Sai Ropa-Shoja-Jalori Pass-Sainj-Narkanda-Shimla-Kalka-Delhi-Chata, Mathura

Start time from Sai Ropa at 1 pm and Reached hotel in Mathura district at 7 am [including stops and flat tire repair]

After a lazy start to the day, we truly start to make the return journey. The plan was to take Allahabad at night, after 10 pm, and thus calculated that we have to be at Delhi side in the early morning of that day.

Again the journey was through some beautiful pin forests and as well as challenging as we take up the steep climb to Jalori pass [all 1st and sometimes 2nd gear]. The road condition towards Jalori Pass from the Shoja side is almost gravel rather than that from the Shimla side.

At Jalori Pass

After crossing Jalori Pass, a short break

At Sainj we get up on the NH22 highway again and the back journey goes through Narkanda and Shimla. Just between Sainj and Kingal, at around 5 pm, as I take u-turn on an up incline, suddenly the SUV moves sideways and the steering became tight and hear tyre flapping sound, and in a second the worst fear comes up, we have a FLAT TYRE. First lot 2.2 LX has tubed tyres.

Well it happens just at the start of the incline. Cant park over here. Go slowly up the incline with the flat and make the turn and change over, still at a incline. Take out all the heavy luggage the jack had to go to a modified position. It was hard, hard work with fading evening light, and the Safari tyres are heavy. But again, just to appreciate the wonderful people of Himachal, around couple of local drivers stopped to ask if I wanted help. Told me the situation was under control and thanked for their goodness.

Repaired the tyre at Kingal and we lost around 2.5 hours because of all that. An oblong stone of around 2.5 inches was inside and was totally flushed with the tyre surface and as I parked with a flat tyre, the rotations made the tube have 3 punctures.

And then the journey again started and continued all through night, crossed Shimla through the city itself as the bypass is quite round about, and then was at Delhi around 6 am, got lost at the Ashram crossing and went a few kms forward before again going back to take the road towards Faridabad and Mathura. Just after crossing the Delhi/UP border at around 8 am, looked out for a hotel and stayed. Glad that I ultimately made up to here as definitely wanted to take on Allahabad at night, had a big breakfast and promptly went off to sleep at around 9 am.

Morning near Delhi border

With intermittent sleep, got up at around 5 pm, evening. With luggages packed and a full tank of diesel we start the long return journey, from Mathura to Kolkata. Crossed Allahabad in a jiffy as we went through the city around 230-3 am.

Somewhere before Varanasi, felt very sleepy, stopped at a local tea shop that opened up around 530 am. There was a local temple and as the morning chants came out we took a longish tea break. And from there we took another break at the Reliance A1 in Bihar for lunch and another break at Shaktigarh for some tea and langcha --reaching home, Kolkata, at around 630 pm on Oct 14, 2008, Tuesday.

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