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Thumbnail Pictures of Himachal Pradesh and Uttaranchal, India

April and May, 2012)

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Chandigarh, Punjab & Haryana to Theog Himachal Pradesh, India

(April 2012)

We found a small flat spot on an otherwise steep incline.  The tent was at a bit of a slant as it was and I had to crawl forward a couple of time during the night.  The forest was picked clean of firewood so, to conserve the pile of sticks we scavenged, I made a small rock circle and  slowly fed our small but hot fire.  I still use many tricks I learned in my years in the Boy Scouts. 

500 Indian Rupee notes worth about US$10 each - a small fortune here - No matter what currency you use, it it still makes the world go round. 

View from the mountain pass between Theog and Hatkoti - just above Shimla. This was the first clear day after three days of overcast skies and rain showers.

A good Indian lunch.  Beans and rice go a long way to fuel up the mountains.

Outside of the Sikh temple in Shimla, the knife sharpener sets up his bicycle powered knife sharpener.


Theog to Hatkoti, Himachal Pradesh, India

(April 2012)

Gretchen make a hard run at a black  puddle but got stopped by a foot-deep mud quagmire

We paused at a tiny cluster of stores that serves as the shopping center and bus station for the surrounding mountain villages.

The bride and groom, covered with cash gifts from relatives. The groom is wearing a cap popular with local men.

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 altitude rain.

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. 


Hatkoti to Tiuni, Himachal Pradesh - Uttarakhand, India

(May, 2012)

The pavement is tricky, sometimes rutted out, occasionally pristine. Wherever we go, there are always the notorious Indian trucks to share the road with.

This is one of the most beat up currency notes I have ever seen.  This 5 Indian Rupee note (US$0.12) can still buy one of the bags of chips in the background.

This high school student had just purchased his Geometry textbooks and let me take a look. Even in a wild dusty town like Tiuni, Indian students are challenged in their studies.

Our bikes parked in from of a small food stall.  We had beans and rice and omelets.

Tim collecting water from a mountain spring.  We fill the 10 liter bag, tie it to the back of the bike, then find a place to camp. 


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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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?


Yamunotri, Temple and River Trek, Uttarkhand, India

(May 2012)

Every afternoon, great piles of gray clouds started rolling down the valley. The rumbling thunder was alarming and often sent us scurrying for shelter, even though the storm didn't

The Yamunotri temple was mobbed with pilgrims. Many Indians take family vacations to visit these holy spots.

Some Babas we met walking the sacred Hindu pilgrimage route.  We grinded up the switchbacks and they cut the corners on the foot trails so we just traveled about the same speed and got to know them over several days

A wonderful basic guest house/hotel at the source of the Yamuna River, 3000 meters high in the Indian Himalaya. US$8/night and great views - but no hot water and limited electricity.

Stalls near the temple sell offering kits. Often included is a plastic jug so visitors can collect pure water from its holy source.


Yamunotrito to Campsite below Gangotri, Uttarakhand, India

(May, 2012)

A small temple at the summit of a small set of hills we crossed. The babas stay here in flimsy shacks and perform ceremonies for the locals. I believe there is a lot coconut breaking in these ceremonies, spurring an active coconut shipping business.

Leaving Yamunotri, we got to revisit all the hills we'd ridden up. This spaghetti bit of switchbacks was all rock and mud, a little treacherous on the the downhill.

Can you see my cracked rim???  I never have had a touring bicycle rear wheel last more than 2 continuous years on the road and that is how long I have been running around the Indian Sub-Continent.  I am hoping it holds together until I get to Katmandu and the only real bike shop for thousands of kilometers.  I Crazy Glued the crack and disconnected the rear brake. Okay it's a little crazy, but I'm going to ride through this very mountainous area for the next 6 weeks with only front brakes. 

Looking back towards the mountain. We rode all that and next week we'll ride another just like it.

If you're a guru, this is the place to be.

Another local crop. Grows like a -um- weed.



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