The Murphy Law states that, “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong”
Once we reached at the top of Jalori Pass, we realized why is it called the steepest pass of the state. From Shimla side, climbing Jalori Pass is not an easy task, especially with a luggage carrier and a pillion rider. The motorbike becomes too-hot-to-handle after every few kilometers and one just cannot think about any other gear but the first gear only. Few weeks ago, I had visited the Jalori Pass and when I entered inside the tea shop, where I rested during my last visit, the shop owner asked me,” Sir, quite a long journey. You coming back after three weeks. What all places did you see?” He remembered that I had visited his shop and I explained to him that this journey is not a part of that journey, however both these journeys are part of One Journey, which just goes on and on.
We were not lucky enough this time and we could not get a sight of the Great Himalayan National Park peaks. But there was other surprise(s) waiting for us.
We were inspecting our motorbikes and as soon as the front shocker screw-bolt was touched, it fell down. The front shocker was shaking and it could have resulted in a serious accident because we were cruising at a speed of 80+ kmph on the National Highway. We got it fixed somehow and moved on. Since Day One, this motorbike was making noises and we concluded that the noises were coming from the front tire, as it had a loose bolt but we were wrong, which we realized after crossing Pandoh dam. Going down the steep Jalori Pass was not easy and it took us another one hour to descent 13 kilometers of 60 degree gradient road. We intended to meet Padam Ji [MyHimachal Team Member] but our plans failed us again and we simply moved pass every town and village without stopping for a second.
The town of Banzar continued to amaze us. I had a Deja-Vu feeling as I found every person staring at us. However, let us move on to the interesting part. The bike was still making noises and it was practically impossible for the pillion to safeguard his assets. He even filed a mercy plea with the rider to drop him and help him board a bus but the plea was, obviously rejected and the torture continued.
The same motorbike, loose spring, possibly broken shockers, survived a near-fall in the mighty Beas River near Pandoh Dam. There is one thing about the state transport bus services in Himachal, they have been winning the best bus service award for three years in a row, that they are the best. They are the safest too but for the passengers sitting inside the bus, for the people driving/walking/sleeping outside, they can inflict massive damage, depression or simply heart attack. They just don’t apply brakes, they make full use of the lights, turn on the dipper/flash light, move on, to hell with the other vehicle. The malfunctioning motorbike had to face the brutality of a bus but it just survived.
We had rented one bike from Manali, so we called the owner to come to Pandoh and take the bike from there. He reached well in time, did not charge anything extra from us. And he too gave us a piece of news, which could have become a pain in the ass for us. He told us that all the spare parts, the spare part box weighed at least 10 kg, were of no good use to us because our bikes were of the new make. The clutch plates, the tire tubes, the accelerator wires, the brake shoes and even the spark plug was duplicate.
Imagine your machine breaks down in the Spiti Valley, where finding a mechanic means finding God and that too in physical form. And above that, you get to know that the spare part you have been carrying as your lifeline is actually duplicate and of no use to you. How would you feel?
We almost had that feeling but luckily we survived unscathed else last year story would have repeated itself.
Once we said goodbye to the greatest pillion riders of all times we felt happy about completing the trip and not leaving anyone behind, unlike last year. We decided to halt in Mandi and after sleeping for complete 12 hours without troubling our asses anymore, we got up next morning to continue the journey and culminate it.
The biggest surprise of my life was waiting for me there. The back shockers were gone and when I say gone, I mean they were broken, both of them. The shocker rods were broken and then I realized the reason behind my ass getting extra bouncy on not so bouncy roads. I touched the shocker and literally it came out in my hand. The whole trip was done on front shockers and that thought sent a chill down my spine. The first thing I did, I called the pillion and inquired with him if he was able to walk properly or not. He could not voice his opinion because he said he is getting used to the changed environment.
Before the trip had started, the spare part dealer told us that if the shocker rod breaks, you get a reward of INR 100,000 because it never breaks. He strongly advised us not to carry any extra shockers with us.
We were wondering if his experience was limited or we just had a wonderful trip that included no injuries. All fun and a broken shocker that supposedly worked perfect for all the five days.
Ignorance is Bliss!
Next is What? – Destination Saach Pass!