All pictures are copyright of respective owners. Pictures by deba and adc. Shot with Canon 400D and Canon S3 IS Powershot

We [me, wife and our 3.5-year-old son] was what it was planned but then one of my friend, Deba, asked me if he could come also as he wanted to experience definitely the destination that we were going to but also the road journey, highway all night journeys in car. However, he does not know driving at all but still made a very good companion in the night drives, always awake and chatting with us as we munched up miles on highways through the night.

Also while coming from Kaza to Manali via Kunzum and Rhotang, we had one more passenger, a backpacker who fell from a truck while travelling on top and had his hand immobilised on a wooden plank. We dropped him off at Manali as there was inadequte x-ray facility in Kaza.

A few maps were downloaded from the internet and also a detailed road map of Himachal was bought. Websites and articles on the net were consulted and came up with the quite encompassing route.

No pre-booking of hotels were done, as we were going just before the Durga Puja holiday season started. We just had a rough plan of being where on what day and modify our travel plan as per the situation.

Himachal witnessed some of the worst weathers in 45 years just 10 days before our journey, with 48 hours of non-stop rain and snow. People had to be evacuated by helicopters and blankets were air dropped. But luck was on our side, we got some of the best weather as it cleared up in the subsequent days.

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But with a child of 2.5 years we were not taking any chances. The Safari was loaded at its back to the roof. Will post a picture of what we all had but that comes up later. Other than 4 bags full of clothes, we had a trunk full of blankets, a gas stove, a 5 kg cylinder, a sack full of utensils and food, and a 20-litre Kinley jar. Safari has a 65-L tank and so did not take any fuel cans.