A couple's solitary bike ride on the enchanting roads of Ladakh

Discussion in 'Travelogues from North India' started by Anita, Jan 30, 2011.

  1. Abhishek2433

    Abhishek2433 Member

    Jun 28, 2010
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    New Delhi
    Amazing stuff there Anita. Truly inspiring & admirable!!
    Not to forget the pics are just mindblowing & your trip is worth appreciation from all quarters.
  2. Anita

    Anita Member

    Jan 13, 2010
    Likes Received:
    On top of the world

    >> Day 11 – Jul 08 – Thursday
    >> Leh to Hunder – 140 Kms – 10 hours

    By now Suresh had started loading the bike himself as it took me too much time getting ready! We went to KC but the most of the staff was asleep, tired from last night’s party :). We told them it was fine and went back and to the continental restaurant at the corner. There was a shoeshine guy near the entrance and our boots looked like they could definitely use some shine. So we gave our boots to him and went on to have a nice breakfast. Then we went to withdraw money but didn’t realize it will be an hour and a half before we could lay our hands on any cash! The SBI atm had stopped working, the J&K atm ran out of cash before Suresh’s turn, all the atm’s had long queues. I used all that time to catch up on some more window shopping :D.

    Now, right from the beginning of the trip we had our doubts about being able make it to Khardung La with 180 kilos on the bike. We went up till 25 kms and the bike started giving off smoke from the rear wheel axle. At one point of ascent it didn't budge even at full throttle :shock:. So we U-turned and went back to the mechanic at Leh! He loosened the break screw that he had tightened yesterday while servicing. The problem was that all that weight tightened it further. So off we went to Khardung La. We could feel the bike struggle to pull us up, but it pulled anyway. At the K-top we met two guys from the Naval academy, Delhi – one of them was from Chennai and we got talking. We met some people who had come back again as the previous day the blizzard was so bad that they couldn't step out of their car. Lunch was hot noodles and black tea. We bought some nice souvenirs available here. We watched as some VIPs arrived with security guards in tow and then took off for Hunder.

    While going down the road, it was beautiful with sun shine making the icicles glint. The deltas formed at the river mouths were so perfect that I could recall seeing them in my Geography books. This made me recollect how we used to cram how a delta is formed with utmost disinterest. But to see it for real, not only is it interesting but it’s all too simple! As we rode on admiring the Karakoram Range, the sun started to set lending it a crimson glow. We saw an old styled hand operated petrol bunk for the first time at Diskit, with measuring cans to measure the petrol. At Hunder, we were rambling about for quite some time searching for guesthouses wishing they had put up some directions to reach them. The forest completely obstructed the guesthouse lights, so even though a local would say “It's right there”, we wouldn’t find it :eek:! Then we found the Himalayan guesthouse at around 2000 hrs.

    Winding ride to highest motorable road
    Winding ride to highest motorable road.jpg

    Pink sweet home
    Pink sweet home.jpg


    Gateway of Khardung
    Gateway of Khardung.jpg

    Conquered Khardung La!!
    Conquered Khardung La!!.jpg

    All smiles =)
    All smiles =).jpg

    Prayer flags
    Prayer flags.jpg

    Stupas atop
    Stupas atop.jpg

    Blizzard yesterday, Sunning today
    Blizzard yesterday, Sunning today.jpg

    Snow valley
    Snow valley.jpg

    Silvery slippery
    Silvery slippery.jpg

    End not in sight
    End not in sight.jpg

    Striking a pose
    Striking a pose.jpg

    Ice ice baby!
    Ice ice baby!.jpg



    Rustic charm
    Rustic charm.jpg



    Terrace farms
    Terrace farms.jpg


    The delta
    The delta.jpg

    At dusk
    At dusk.jpg

    Nubra river
    Nubra river.jpg

    Wafting clouds
    Wafting clouds.jpg
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2011
  3. adv.sunny

    adv.sunny the touring Seikh

    Apr 19, 2009
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    south kolkata
    wonderful travelogue. the pictures are simply superb.
  4. rashpaldhaliwal

    rashpaldhaliwal RASHI

    Jul 11, 2010
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    awesome shot..............i enjoy it.......... keep rolling......
  5. joie de vivre

    joie de vivre Guru

    Nov 25, 2007
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    excellent !
  6. classicrajat

    classicrajat The Legend

    May 15, 2009
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    On Roaming Signal
    loved each shot..keep rolling !!
  7. hiambuj

    hiambuj Moderator Staff Member

    Feb 23, 2008
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    New Delhi
    Stunning Log Anita !!
  8. AshishBerry

    AshishBerry Member

    Aug 9, 2010
    Likes Received:
    New Delhi
    wow factor in all these.
  9. koolharry

    koolharry Rail and Road...

    Mar 25, 2009
    Likes Received:
    Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
    Nice update! I also see a loco somewhere :D
  10. Anita

    Anita Member

    Jan 13, 2010
    Likes Received:
    Cold desert

    >> Day 12 – Jul 09 – Friday
    >> Hunder to Thoise-Diskit to Hunder – 30 kms – 5 hrs

    The old lady who was running this place would say ‘julley’ with same enthusiasm every time we met…even if that was 5 minutes ago J and the cook here was all the way from Kerala and he made delicious north Indian food. We noshed up our breakfast and left to check out the camel safari and Thoise airfield. It was refreshing to be able to venture out without warm clothes on.

    The camel safari is Rs 500 per hour, but as the camels are walked through the dunes only on the way back, you might as well settle for the half an hour safari. They said they do that because camels feel too hot! May be that is the case with Bactrian camels. We had never rid on camels before. At one point a camel behind mine started rubbing its cheek on my shin and I started shrieking because I thought it is going to bite! The herdsman said I need to keep calm unless I want the camel that I was on to take off. Which I did when later there was a small storm, our camels were brought close together and one of it lolled its head near my leg. It was past noon and it got scorching out here in the dunes.

    We lunched at one of the garden restaurants, it was very serene and I wanted to doze off right there sitting in the chair. Then we started off for Thoise. At the check post we were informed that the sorties are carried out only around 0800 hrs. But we still went ahead to have a look and returned to Hunder. The locals advised us to not risk going to Turtuk as cameras were being confiscated and also we wanted to play it cool today. This was the only stretch I rode as we were in plains and in no hurry to get anywhere J After samosa and chai at the Hunder canteen and we went to check out Diskit, the Nubra river and this place with miles of pebbles. We wandered in it till evening and broke our own rule of not getting any heavy stuff - we picked up some pebbles for keepsake :D As we rode back, we saw dust devils swirling around in the dunes. We sat on one of the benches at a viewpoint and watched the desert glimmering with their dust as the sun started to set.

    We reached the guesthouse to find that there was no power. This place had lot of foreign tourists who had come in cabs. These cabwallahs were trying to start the guesthouse generator. They needed a spark plug spanner to unscrew it and as that spark plug was of the same size as RE's, we gave our spanner. They cleaned the sparkplug and tried to start it again but it didn’t. They checked petrol can of the starter and found that the petrol was highly mixed with kerosene. We used a bit of our petrol and the generator started up. Just when we thought we had seen everything in Hunder, we saw some very distinct insects. I had just begun to think that insects can’t survive in Ladakh :)

    Double hunch camels of Hunder
    Double hunch camels of Hunder.jpg


    Camel safari
    Camel safari.jpg

    Hot N Cold
    Hot N Cold.jpg

    Zoom power - Go next
    Zoom power - Go next.jpg

    Maitreya at Diskit
    Maitreya at Diskit.jpg

    Pink mist
    Pink mist.jpg

    Poster boy
    Poster boy.jpg

    Lost in pebble land
    Lost in pebble land.jpg

    On roof of the world
    On roof of the world.jpg


    Flying without wings!
    Flying without wings!.jpg

    Pebble stacks
    Pebble stacks.jpg


    Storms all day
    Storms all day.jpg

    Before sunset
    Before sunset.jpg
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2011

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