Day-3 Part-2 [22-Oct 2016]
GREF-Tipper Ride Rilkot to Milam
Sure enough around 3PM a Tipper arrived driven by a young and friendly Sardarji, Mandeep Singh. He readily agreed to take us to Milam, if we don't mind riding in the Tipper's back. The Tipper was a powerful truck with 4WD and Power-steering.
I managed to get a seat in the driver's cabin along with 2 GREF mechanics because of my age, whereas Manz and Prem had an awful, bumpy & dusty ride at the back. The Tipper left Rilkot around 3:50PM. The road was bad with lots of earth, boulders & stones and many sharp hairpin bends. It was a hell of a ride (for those at the back) holding on to a front railing in the Tipper, while cement & dust was swirling all around, choking them despite the handkerchief they had tied to cover their nose and mouth.
There were some scary moments too when the driver had to turn the steering wheel furiously at some very narrow hair-pin bends. A small mistake and we would be going down thousands of feet into the river! The road was especially scary while climbing steeply near Rilkot on hair-pin bends to gain altitude.
At places, the GREF mechanic had to go out to clear freshly fallen boulders from the road. They must have fallen, in the last 1 hour or so, since the time the truck came down the road from Milam. There was no other traffic on that road except this Tipper (and a Gypsy that operates for GREF officers, in morning and evening to and from Milam & Rilkot).
We crossed over to the other side of Gori-ganga (i.e. true left side) on a steel truss bridge somewhere before Burfu and then a little ahead at a Junction we turned sharply 280 degrees right, to go up to Burfu for a 2 min stop (at 4:30PM) for some GREF work by the Driver.
From Burfu, we resumed our way towards Milam and then while passing Ganghar and Pachuu villages we got a nice view up the Pachuu Glacier valley of the Nanda Devi Massif. The driver stopped the Tipper briefly for 1 min for us to click pics of Nanda Devi (5PM) ... but it was getting a bit dark and the light was not best to shoot Pics, still we got some cool pics of ND from the Truck without getting down.
A few minutes later as neared Milam we got some shots of the Milam Glacier and the snow peaks of Hardeol and Trisuli above, from the road.
We got dropped off at Milam (3420M) near the ITBP and GREF camps and walked over to a pretty decent Teahouse (only one open, at end of season) of Bhupender (a.k.a. as Bhuvan) and laid out our sleeping bags in the main front room.
Bhuvan, a chatty inn-keeper, prepared a nice dinner of Rice-Dal-Sabji (along with Manz's Puliyogarai rice mix) and I slept off early even though next morning, we could get up late for our walk to the Glacier.
Day-wise story in sub-pages below:
63 Milam 2016 >