We realized we were very slow till now and we had to cover a lot of ground if we had to make it till Leh and Kargil.
Unlike the previous two days, we got up early today. We had in fact not even unpacked our luggage yesterday.
We got up early in the morning only to see the gloomy weather and it started drizzling soon as we started our bikes. A Guruji walked to us and offered us coffee and he told us the weather would ease out by the time we had our coffee. It was a kind of a miracle, rains stopped within a few minutes. We thanked Guruji for letting us stay in Gurudwara and we started off, at around 7 AM.
It was an awesome ride, along the beautiful Bias river valleys. It is for no small reason Kullu valley is called the "Vallley of Gods". It was more fascinating to me because I was riding Bharath’s Bullet Electra. Basha and me sped along the curvy roads, dragging and overtaking each other. And then we came across this huge tunnel which was carved through a huge mountain range. (I can still hear our bikes making dud-dub-dud sound in the tunnels). In no time we reached Kullu.
Bharath got to know that he had dropped off his mobile phone on the way. He went back in search of it, and others headed towards Manali.
We reached Manali at 11 and had an amazing breakfast at a South Indian restaurant. This was my first visit to Manali, and so was for many of us and obviously we were all so excited.
Manali happens to be blessed with pleasant weather, scenic beauty and is surrounded by beautiful mountains. We could see the first snow-clad mountains, at an approximate 70 degrees angle towards the sky!!..Everything started looking beautiful, and we knew this was just the beginning.
We got our bikes checked up by local mechanics, and later took a stroll on the beautiful Manali down town and the famous Mall street. We bought petrol cans, bungee chords, filled Petrol tanks(as we start ascending, petrol spills out if tanks are filled full so we could fill petrol 3/4th of total tank capacity).
We got to know that Rohtang pass was closed for road widening work and would open sometime in the evening. After spending some more time in Manali, we headed towards Rohtang at 3 PM. We could soon feel the chillness in the air. Sathish had a small fall, but luckily no one got injured. It became colder and colder and in no time we were shivering big time. We were the first ones to cross Rohtang that day.
We could see the view of the great Himalayan mountains as we rode our bikes, and sometime later I looked back to see no one following me. I parked my bike and climbed a mountain and looked around to see no one around, for me this was one of the best moments of this trip. After 15 minutes or so all others joined. We had a small photo session, and walked around near Rohtang pass. It started becoming dark and cold, and we had to reach Koksar.
It was a scary drive on the muddy roads in fading lights down the valley and reached Koksar at 8. We booked a couple of cottages at Khoksar Dhaba and had hot tea and noodles. The excitement level among us was highest compared to last few days, and we were all in thermals as the temperature now was less than 5 deg C. Bed/blanket in our cottage was almost a feet thick and soon we crept inside them :).