Northern Tier of America cycling route

An Indian Going West. To Discover America.

At age 40, in the middle of raising venture funding for my second tech start-up, I had a massive heart attack. It’s a long story, but in essence, while I was lying on the cold OT table and wondering why they were trying to freeze me to death, my loved ones were waiting outside desperately hoping and praying that I make it through. Surprise: I did make it through.

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Manali to Leh — Route Map

Planning on riding/driving from Manali to Leh? You can explore the route in an interactive map right here and also download a .gpx file of the route for your GPS.

On this 470 km trip you will climb 14,000 meters and cross five major high-altitude passes (called La). If you are cycling, the climb to the pass will seem endless. I have marked all of the passes in the file just so that you know how much more you need to suffer!

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Diving into the deep blue Andaman sea

Earlier this year we went scuba diving to the Andaman Islands. We spent a over a week at DiveIndia on the Havelock islands.

There is no easy way to describe the vibrancy of the underwater ecosystem of a coral reef. No description can do justice to the experience of being 10-20 meters underwater.

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Learning to fly a paraglider in Kamshet

As far as I can remember, I had one persistent, recurring childhood fantasy/dream: To fly. All by myself.

Some 40 odd years later, it has finally happened. I went through a short training to learn to fly a paraglider. So how was it to live out your childhood fantasy, you might ask? Well, nice! Really nice. But, somehow not as fantastic as the original fantasy!

Mostly because jumping off the face of a high cliff defies your basic instinct. And also because, as a beginner, you are easily overwhelmed by the equipment, and overstimulated by the manoeuvres you need to make in order to get airborne, fly your course and land safely. All of this while you are dealing with some degree of fear of seeing the earth floating away from under you.

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The small village of Losar at dusk.

Cycling the Spiti valley – Nako to Manali

The hardest part about Spiti is reaching there. It took us a 22-hour bus ride to get to Rekong Peo. For the sake of acclimatization we had planned the night stay at Kalpa, which is not so far from there, but much higher. And also much nicer. Having had our fill with the HPTDC’s ‘ordinary’ buses, especially given the quantum of our luggage, we choose to just hire a jeep the next day to take us up to Nako (technically still in Kinnaur) – another five odd hour drive.

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