Theog to Hatkoti, Himachal Pradesh, India
Gasoline (petrol) is 70 Rupees/liter in India - can anyone convert that to old
fashioned US$/gallon? I know that the price of gasoline is much higher here compared
to the USA and parallels the price in the USA as it climbs and falls - along
with the rest of the world. I wonder who they are blaming here? - probably
all the politicians they dislike.
We paused at a tiny cluster of stores that serves as the shopping center and bus
station for the surrounding mountain villages.
This valley and mountain region is covered with terraced apple orchards.
The misty weather was closing in and we were caught out on this steep muddy
climb. Soon the views across the valley were obscured by rolling clouds.
The road leads up many side valleys to traverse side streams.
The pine forest smells terrific, even on a cold rainy day.
We found shelter from the bad weather at this family-run guesthouse. Our room
was a cold and smelly cave, but much better than a night of camping in the high
One night of rain turned our road into a mud bog. As we climbed, the mud got
Riding through this muddy mess is tough work. After a few hours, we started
wondering if we should turn around.
A road equation used by professional bike tourists: Rain + dirt road +
trucks and busses that like to spin their wheels = deep mud + pushing in soggy
ground + stuck vehicles + long delays. This was a hard day that took
4 hours to go 12km over an otherwise beautiful mountain pass.
Gretchen make a hard run at a black puddle but got stopped by a foot-deep
I rode through such deep mud my front bicycle touring panniers went plowing
through it. It's a good thing I use waterproof Ortlieb panniers that keep
my clothes clean and dry. See more Ortlieb bicycle touring Panniers
Gretchen feeling triumphant at the top of the pass. We certainly earned our
lunch that day.
The drop into the valley beyond the pass was much drier. We passed apple farm
after apple farm.
After a wild three day ride, we finally reached Hatkoti. This tiny town is home
of some picturesque temples where people come for weddings. It's also the site
of a large hydroelectric project being built now.
Out of Hatkoti, we will follow the Tons River towards Har Ki Dun.
The bride and groom, covered with cash gifts from relatives. The groom is
wearing a cap popular with local men.
After a short break, Tim is ready to tackle another round of climbing.
Stopping to consult the map.
Dust has turned my touring cycle as gray as the surrounding rocks.