2 idiots : On a ride

jigarshah

Member
What you call persons who do not know:
  • How to drive bike on the hilly terrain like Ladakh.
  • Route where they are travelling.
  • Place where there is no network.
  • Place where for miles you do not find any persons or traveler.
  • How to repair the bike for any exigency
  • Who do not have any bike repairing material/equipment.
  • Who do not have sufficient petrol.
Answer to above is an Idiot.

As per BCMT tradition I am starting with a teaser.

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CONTINUE
 

jigarshah

Member
I am not good at writing or describing the experiences/my thoughts through words so this would be more of a photologue with some information of my travel story to Ladakh, how I heard the word Ladakh, loved the place, obsessed with the place and finally visited the place.

Prologue:

“Ladakh” First time I heard this word somewhere during my post graduation in 2003-04 when my cousins were discussing to visit this place. Time passed, I completed my studies, started job and sadly got married in 2007. I did not even think or surfed about Ladakh till 2010.

In 2011, through Google surfing, I came across a travel site www.kunzum.com where I read, saw some stunning pics of ladakh which kept me thinking for days about the place. From 2007 to 2013, I travelled many common tourist destinations of Himachal, J & K and many more. During 2014, I started following the BCM community and became permanent member of this wonderful forum. After reading so many travel logs and seeing endless photos of Ladakh on BCM, Ladakh became a dream destination for me. I had made my mind to do a bike ride preferably starting from Srinagar and end at Manali.

Though with no bike riding experience, I still planned to join a group tour in Sep-14. Being in a group tour I thought “Jo hoga dekha jayega”. So I applied for a leave of 12 days but as usual not approved by boss for so many days. Plan dropped. Again made a plan to visit in June-15 and due to some unavoidable circumstances, I have to drop the plan again. My plan of visiting Ladakh were postponing due to one and other reasons, and on the other hand I was becoming very passionate of visiting Ladakh due to continuous pressure created by BCMTians by posting their inspiring logs with lovely photos.

Eventually I changed my job in Oct-15 and got some money at the time of relieving. I have not driven any RE Bike earlier; hence I decided to buy RE Thnderbird 350 with the money I got from job to get some hands on experience of riding on my own RE. Bike ride to Ladakh made me so crazy that I invested Rs 1.56 Lacs, only for getting proper practice of riding on RE bike. But still I was not sure when I am going to get chance to ride my bike riding at Ladakh.

Due to new job, again it was looking difficult to get so many leaves to join a bike tour. However I committed to self to travel Ladakh in 2016 anyhow with or without bike tour. During Dec-15, one of my cousins from Bangalore visited our town Bharuch. I informed him whole story of my dream to visit Ladakh. He informed why you are going alone; we can both plan the tour next year since he was single. It would be a great opening for him to start travelling career with Ladakh since he had not travelled any major hill stations earlier. This was just a formal discussion.

In summer (May-16) vacation we travelled to Bangalore with family. During our stay at his bachelor PG, we were sitting at 12.30 midnight and having some casual discussion regarding travel. He remembered and asked me what happened to our Ladakh tour and my answer was you tell what to do. Casual discussion turned into serious one and we thought to complete the dream in this Sep only. For both of us it was very difficult to take leaves for 12 days or more for a bike tour. So I suggested going to Ladakh by flight and hiring a bike from Leh itself. I had already a day wise itinerary through a query posted in BCM earlier.

After having 2 pegs, we actually became so serious; we booked flight tickets at 3.00AM and ensure that we will convince our bosses for a week leave. Additionally I have to take leave from home ministry and my kids as well since I was travelling alone.

Tickets booked for 14-09-2016 and return flight on 21-09-2016. (Delhi-Leh-Delhi). I booked ticket from Baroda to Delhi and my cousin booked for Bangalore to Delhi on 13-09-2016. Also booked accommodation at Hotel Chube for 4 nights for various dates. It was Okay type hotel with basic food.

Continue
 

jigarshah

Member
Day 1 : Travelling and rest day.

As per our schedule on 13-09-2016, I boarded flight from Baroda to Delhi and my cousin from Bangalore to Delhi and we met at Delhi airport at around 12.30 AM. Our flight from Delhi to Leh was at 5.30 AM so we had to spend appx 4 hour at Delhi airport. Security did not allow us at waiting area and adviced to wait outside however my cousin with the help of airline staff managed to us get in. We had already booked window seat by paying extra amount and immediately we got our boarding pass. After security check, we rested and enjoyed the meal at lounge which was free on our credit cards. Food was awesome and was a treat to have so many options at 2.00 AM.

We boarded the flight as per schedule and decided not to sleep during flight to enjoy the views from the flight. It was first time for both of us to see Himalayas from flight. The view of Himalayas was stunning. I guarantee everyone will fall in love with this.

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Landed at Leh airport on time around 7.30 AM and after getting our luggage, we step out and it was very very cold outside. We immediately taken jacket and cap from bags. Waited for 10 min to get our taxi as it was arranged by our Hotel. We had nice tea at Hotel with Bread and Biscuits. Rested for 4 hours and woke up at 12.30 pm and had our lunch at our hotel itself. Again we slept till 5.00 PM and decided to go nearby market for a walk. Returned at 8.00 PM, by the time our dinner was ready and it was good.

Shanti stupa was visible from outside road of the Hotel.


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Leh Market

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After dinner, I was feeling little uncomfortable in breathing but Hotel owner advised not to worry as these are common on first day as we came by flight. He adviced us to rest for the night. We had comfortable sleep during night. From next day, we had plans of hiring a bike and to start visiting the destinations.

End of Day 1.
 

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