Again we got up early in the morning, and again we had no time for bath (No one wanted to bath anyways). The chillness in the air was too much. Our cottage stood in the middle of a valley surrounded by huge snow-clad mountains and we could hear chirping birds, sounds of water flowing nearby and we stood looking at the breath taking view of mountains rising high above the horizon .
Starting our bikes took no great efforts, we poured hot water from kettles on the bike engines and our bikes engines seemed co-operating with us very nicely.
We had a quick breakfast, and hot tea. I stood next to a chimney all time trying to suck in some hotness..
We started off, and after about 30 minutes, we came across a place where a bridge had fallen off due to sudden gush of waters from a flowing river. We had no other go, but to cross th river riding our bikes across it. It was knee deep and water was flowing in great force. Almost all of us were wet by the time we reached the other side of the stream. Chilled waters, and cold weather made us go numb for a while and we felt like frost bitten. We drove for another 2 hours and reached one of the most beautiful places in Himachal Pradesh, Keylong town.
Keylong: Keylong is a place where you get to see old wooden/stone houses everywhere and you realize how one lived in harmony with nature and surroundings in olden days. This town remains covered in snow for half year, and opens only during the warmer half of the year. Its not commercialized at all, and people are very friendly and helpful. We had our breakfast at a very beautiful hotel ‘Tashi Deleg’. It’s very close to the Market place, the staff even remembered a few of our guys who had visited them an year back. I had the most yummiest Apple Pie here.Guys who are gonna visit this place, do not forget to try Apple Pie here.
We buckled up and we were off on our bikes at noon. We drove for two hours, and then Vinay realized that he had forgotten his bag at Tashi Deleg, without informing any one of us, he just drove back in opposite direction. We were all pissed off on him and he was becoming more of of nuisance in our team.
We stopped for a while near Patseo and our hero Vinay came back in empty hands. We had an Intervention with him, for which he hardly reacted.
We then passed Darcha and reached Baralach La. Bharath, Shreyas, Ginix and me spent some time here, others drove off. We took lots of photos and we went on a small Ice trek, played snowball, inscribed a big ‘WR’ on Ice and played around in a place which looked like an Ice desert.
A few miles from Baralacha La, we stopped at ‘Bharathpur’.
Bharathpur: This is a small town (rather its not a town at all, just a place) which has around 4 tents, where Army Jawans or travelers stop by to have hot tea, biscuits or noodles. These tents are also cottages where we have thick Razais.
As we took a time out, we realized that it was getting dark and cold. But Kumar’s bike was not starting. Ramesh had already gone across and we hoped he would have reached Sarchu.
It was already pitch dark and bone chilling coldness was hitting us hard when we finally fixed the bike. We asked Shastry, Kumar and Sathish to go ahead and reach Sarchu. We told them we would soon follow them. Ginix had his first attack of Acute Mountain sickness and everyone started feelnig dizzy, Ohh I forgot to mention we were at a height of around 16,000 feet above sea level now.
Ginix had some rum, but it didn’t help much. Then the friendly and generous cottage owners prepared hot lantern which kept our tent warm. We had hot noodles and winds picked up. Temperatures were falling rapidly and we crept inside razais. We had no other go but to stay at Bharathpur.
That was the slowest night of my life, we had to pass entire night second by second which seemed to go very slow. Everything was as if in a slow-motion movie. Our heads weighed like a ton and we felt puckish all night. Bharath, Subhash, Ginix, Vinay and me all seemed to be hit by A M S.