Day 4 — Manali — Rohtang Pass — Chhatru — Middle of Nowhere
We woke up at 0400 hours and headed to the lobby with our belongings. The vehicles arrived shortly and we loaded our equipment onto the roofs of the vehicles. We were excited and reluctant at the same time. Excited because this marked the commencement of our expedition; reluctant because we had to leave behind the comforts of warm beds, warm showers, and Wi-Fi. We would miss these things that we take for granted everyday. We were heading into an area where even cell phone reception was impossible.
Ozgun sneaking a smile
Yong Siang and Yi Qian
Javier catching a nap and Raymond doing something
Bags on the roof!
We had to leave early because of possible road closures and we wanted no delays. At 1000 hours, we came to a popular pass in India: Rohtang Pass. From May till about June, this pass is filled with snow and many locals come here for a holiday to escape the blistering heat in other parts of India.
Getting ready for a picture with the flag on the way up Rohtang Pass
Yaks mowing the lawn
Clear blue skies
We got out of the vehicles and took a short walk at the pass. We were treated to sort of a history lesson on why it’s named Rohtang. Rohtang literally means “many people died”, and many people did die here in the past. It was one of the main routes that people take to access other parts of India. The weather changes very quickly at high passes and people died while walking through the pass. It could be sunny at one moment, and snowy the next. It’s made worse by the fact that this pass is HUGE! I love mountains and unsurprisingly, the beauty of the mountain range that stood before me amazed me.
Adding some rocks to fix the road
On the way to our campsite, we passed by Chhatru, a tiny little village. When Samuel was here during the recce, this place was a ghost town but it’s now bustling with activity. We stopped for a quick snack!
Quick snack at Chhatru
Mountain Man – Complete with beard
Uncle! Teh Tarik!
If you don’t put lip balm, you’re going to kena Angelina Jolie again
We arrived at our campsite at 1300 hours. The weather was good as it was windy and sunny. There were no clouds in the sky! We set up our tents and had our first mountain meal.
Back to our good ol’ dining tent!
After lunch, we decided to take a hike up to a small waterfall in the distance. It was good for our acclimatization. We are finally back in the comforts of the great outdoors (From all of us: WHAT?! Comforts…)
Javier and the waterfall
Yong Siang doing some bouldering
Our camp site. The bright side and the dark side shows the setting sun
First attempt at star shooting