7th July, 2008.
Route: Kullu – Manali.
Distance Covered: 42 Km.
The day of rest and bike checkups, the most crucial part before starting further on the journey, as there would potentially be no proper mechanic shops until we reach Leh.
Started from kullu around 8.00 and reached Manali around 10- 10.30am. Had breakfast break on the way to Manali. Found Bajaj Bike point, owned by Ashok, on the Manali-Leh highway along river Beas, where we were to get our bikes checked and serviced, where we were to get mechanic to accompany us during the trip. After giving our bikes to Ashok for checkup, we checked into a Hotel in Manali. The atmosphere was surprisingly quiet hot that day. Had cold water bath. Snow capped mountain peaks were visible through the windows of our room for the first time in our journey.
The pulsars are quite rough and tough bikes they were in perfect conditions; there was absolutely no need for any high altitude engine adjustments. Just tightened breaks and adjusted chain tension and wheel balancing. Sudhakar’s thunderbird needed attention and was in garage for most of the day. When the mechanic opened his bike, there was absolutely no engine oil in his bike and this had resulted in worn-out clutch plates.
Most of the day we spent at the Hotel. Finally after all bikes were services we ventured out in the Manali market. Had late afternoon snacks in place of lunch. Roamed into the market, went to hiddimba temple (there was ghatotkatch temple as well), went back to the market. Sudhakar and Shantanu purchased hand gloves for rain protection. Had dinner at a continental hotel and went back to sleep. Tomorrow would be a big day.
Tomorrow we were to cross the last petrol pump at ‘Tandi’ before reaching ‘Leh’, a journey of 365kms without petrol pump, without cell-phone or a landline network. The only mode of civilian communication is the good old postal office.