Day 37, August 20, 2017 Kokhsar to Jispa
Distance – 70 kilometres
Duration- 9 hours
After yesterdays challenging journey through the formidable Rohtang Pass (13, 050 feet above sea level) today was
comparatively easier though in absolute terms it was no mean task keeping in view the road conditions and the high altitude terrain .
Sunitas cheerful spirit which the rain and lfog had attempted to dampen yesterday was back after a goodnights sleep. But the same was not true about the clothes and other belongings which continued to be damp and wet. Sunita decided to pick out two sets of clothes and socks ( for herself and Jen) which felt the least damp and set out in them- leaving the body heat to take care of the drying process. So by 8:00am the duo was on the road pedaling forcefully to hit the planned destination of Jispa.
The road was very bad – broken and slushy in many places and there were times when Sunita regretted not having replaced her bike with an MTB which probably would have been more suitable to negotiate these perilous roads. Probably it was her emotional side which got the better of her, she confessed. Over the past month she had developed a bond with her bike and she was probably reluctant to let go of the bike during this last leg of her journey.
The duo had company when they reached Tandi after crossing Sissu a small village on Manali – Leh highway. They met two cyclists – One of them was from Thailand who was exploring India on a cycle. He had left his country in the month of January and had travelled more than 4000 kilometres. He accompanied them till Keylong where he decided to stay for a couple of days. The other cyclist was Miguel from France who had come to Manali for a trek At Manali he met some cyclists who were cycling to Leh. Inspired by them he too decided to cycle to Leh. He was happy to meet Sunita and Jen and is now accompanying them-the more the merrier. The trio took a break at Keylong where Sunita and Jn bought some warm clothing for the ongoing journey. Finally they stopped at a homestay in Jispa for the night – their last stop in the state of Himachal Pradesh before entering the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
Tomorrow they will be entering a zone where no mobile network is available and for the next 2-3 days Sunita will be out of communication. The next few days are going to be extremely testing as she will be crossing Baralacha La at a height of 16,0400 feet. It is one of the highest mountain passes in the Zanskar range of Jammu and Kashmir.