After nice stay at Bahu, again the time for continuing the journey had come on 6th day when we had to go to Jalori-Pass, one of the toughest uphill and lovely place to visit. Today I was happy with light and more excited about Jalori Pass as well. Let's start this PHOTO JOURNEY from Bahu to Jalori Pass and then finally camping at Shawadh..
We moved ahead in search of nice location to have some shots and this was first day when we got a decent waterfall on road-side. Most of the times we used to get breakfast packed as it was really difficult to gulp paranthas as 7 am in the morning. After reaching this waterfall we had enough time in hand and thought of having breakfast at this lovely place. That's why you see these energetic folks flying in the air.
Suddenly all the top riders started coming and I was all set with my cameras... There was very high contrast at the same time and timing needed to be very correct to get right composition with riders in light with decent background having waterfall and some green portions...
Dogs are smelling Zingaroo it seems. Last night Kingfisher stock was finished and Zingaroo was served to these riders. btw, Kingfisher was official sponsor of this event and Royal Challenge as well. But only Kingfisher was allowed to riders, Royal Challenge was for officials only. And it seemed that culture was to drink in dark areas and not well socialize with people around. Usually evenings of MTB were extremely boring. Come to camps, have some snacks, take bath, have dinner, some liquor and sleep. Fortunately I had good company and really enjoyed this trip !!! Big Thanks to Rohit Sharma who was covering this event for Doordarshan !
It was an uphill and we crossed through various villages on the way. This day we were following the first batch of riders and surprisingly our car was able to follow them. Otherwise these riders just fly in air. Subhash, one of the video pro was really happy because he was able to take a really good footage while following these folks...
A Himachali person sitting with his son on roadside and watching MTB riders from various part of the world coming to their village and happily welcoming them.
Suddenly the tarmac road said 'Alvida' and now we were crossing through very dry place surrounded by rocky hills and kuchha road with lot of dust. See these riders moving fast on these rough roads and official vehicles chasing them and ensuring that things are going good without any problem.
There were some water streams crossing the road but all this doesn't impact these riders. Since lighting was good, I was able to play with my lens to get this star effect out of shining sun. I love trying this shot on hills as we get clear environment and good light make the things perfect.
Another similar shot with official Scorpio and DJ was using this one. DJ is one of the brilliant people who know lot about all these Himalayas terrain in depth. Talk to him for about 1 hr about Himachal, various places in any part of Himachal, especially Shimla, Mandi, Kullu, Lahaul and Kinnaur. These days, his focus is on Kangra, Palampur and Bir regions and soon coming up with a cycling event in Kangra.
See how small these riders look in front of a portion of Himachali Hill. This region was really dry, but beautiful. Now it was hardly 15 kilometers drive to Jalori and we were more excited about that. Also Jalori was place for lunch gathering. There were some shops at jalori where we could have hot maggi, omelet etc. Tea was amazing and now I forgot the name of that dhaba...
Soon we reached Jalori Pass and we had a quick lunch. On reaching at jalori pass, we realized that only 10 odd riders had reached top and others were far behind the first batch, which was a usual thing in MTB. First batch was mainly of Nepal team and Army folks. Knowing all these facts and calculating time in hand, we started our chat with local folks about the places around. We got to know about a lake nearby which would take 1.5 hrs to go and come back. and we had this much time in hand. Most of us were convinced with the idea and left for that lake. Although time estimation was not correct and we regretted about our decision. But later we were happy that we didn't miss much and next terrain was almost same as the many previous terrains. So it was worth exploring a new place called Sarolsar lake.
While came back, we were given some fundas about Sarolsar Lake, that one can never find a single leaf floating in this lake. If any leaf come to the lake top, birds in surroundings come and pick that out. But I have some photographs which clearly show some leaves floating on top of this lake. I will be sharing photographs from Sarolsar Lake soon.
A photograph showing rider taking his bike and shadow to Jalori Pass. Last year when we came to Jalori Pass, all the surrounding hills were covered with snow, but this time there was nothing. Snow seems good to tourists but make localite's life hell. No water, no electricity, disconnection from rest of the world and what not.
Jalori Pass was main attraction of day-6 of Mountain Terrain biking Himachal Pradesh 2011 !!! Although it was the highest point as it was last year but still riders were excited that they will be touching Jalori Pass. This time highest peak was Hatu peak !!!
Here is a rough road in the middle of lush green hills of Jalori Pass. Huge cedars around Jalori Pass make this place more beautiful... But I have spoiled this photograph :(
Shhhh.. It's interview time. Ajay Pandit Chettri, Chapion of Mountain terrain biking Himachal Pradesh 2010 as well as 2011. Best uphill and best downhill of 2011 as well. And I can't even count the number of awards he got in MTB Himachal 2011 !! A Great champ who had imported his recent bike from US for 4.5 Lacs. I was shocked to hear about the cost of his bike.
It was time to move fast towards camps and have some rest !!
More Photographs of the event to come... So keep watching this place and get in touch at VJ@travellingcamera in case of more information about this event !!!
FOR MORE PHOTOGRAPHS OF MTB 2011 :-
Please keep in mind that I was not a rider in this event and can't comment anything about the difficulty level of these stretches... If I have mentioned anything about the same, that's my personal opinion and feel free to correct me...
Please leave your comments about this post and share suggestions for future postings...
To know more about this event, I can be reached at VJ@travellingcamera.com