Points to remember while planning a driving trip :
- Driving in the hills is difficult. Make sure your car is in good shape. There is absolutely no help available outside the main towns.
Carry the mobile number of your mechanic, telephone tips can be helpful.
- When planning a driving holiday, remember it is not as simple as it looks on the map. The nice white lines which represent the roads, are in reality curvy, zig zag, narrow roads with, often, a river running on one side and a mountain side on the other. Even the best drivers cannot drive more than 30 km /hour, on an average. Usually in a day one can comfortably cover around 150 kms, beyond that is tiring and your reflexes slow down.
- Remember the cardinal rule of hill driving, leave early and reach early. This leaves plenty of time for unexpected events like land slides and (god forbid) breakdowns and tyre punctures. We always leave at 6 am and aim to reach our destination at noon.
- Always fill up at an open petrol pump. Petrol pumps in the hills are unreliable, especially in the remote parts. The golden rule is, see it - fill it. Even a few liters is worth filling up, because the only petrol pump at your destination may be out of order or may have run out of petrol with the next lot due only after a couple of days.
- Always check from taxi drivers, with local number plates, the condition of road to your next destination, avaliablity of alternative shorter routes and of petrol pumps.
- Carry first aid medicines, sun screen & band aids with you.
- BSNL mobile works almost everywhere in Uttarakhand. Outside the main towns, rest sometimes do but mostly don't.
When to go
The best time is Sept - Oct for most of the places, when the flowers are in full bloom. However, due to school holidays, the peak tourist time is end May - June, before the onset of monsoons, when land slides are frequent. People enjoy the mountains even in peak winters, when you must have a few days buffer in case you are stuck because of snowfall.
What to carry for a trip to Munsiyari
Things you must take along on a trip to Munsiyari ....
- Good Torch: as power breakdowns are frequent in Munsiyari and you may get late while on a trek.
- Umbrellas & Rain coats. It often rains there, even when the rest of Uttarakhand is bone dry. Carry the long black umbrellas because the small ones are of no use in winds. The big ones also double up as walking sticks in treks.
- Biscuits, toffees, choclates and dry fruits. These are very useful in treks.
- Back pack, again for treks. Even a school bag will do, it is much easier to carry small items and water bottles on your back than in your hands.
- Swimming trunks. On the way to Munsiyari and beyond it, too, there are safe places for swimming in the rivers and it is very refreshing. Keep them in a place which is easily accessible in the car, otherwise, you'll land up opening all your stuff on the road in trying to locate them.
- And of course, a good road map and a recent edition tourist guide.