Sun 9 Oct: Delhi
We arrived in the morning and checked into the Claridges Hotel. In the afternoon we visited Bookworm in Connaught Circle and bought the Nest and Wings guide which accompanied us for the rest of the trip. Delhi was hot.
Mon 10: DelhiMussoorie
Tues 11: Mussoorie (47km, 1070m ascent)
Mussoorie is okay. We reassembled the bikes and in the afternoon dropped down to the plains in the direction of Dehra Dun for the pleasure of climbing back up and testing our bikes. Traceys wrist altimeter immediately started to complain of a low battery.
Weds 12: MussoorieBarkot (95km, 1050m)
Thurs 13: BarkotJanki Chatti (50km, 1600m)
There are occasional glimpses of the Bandarpunch mountains at the head of the valley. The route passes through the small villages of Syana Chatti and Rana Chatti; soon tarmac gives way to a difficult rough surface. Hanuman Chatti is the former roadhead, now seemingly more of a potato depot. Eventually we rolled into Janki Chatti as clouds began to threaten.
Notes: We stayed at the Arvind Annex, which was okay. The GMVN resthouse looks quite pleasant from the outside, but is a little further on beyond the end of the road.
During this ride we had the second of our misfortunes with altimeters: the sender of Colins computer lost its top. All our readings from now on were partly manual.
Fri 14: Janki ChattiYamunotriBarkot (12km/600m on foot, 50km/400m riding)
We left our bikes at Janki Chatti for the steep walk to Yamunotri.
We had breakfast and walked briskly back to Janki Chatti. Immediately across the stream from here is the village of Kharsali, noted for its temple but equally interesting for its unspoilt traditional architecture. Like many places in Garhwal, it reminds the visitor more of Nepal than of other parts of India.
The temple itself is several storeys high, and could as easily be a fortification or a granary as a religious building. The local boys will show you around for a few rupees and a temple offering. The children of Garhwal have not been spoilt by tourists, and havent learnt to pester for one pen, one rupee, one bonbon.
It was still not lunchtime. We got back on our bikes and bumped down to Hanuman Chatti for a meal. From here it was an easy sunny ride down to Barkot.
Sat 15: BarkotNetala (90km, 1400m)
From the bend near Barkot
Notes: We stayed at the Mahima Resort, which was inexpensive and quite attractive.
The road is not quite safe as it bypasses Uttarkashi. It lies below an unstable hillside which discharges the occasional rock onto travellers.