Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Chadar Trek headed North but turned South REAL fast!!!:)

WELL for those that knew about my trek and the dates I would be gone, you would know that RIGHT NOW I should be on my Chadar trek in the Zanskar River Valley!!! HERE is my story on how that is not happening right now!!!:) As you can see in the picture this is ALL the food I am bringing for the 2 week trek (18-20 day total adventure)!!! It's a lot at first, but that's 14 days without any civilization except a couple villages along the way!!! So YEAH that's a LOT of bags of trail mix!! We planned on leaving Jan 3 (Sunday) at 4:30am from Hanifl Centre and walk from there to Picture Palace bus stop where there we would hook up with the bus going down to Dehra Dun (left at 5:30am)!! Surprisingly at 5:30am a LOT of people need to get to Dehra Dun, cause that bus was PACKED!! Every seat taken, plus some standing!!! We arrived at Dehra Dun bus station around 6:45am and had to wait for our connecting bus to Shimla, which departed at 8am!!! 8am comes and we board the Shimla bus, making 2 major stops (and I say MAJOR stops, cause we took about 30-40 minor stops to let people off and on)!! Oh yeah, in India when you bus somewhere, unless you take the expensive Greyhound type (which we didn't, PUBLIC all the way) you stop to pick up anyone or let anyone off who needs it!!! In NO way is that frustrating when trying to get to a destination!!:) That's like taking an elevator in the Empire State Building, and pressing EVERY floor button before reaching the top!!! Anyways, we reach Shimla around 5pm and check the bus schedule for Manali (our last bus stop before transferring to jeep to Leh, our trek depart city)!!! So unless we wanted to wait until morning to leave for Manali it had to be an overnight ride, WHICH it was!! We left Shimla at 7:15pm with a full bus once again!! Two things about Indian public buses you should know!! One: space in between seats is very limited!! Two: NO HEATING!! So put those two together and add our 60lb rucksacks (hiking backpack) and 20 degree traveling weather, makes a GREAT combination!!:) Oh and I guess you could add a 3rd and that's my 6' 2" height, can't really adjust that variable though!!!;) Sleeping on the bus though wasn't too bad, we luckily had the ENTIRE back seat to ourselves for most of the trip so we could spread out on that!! However, it was BUMPY!! Holy schnikee!! You know how back in elementary school you always sat in the BACK of the bus, so when you went over speed bumps your butt would go FLYING in the air!! WELL, we sat in the back and it was elementary school all over again, and it was NOT intentional!!! Very un-intentional!! Trying to sleep when half the time we're FLYING up out of our spot cause we go over meteor type pot holes or anaconda size speed bumps is a freakin hard thing to do!! Not to mention 4 or 5 people on the bus were always PUKING out the window due to motion sickness, so we had a cold breeze flowing through the bus every 5 minutes or so!!!:) A great experience, none-the-less!! We only had 3 major stops (20-25 minor), and the last major stop was in Kulu where we transferred buses!! Of course the bus we WERE riding was empty, and the one we were transferring too was FULL!! AWESOME!!:) However, it was only a 1 1/2 hr. bus ride from there to Manali, so not too bad!! Arrived in Manali at 4am (total hours in bus so far = 19 hours!! Out of 23 total hours of trip)!! Not 2 minutes there the entire attitude of the trip changed!! There were 2 guys (taxi drivers) asking Titu and I for rides and we asked what time is the earliest can we leave in a taxi for Leh?!? Their response...................

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