Going Up

I left Manali and Ride Inn, fingers crossed for fair weather, one of the bike riders I had spoken to (Eric originally from America but now resident in Manali with his wife and son) had told me about his journey a few days previously when chaotic traffic and bad snow conditions had made Baralacha La impassable and trapping vehicles up there - even motorbike were stuck, for 14 hours, whilst vehicles from the size of a car and upwards were trapped there for 36 hours.
After relating this to me, he said I shouldn't have to worry as an Army convoy had been sent up there to clear the road. However, as I gathered from the anticipatory looks on the faces around me, I was going to be the first bike they knew to try the route - Ms Coates- International Guinea Pig, that's me.

The next morning dawned fair and sunny

I even met a few other bikes on the road

Things can get a bit tight up there, as cars jostle for space on the narrow roads. At this time of year there are a lot of "snow tourists", people from the hot plains of India, heading to the mountains for a glimpse of snow.

You can see the gridlock that is caused.

I squeezed through between the vehicles, everyone is very good-natured and waves through the bikes.

I made it - similar to Tibet, each mountain pass is marked with hundreds of colourful prayer flags, flapping in the wind.

The top of the pass had a lot of snow

Not many people in sight except these shepherds/goatherds with their flock, making their way through the snow