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Tiuni to Yamunotri in the Char Dham of Garhwal, Uttarakhand, India

(May, 2012)

Free camping next to a mountain stream in Uttarkhand, India. We were next to the highway but down a little dip so we were invisible.


On the banks of the Tons River, this is an absolutely stunning river valley. Not far from this, we saw a white water rafting camp site.


The main drawback to camping in this area, and it is a huge drawback, are the evil biting black flies. Instead of gently sucking blood like mosquitoes, these flies actually drill a hole in your skin, then cluster around the would to sip your gushing blood. My ankles looked like this for at least two weeks.


Taking the connecting road from the Tons River valley to the Yamuna River valley. This was a great road for a morning climb and fast downhill on the other side. In the pine forest we came upon a group of monkeys eating pinecones.




The road surface here is amazingly smooth. We've learned to appreciate a well-paved road.


We spent the night in Purola, a tiny town with plenty of guesthouses.


Roland from Switzerland and Tim from the USA.  Roland had been traveling many years and looked the part.  I asked for a web site or blog address to post here but he doesn't go through the trouble of posting one.


Many of the small cities in the mountains just do not have enough space to pass like this.  The truck driver actually parked here and was not around - held up traffic for an hour.


Helpful roadside sign of the Char Dham pilgrimage sites. Before we found a good map, this was a good source of information, even if it was all written in Hindi.


We met Steven from Germany in the Indian mountains.  He was on his very first bicycle tour.  I would say he hit the ground running because I would not recommend India's traffic to beginners but he seemed to be a natural to bike travel and having a good time - except he was breaking spokes and needed a new rear wheel.


Steven from Germany and Tim from  Drifltlandia.


We had a stop in Barkot, with its annoying traffic and intermittent power supply.


Steven and Gretchen slipping passed road equipment fighting the good fight to keep the roads open.


In the mountains, pack ponies become a major form of transportation.


These little towns sometimes have a restaurant - or not. At times, all you can find is a tea shop and a package of cookies.


The cliff walls rose around us rather spectacularly.




One of the more mysterious road signs.


The road up the Yamuna River valley was amazing.


Gretchen stops to gaze at the scenery once again.


This man was well educated and spoke English easily.  He told me he had dropped out of his high power job in Mumbai and went on a spiritual quest to walk all of India visiting all the Hindu sacred spots.  I wonder about his wife and kids?


Terraced fields across the valley.


We saw countless waterfalls every day of this ride.







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