However if I was looking for more excuses (for you especially rascally readers that demand more frequent updates), and often I do (despite what I might say otherwise), I would suggested that my lack of updates are due, not to circumstance within my control, but because of my being out and about in the mountains and therefore far far away from internet & computers; and now I can put an end to deferring my blog, write this current entry which will be lengthy and full of whimsical stories and vibrant pictures of me messing around with a bunch of Indians, and ultimately put an end to this run-on sentence. With any luck to you, the reader, I will do what I can to save you from my long rambling prose wherever a picture may take its place.
For example here’s me on my balcony taking a picture as I pretend to write this entry:
I’d been away from Mumbai for about 3 ½ weeks with the excuse of further investigating this obscure ski resort idea I’ve mentioned in the past. However, what dominated my time was a 485 kilometer bicycle ride across the Himalayan and Zanskar mountain Ranges; the beginning climbed out of the Kullu Valley, up the southern Himalayan foothills, north and further up and across both ranges, into the Indus Valley (where India’s first civilizations flourished in 2500 B.C. (ironically in much of what is now under Pakistani control)) where the mighty Indus River chooses to flow, and ultimately ends in the high-desert town of Leh.
I first spent about five days in
Despite all suggestions made by people who understand the Indian highway system, I bought an Indian road bike rather than the preferred (preferably imported) mountain bike. I chose this option for one simple reason: I planned to ride on a road. Anther reason, less profound though no less simple, I planned on riding up big hills and would enjoy riding back down the other side on a zippy road bike built for being zippy on big downhills. So, I was off…
Fortunately (for I didn’t really know where I was off to or how to get there by cycle (until what I’m about to write about happened)), before boarding the bus I found a wonderful website that sympathetically laid out the ride including a route profile, distances between important points, place to camp, and where to get food/water! I pushed print and used this six-rupee copy from then on as if my life depended on it. Peculiarly, after boarding this bus from Delhi to Manali, I found myself assigned to sit next to the only other foreigner on the bus; he also happened to be the only other person with a bicycle; he also happened to be a long-distance cyclist; even more unlikely he happened to be the author of that wonderful website that would prove so useful!
Anyway, I promised fewer words and more pictures, so let’s get to it. Riding out of the
(note, to view these panoramas, a recent version of Apple's QuickTime may need to be installed or updated)