It has been a month since I have returned from solo cycling trip in Indian Himalayas.
Impressions clearly overloaded my brain. This was first time I’ve been to Real Mountains – the highest pass, Kunzum, was at 4500m. And this was my first time I’ve been to a non-Western country (not counting my home Russia, which I’d put “on the border”).
The route was easy: start at Shimla, and follow the National Highway 22 (with some variations in the beginning) until Manali. Oh the highway… Never have seen anything like this before.
Numbers, mostly of interest to cyclists only:
- 9 ride days
- 750km covered
- Total altitude gain is still not counted, although three biggest gains were 1600, 1300 and 1000 meters
- Was caught in a snowfall in Lossar, 4000m:
- In the plains (Chandigarh), the temperature was in +30 range
- On the National Highway 22, passed landslides three times. Two of them, the bike could just ride through, like this one:
once had to wait until it’s cleaned (I waited just half an hour, but others were there from the morning to the evening):
- Stayed in the tent two times, in hotels and various “rooms” 11 times.
In fact the impressions of India as a country overweigh the “mountain-cycling” impressions. It deserves much more than one blog post – even much more than one book. All my perception of the surrounding world is now a little bit different than it was before. Probably such thing is called “cultural shock”. I’m so happy that this happened; now I see how terribly narrow view I previously had.
Of the real India, I have seen only Chandigarh, which is described in all guides as most comfortable city in the country. Still it is, of course, Indian city (just like my home Saint Petersburg is the most European of the Russian cities, but still fully Russian).
I’m feeling own deficiency of not being a good writer to describe my thoughts about these two weeks. So far I have produced a technical report, with details for cyclists such as what tires to put on your bike and how much food to carry.
All pictures (unprocessed) piled here.