We get up and decide we should all go get a Hindu Blessing thinking this will maybe help our Enfield karma situation.
There's a brother/sister team working the crowd here at the temple. It breaks your heart to see these cute kids out begging.
We grab a little grub from the street merchants for the day. Some of our group are a little apprehensive still about the street vendors but I decide it's time to mix in just a little.
We saddle up and start toward Rohtang pass which is 4000m (13000') in elevation. We are getting used to the condition of the roads. Good thing because they wouldn't improve much. Sorry to say but this is not what the Enfields were designed for. Why the XT or DR is not the workhorse of this country I'll never understand. Those bikes would be a dream here.
The road over Rohtang follows a pretty intense route.
We are getting into the thick of the Himalaya's now it it is stunning!!
We climb for a bit and decide to pull over for some routine maintenance. The girls do some eye brow maintenance while I clean out METAL SHAVINGS from the rocker arms!! Looks like the oil change didn't take care of the issue. The valves are definitely ticking louder and I can no longer not acknowledge the deeper knocking noise. At this point, all we can do is baby it.
We're climbing past the mid way point and it's raining harder. The road is not good with deep mud and there are groups of bikers that are admitting defeat as they can't take it any more. It must've been a bit embarrassing as we charge by two up without thinking twice. Buuurrt and I have lot's of desert riding experience in really hairy conditions. With two up on the Enfields, I admit it is challenging riding.
We also have to admit defeat to a certain extent and Buurrrt has to drop his passenger for a stretch. It's raining and people are stuck.
It's getting hairy now!! I will also have to drop my passenger as we negotiate this mud trying to get passed numerous stuck cars and trucks. Again, I suspect this is not what's intended for these Enfields. We're nervous in this type of conditions on these bikes. Buurrrts bike starts acting up at this point with his clutch not wanting to disengage properly, not ideal when you really need it to release!!! My bike continues ticking and knocking and we're not really babying them at this point!!
We actually do pretty good at negotiating the cluster fu%! and the road improves a little. Note the bulldozer on the switchback in this photo. We'd learn that these beasts just live at different locations throughout these passes where they patrol the roads clearing rocks and fixing washouts.
We make the pass and start to descend the other side!! My bike is ecstatic now that it doesn't have to climb any more (we're a bit relieved as well). The rain lets up as we descend.
It's time for a reality break and take it down a few notches. The intensity of the first half of the day is almost overload!! The road conditions coupled with these piece of crap bikes that are barely doing the job along with this absolutely stunning terrain we are in is about too much. We decide we need a sip to ratchet it back a bit.
Even the passengers need a little something to help mellow out!!
A couple of Indians stop as their heading the other way. They can see that we've had an intense day and are not psyched to hear what's ahead of them on the other side of the pass. At least they'd be going down hill through the madness. On a side note, what the heck is all the stuff that people pack on their bikes? I see bikes, not only in India, where people have an unbelievable amount of stuff strapped on. You'd be amazed at what you DON'T need if you don't have it. Try it some time, you might be pleasantly surprised.
Things are really going well at this point.
This valley that we're dropping into is totally amazing!!
The road is not bad and we've got a nice cruise going as we work toward our goal, the town of Keylong for a place to stay.
We come to a confluence of the rivers and start up the next valley. We are so psyched to be traveling through this stuff!!
We make it to Keylong after a very intense day advancing only 117km!! My bike is going to need attention. I don't think it's wise to continue without addressing those metal shavings.
Keylong sits at about 3300 meters (10,000'). We find a great place to stay and settle in for what would be another VERY intense chapter in this adventure.