He has been a practising GP and Doctor in this area for over 35 years, including remote parts of Lahaul and Spiti. We discussed other plans for my trip including visiting Dharamsala and McLeod Ganj (the home of the Dalai Lama) and staying overnight at the high settlement of Bhagsu.

A Royal Enfield has been hired for the following week when I ride to the Kullu Valley and Lahaul, exploring the Western Himalaya's.

After a very pleasant evening, it’s back to Trekkers Nest, ready for tomorrows trekking.

Posted by Mike Casey 06:41 Archived in India Comments (0)

Day 13 - Jogindar Nagar to Manali on a Royal Enfield Bullet

A 165km Road Trip through some of the most spectacular scenary in the Himachel Predesh

sunny 28 °C

I arrived in Manali on Day 13 of my trip through India after a 165km ride from JN to Manali. I have been keeping a daily diary of my trip, and have been trying to update my travel blog as I go, but sometimes you are off the radar and cannot get Internet facilities. So I am a bit behind, also I have yet to download photos and video clips, so please be patient with me.

I have had a tremendous time in the Kangra Valley, based at Jogindar Nagar for nine days. It seems much longer. I have made so many new friends here, especially Dr Naresh Singhla who has organised so much for me in the north. Naresh has in the last year set up a new venture in this area of the Himachel Pradesh called Alpine Treks and Trekkers Nest Hotel. He offers a very comfortable hotel and guided trekking in the impressive Dhauladhar Mountains. I highly recommend this stunningly beautiful area to you. Its less busy than other areas of the Himachel Pradesh, it is also a great base for exploring the rest of the Kangra Valley, and the fantastic Dharamshala and McLeod Ganj. Check out the Trekkers Nest website and go there !

I left JN at 10.30am on one of the greatest adventures of my life, a 165km solo motorbike ride through the Kangra and Kullu Valley's into the very heart of the Western Himalayas to Manali. I have had an incredible journey to Mandi along the beas River Valley, riding along high contouring mountain roads. after Mandi, the road climbed high above the dam and reservoir lake at the western end of the Larji Gorge. Then the climb up and ride through the Larji Gorge, absolutley stunning. then when I came out off the gorge, the unexpected, a long road tunnel that took 15 minutes to ride through, then I entered the southern end of the Kullu Valley. The road NH20 was actually very good from Mandi to Nagar, being a military road to the border areas, but after Nagar it varied between tarmac, potholes and unmade,rough and dusty.

I arrived in Manali dusty and a bit bedraggled. My Belsfaff riding jacket did the job over the last three hours. Its been a great adventure today, even Charlie and Ewan would have been impressed. Tomorrow I will have a rest day in Manali, booking onward accommadation at Keylong for four days, my base for exploring the higher passes of the Rohtang (3980m) and Bara Lacha La (4890m), but not onto Leh as planned as the snows have arrived and further progress will not be possible.

I will therefore explore the Chenab Valley, the Chandra Valley and the Bhaga Valley, that radiate out from Keylong, and the area around Manali. The peaks of the Himalayas here rise up to 6500m. They look very impressive from the Kullu Valley. The weather is bright, blue and sunny. Off to explore Manali now.

Posted by Mike Casey 10:40 Archived in India Tagged sunsets_and_sunrises mountains skylines people Comments (1)

Day 1: Overland through India

Brotton to Dubai, Tales of Excess Baggage

32 °C
View Overland through India on Mike Casey's travel map.

After a major kit review by Tom, "Don't need that or that, or that..............." as I cried and pleaded for mercy? Then Nick arrived, the terminator, no mercy shown with his ruthless seasoned traveller advice to me. Then finally, Jane "We will not pay any ransome demands for your father!". Thank you my beloved wife and dear sons.

Anyway by 9am the zips where closed and secured with every Pacsafe device known to man, and so load up in Tom's Audi we drove north to Newcastle Airport via Ouston? I checked in with my baggage to a lovely Emirates lady, as I smugley looked down at the 100's of Ryanair passengers, then glanced over at the empty and very civilised Emirates bag check in. All was going well with another lovely Emirates lady until she said "I'm sorry Mr Casey but you are 3kgs over weight" I thought cheeky person, but she was referring to my baggage, 3 kg over and £50 exrtra ? Jane, Tom and Nick shook their heads, thinking will he make Delhi?

Any way itwas now time for goodbyes, hugs and kisses as I took on the next challenge, Security ! No problem, straight through, no body search or off with your shoes, I felt very smug as I looked back at my Family.

I bet you have not eaten oriental shrimp and noodles salad, chicken in coconut sauce, lemon and cream torte, and a lovely chardonnay at 39000'? You must ! So onwards and upwards to Dubai, landing at 12 midnight and 32oC !!!!

I hope these travelblog diaries of my trip will be strong on spontaneity of my experiences rather than sober reflections I hope that they tell my story of discovery, adventure, people and places that I meet and see as I journey "Overland through India" over the next six weeks.
I hope you all enjoy my journey with me too! So please leave a comment or two.

Got to go now for my check in for the next leg of my journey... Dubai to Delhi ! Best wishes, Mike.

Posted by Mike Casey 15:49 Archived in United Arab Emirates Comments (1)

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