Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Day2:Chandigarh to Manali -> 310km

I gathered myself up at 06:00AM in the morning. The medication and fever was taking a toll on me and I was very drowsy. Packed our luggage and loaded it to the truck. The destination today was some hotel 9km before Manali called the Asia Sulphur Spring. I went up to a near by petrol bunk for a fill and then we all gathered back at the hotel for the launch. With couple of people from RE Chandigarh leading us out of the city we started off the ride. It took sometime to clear Chandigarh and reach the highway, plain road and less traffic, made people nuts and I could see people flying cross me. That gave me a rush too and soon I was cursing at 100kmh. It was to be some 96km before the ghats start, hence the idea was to take the first
break just before that. I, Priya, Sridhar, Jacks took a stop near a Gurudwara before the ghats started. First stop was at Kiratpur, where we came to know that one of the riders fell off. So we had the first count of the trip and it was none other than only Sardar of our trip, Kultar Singh. He got some blows on his elbows and knees but his will was far too strong. He decided to go ahead for the ride, irrespective of the injuries. The poor chap had to answer too many questions because the reporters got something out of the usual. Later only he told us that he had to give interview even when he was looking at his bike and picking it up. In totality, he had to face around 5 interviews. Took a couple of snaps and a cup of tea and started of. As I was driving on the ghats after a long time. I used the rear brakes a lot and they got so hot that I could see smoke from the chain. We decided to take a short break to let the brakes cool down, also as they were making a lot of noise I got a bit scared. After the stop, we decided to take the next stop only at Mandi and hence we moved on. The scenery was turning from beautiful to wonderful. We got our first glimpse of snow covered mountains, through I had seen them before, but it was still thrilling. Roads were pretty good and after around 15 kms, one can see the bikers at distant hills, or down below in the end. The road were wonderful and I managed a decent speed and we
were quite on schedule even after the unscheduled break. River Beas flow all along the road, the river was thronging with water and rapids. The very idea of having a slip and fall was scary, as it would mean no return. On our way to Manali, there is one real nice dam and photography was not allowed there.At Manali, most of us went to market, saw honeymoon couples hugging, cuddling, caressing each other and again FOSLA members getting frustrated. Tanveer hit jackpot there, he located the exact reason why the hotel was called ‘Sulphur Springs’. This
is the first time we formed a group. Me, Chandan and Rishab, we decided to take a plunge in the hot sulphur water. It was fun as Chandan was feeling shy first to take bath along with us. We reminded him of those hostel/college days. The water was very hot but we felt very fresh after that. In the hotel, we saw David Beckham scoring from free kick, birthday celebrations of
Vineet and we were introduced to one more deadly, ice-cold character. He is a damn good rider from Chennai, the one and only Sooooooooooooooorrrrrrrryyyyyyyyyyyyaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa (Surya). He showed up, tried to smile, looked constipated and then Sachin gave us some crap about his achievements that not a soul was interested. Then Mr. Naidu also said something that again was ignored at mass level. There was another interesting character; he is known as sorry, He is the most dangerous rider, unidentified-riding object, an orange colored warning on your rear view mirror. If you didn’t get it, you’re not on the trip, its none other that the great warrior, Cleveland brown ‘MUTHuuuuuuooooooooOOOooo’ (spelled in WWF style). I was talking to Balwant (my third roomie) when I saw Muthu laughing and he was watching cricket match on the TV. I couldn’t get the reason but with the time I came to know that no one could ever understand Muthu’s mahima. In-charge officially declared that party is over and the real tough trip starts now. Everyone went back to the room and slept as it was going to be totally new and unknown road to be covered next day.