Day 3 (14th Sep 2014)
We woke up around 8 AM, rather late as per our ride timings, but today was a bit relaxed day for us.
Day 3 Route Map
Our next destination Manali, was not far and we were also aware that roads are good in this section. We took this opportunity and after a quick breakfast, went ahead to explore the valley.
We rode across the Gushaini village and the point where the trek trail starts for Great Himalayan National Park (GHNP).
It was around 11 AM when we finally said adieu to Tirthan valley and headed towards Manali.
Nothing eventful on the way till Manali except that it was an overcast day again.We joined the Mandi-Manali highway at a place called Aut,just at the entrance of the 3 km long Aut tunnel.3 kms is a long way once you are inside the tunnel, it just does not seem to end.Till date this remains to be the longest tunnel we have crossed and I must say that it’s way better then the jawahar tunnel in J&K.
Now no journey is complete without some problems with the machines we were riding and here was our first one.Since yesterday, my Jr.Black Bull was making some creaky sound from the rear tire. We checked it multiple times but could not figure out where the sound was coming from. We then decided to visit the Royal Enfield service center in Manali. Once at Manali we checked into a decent budget hotel, courtesy Adi, he has used their services multiple times.
After a quick fresh up we were ready to visit Royal Enfield service center for checkup, as we came out of the hotel, rain Gods followed us and came with full force. We had no option, rain gear was out and we packed our self and rode on. Now since it’s a Royal Enfield showroom we thought it will be easy to locate, but we were wrong, had to ask for directions at least 10 times to reach the place. Damn, why do they have to complicate things so much? Well, thankfully, we were attended promptly and the cause of the creaky sound was also found. It was a small broken spring inside the drum shorter which was replaced. Good that we got this rectified here else could have made more damage to rest of the parts. Adi also got a quick check up done for TB Baby and without much fuss we were good to go.
By the time we were free from service station Rain was gone for the day; we stopped at El ferno for a quick lunch of Pizza and coffee. I’ve heard so much about the place and its homemade pizza’s that I had to experience that myself. The pizza was really awesome and lived up to its reputation, however for me the price was on a higher side.(We Motorcycle riders are budget travelers you see)
There was nothing much to be done here in the touristy Manali except a stroll on the main market and have dinner in one of the dhabas in by lanes of Manali. We were back at our hotel after dinner around 9AM.While Adi watched Criminal Investigations on TV and I checked weather forecast for the next few days on my cellphone. A couple of calls to near and dear ones and just to give them a heads up that we may be out of mobile network for 3 days until we reach Chamba. However, I was wrong, my Airtel postpaid voice and data both worked till Udaipur.
A quick call to Narinder Ji, our inspiration for this ride, re-assured us that all will be well. With this and a prayer on our minds for good weather tomorrow we went to bed. We will be crossing the infamous Rohtang Pass (literal meaning Pile of corpses); however, these days it is more infamous of long jams of vehicles. We have to start as early as possible tomorrow so time to hit the bed early today.