As I will be cycling with 3 other friends of mine now, we packed up our tents & left for our further journey after having breakfast at a nearby hut at Marhi only. Tourists have already arrived there from Manali to enjoy the snow and I could see long line of jam-packed vehicles down on road and I was thinking of the situation if I would have got stuck in that scenario. I usually do not have any problem with anything in life, but getting stuck in a traffic jam is what I really do not like. My mobile signal was already gone and I knew I will not receive it for long now.
We had to cross Rohtang Pass today after which we would enter Lahaul Valley of Himachal Pradesh. Rohtang Jot was 17 kilometres all up the slope. We crossed the police barrier at Marhi which was there to control the traffic going up to Rohtang Pass and we cycled our way up to Rohtang. We took almost two hours and 30 minutes. It was snow all around. There was not a single cubic meter of snow, when I came to this place last year in September but as we are on this route as soon as it got opened, road conditions were bad and water from the melted snow was all over on the road.
We took few pictures at Rohtang and started cycling further to get to the other side of the valley. We knew it would be all downhill on the other side as we were on a pass but soon we realized that we could not cycle fast on that downhill. The road was in a really bad shape with all the water and mud getting mixed and gravels on the road made us slower.
Our shoes and bags kept behind got wet and dirty. It took us a lot of time to get down to the level of river. It is a known fact that generally civilization is there around rivers only so we knew that we could reach any dhaba ahead anytime soon and we wanted to reach fast as all were really very hungry and snickers we had could not keep the hunger away for long.
All the traffic going down was stopped midway as road was being widened ahead by blasting some parts of hill. We had to wait there for approx 25-30 minutes till signal was given to the traffic to carry on ahead. We reached Khoksar late in the afternoon and had our lunch there. There was enough time left for the day to end, so we cycled further. There was no pre plan as to where to stop but we always planned our further journey as we were on the move. We were moving ahead and came across wide valleys sometimes and sometimes big “nalas” on our way which we had to cross. If we cycled slow or got stuck because of a stone in between, we feared our shoes would get completely wet, which we could not afford as it would get dark after sometime and thus, drop in temperature.
We got really tired but we aimed to reach Tandi that day itself. Road was mild up and down all way but our legs were aching. In between came a really beautiful village, Sissu where we enjoyed with kids for a while, gave them the biscuits we had and moved ahead.
We reached Tandi and pitched in our tents beside a home where we could have food. It was in front of the petrol pump. It is the only petrol pump that bikers and other drivers get in between on this whole Manali to Leh highway. Next, the petrol pump is at Upushi, which is approximately 350 kilometers away from this place. We had dinner and slept to give ourself some rest for the next day ride.