Adrenaline running high for 12 days – Trip of Lifetime

Nitin Singla

nitin.singla
I apologize for a long delay writing for my day 7 adventure as I have some commitments for my organisation that i was taking care of. But I promise going forward it will be a regular update.

I left till Day 6 and I hope you have enjoyed till now the adventures of Nitin book that I am planning to write. Stay tuned for upcoming days, it will be as adventurous and thrilling as the earlier days. Hope you guys enjoy reading the blog.
 

Nitin Singla

nitin.singla
DAY 7 – Friday – 19th August – Leh – Nubra Valley – Hunder - 140 Kms
Route
– Leh – south Pullu – Khardung La – North Pullu – Khardung – Khalsar – Diskit - Hunder

It was day 7 on our Leh adventure trip, we started early on this day as we have to cover one of the toughest roads in India, The Gigantic Khardung La Pass (18380 ft.). At around 7:30 AM we started from Leh. We took small halt at fuel station to get our bike tanks full for our long journey ahead. The journey we had in front of us was pumping adrenaline in us. We were excited and at a same time quite nervous.

So roughly it took around 30-35 mins to get fuel for our bikes and after that we started for the journey. We took a halt at Leh View Point on the way to Khardung La and clicked few breath-taking pics.

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After that we started our journey and reached South Pullu, the first check point for Khardung La. We submitted the necessary documents at South Pullu Check post.

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As I we started to climb, we felt the pressure on us and on our bikes and got the understanding, why this road is called the toughest road. It was cold, ya it was really cold and I can still feel the cold in my fingers as I type this blog :p.

We reached Khardung La top around 12:00 PM and it was a achievement that we have made in this trip. The view, The Place, The Mountains, The Winds were spectacular. You cannot describe those things in words, you have to just go there and fell that. And we found one of our companion whom we have shared good friendship throughout the trip there as well. They were INDIAN ARMY and it’s all salutes to them. I can imagine how tough their life can be at such heights. It was tough for us just to stand there few minutes, whereas they are there Day and Night, protecting and helping us.

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At Khardung La we had tea at the army camp and it was the best tea we had in our lives a life saver and our fingers felt so good holding that hot cup in that chilly, windy top. During the tea session we sat with our friends Indian Army, and had some snacks that we got packed day before for this trip. And it was very lovely experience having a chat with them with some hot tea and sweet cookies. Sharing and receiving the experiences with each other.

We bid adieu to Khardung La and started our journey for Hunder.

We started the descend. It was sharp descend and we took the opportunity to save some fuel for the trip ahead and we turned off the engines. This crazy idea came to me first and I know some of you out there not agree to stupid thing I did but it just started with the fun. I did this for first time and my friend Jasdeep didn’t knew about this mischief. I was ahead of him while I did this he got panicked why there is no engine sound coming from my bike. He was curious and afraid at the same time that do we had a hardware failure on this road ;). He increased his speed and came close to me and asked ‘Ki hoya, engine baith gya ke ?’. I was showing my canine smile and said ‘Bai Tail Bachauna’ (We need to save petrol). Then he joined me in this global cause.

With this fun we reached North Pullu Check post and got our entry made and preceded for Hunder, It was a quick stop you know. And after that we took a halt at Khalsar, we couldn't resist to stop there.

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We reached Diskit and we decided to go directly Hunder and get an accommodation, freshen up ourselves and then explore the area around. We reached Hunder 3 Pm and found perfect accommodation to loosen our self.

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Spotted a Army Chopper there :)
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After resting we came out and started to explore area, enjoyed our journey back to Diskit. Checking out the statue and the Monastery and clicking hundreds of pics of the valley view. Here are few appetizers for you.

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In the evening we reached the famous sand dunes, we parked our bikes and sat on the sands to witness the most beautiful sunset we could ever imagine.

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We enjoyed a lot had few dance sessions and enjoyed the beauty. We went back to our tents for dinner and it was really very tasty food that we could ever imagine at this place. We retired for the day by gazing at the millions of the stars that we can see with millions of thoughts in our mind.

This concludes our chronicles for Day 7. But I can tell you the fun part has just started. See you soon :)
 

Nitin Singla

nitin.singla
DAY 8 – Saturday – 20th August - Nubra Valley – Hunder – Pangong TSO - 180 Kms
Route – Hunder – Diskit – Khalsar – Agham – Shyok – Durbuk – Tangtse – Lukung – Spangmik

After breakfast we started for Pangong TSO, we started to achieve the target which was Pangong TSO in a day without any major halt as we got to know the route we were following to the lake was not well civilized, plus the roads were bit risky at few spots (Agham – Shyok). Yesterday when I was coming from Khardung La, I found the new route that has been recently opened for tourists. But I had few doubts about the route as it is less popular among people or tourist. So we sat with owner of the tents Mr. Doha, to get detailed information about the condition terrain of that route and I can tell you Mr. Doha really helped us understanding guiding and he also suggested some important points like, he suggested to carry at least 15-20 lts of fuel for the route as there were no fuel stop or the pump on entire that we were following, we got to know the petrol pump we will see now will be in Tandi (850 Kms after our route). But he also said we may find fuel sold at some local shops with an extra high cost. Based on his suggestions we took extra 20 lts (per bike) of fuel from Diskit fuel station.

Taking the name of all mighty we started the toughest part of our journey………….

Hunder --> Pangong Tso --> Hanle --> Tso Moriri (Stay at Spangmik, Hanle, Korzok)

At Agham
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You can see in the pic the fuel that we carried for the journey ahead.
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BRO Enjoying desert cricket :p

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It was almost 60 Kms in our journey and I was thinking that so smooth are the roads, so beautiful is the route than why people say it’s the toughest road and then at one turn my thoughts were shattered and I was looking for the road. It was all dust, sand , mud, stones, slope. What else you can think of, it was there. Overall the roads were really horrible. Actually it was not a road, it was just a path made by locals or by army trucks. So we had this joy ride for next 50-60 kms. And with every inch I was praying for at least a better road. When we started earlier in the day, Mr Doha told about Shyok River bridge to be extra cautious while crossing that as that can be in it’s worst state. And we finally reached that point, we also stopped before the crossings, waited for the few seconds, did a quick recce of the situation ahead. So we decided to not too fast on the bridge crossing as just after that bridge it was all sand and there were chances of bike slips. We started slowly and were able to cross the bridge , I was just over 600m from the bridge and I slipped (My first slip, First necessary fall of the Leh Ladakh trip). It took a while for me to gain the control on the situation I was in, as I was bit shocked and terrified. Everyone was also scared looking at my condition. Luckily I was not hurt and was able to get on my feet. But yeah it was hurting. After a quick break I regained all my energy and started for the finish.



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And finally after few kms it was again a very smooth road. We reached Durbuk around 2:30 and had a quick pit stop, refueled our body with delicious tea and maggi and some food for our bikes too. Not wasting much time we started again for Pangong Lake.

We decided to have some money withdrawal from TangsTse Army Base SBI bank branch, Again we got to know this from Mr. Doha. It took at least 25-30 mins and after that we started again.

Finally after driving for so long we had a first glimpse of mighty The Pangong Tso of ladakh and that glimpse again pumped energy and a hope of an achievement. We reached the shooting point (lukung) and started to inquire about the accommodation option we had in the area. The locals there suggested for accommodation, try Spangmik (10 Kms from Place). Than we started for Spangmik, the route next to Pangong Lake, it was a very beautiful view. That we cannot describe in words.

We found one beautiful accommodation that suited our need, rested for few minutes and started to explore the nearby area.

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8.8.1 Pangong TSO - View.JPG
8.8.2 Pangong TSO- Me.JPG
8.8.3 Pangog TSO - Leisure TIme.JPG
8.8.4 Pangong TSO - Rain above mountains.JPG
8.8.5 Pangong TSO - Me.JPG
8.8.6 Pangong TSO - Jodi.JPG
8.8.7 Pangong TSO - Jasdeep.JPG
8.8.8 Pangong TSO - Sunset.JPG
8.8.9 Spangmik - Me.JPG
8.8.10 Spangmik - Might View.JPG
8.8.11 Spangmik - Mountains.JPG
8.8.12 Spangmik - Photo Time.JPG
8.8.13 Pangong TSO.JPG
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It was cloudy and we were tired, so we decided to have the dinner and logoff for the day.

To Be Continued .......
 

Nitin Singla

nitin.singla
DAY 9 – Sunday – 21st August - Pangong TSO (Spangmik) - Hanle - 190 Kms
Route – Spangmik – Mann – Merak – Chushul – Tsaga La – Loma – Rangoo – Hanle

Part 1 - Reaching Hanle

We started sharply at 8 today with the target in mind to reach Hanle, we drove by side of lake for few kms. It was a mind blowing and breathtaking experience, the scenic beauty that we saw there can’t be described in words. It can only be admired through pics.

Our Tents
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Spotted Yaks at Banks of Pangong Tso
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Couldn't resist my self to click pics here :)
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So it was nearly 100 km stretch of off-road biking, but we had a great time as our body was used to be in such a terrain. We took a quick halt to get a glimpse of Mount Trishul.

We started again for a destination for Day 9 and we were few kms off track than a sudden bang came from my bike. It shocked me so badly, I was shaking. It took couple of minutes to get in control of situation and understand, what just happened. We both started to identify, what caused that loud bang and found that a piece of dusting cloth which was under my seat fell on bikes chain and caused major jam. I was worried because this could be the end of my journey on this bike. I was worried that it may have caused a major damage to bike engine. So we patiently started to get that cloth removed from the driving chain assembly with fingers crossed that no other major breakdown is caused by this. After struggling 20-25 minutes. We were finally able to remove the torn piece of cloth with taking all Mighty Gods name. I started my bike and to my lady luck it was in perfect condition.

We were back on the track again with a big smile that my bike was alive.

Crossing through Barren Lands, Memorials and Trishul Pahadi -
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We reached Tsaga La by 1:30 and we were welcomed with drizzling there. We decided to take a halt as we both don’t want to drive in this situation thinking that it may rain heavily. We took a home break and I can tell you that was the best experience till now in a span of few hours. They offered us with warm water and tea. We played with the kids and it was enjoyable moment. As the rain stopped we started our engines again and were right back on the track hoping no more heavy rains ahead.

Tsaga La -
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We got our documents checked on both the Tsaga La and Loma check post. Overall after the check post scenic beauty was mind blowing, we wished to capture each and every movement on the journey.

Finally Found Road :)
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We finally reached our destination HANLE and it was heaven on earth experience, it was very beautiful place, very peaceful and personally I really enjoyed that moment. We located our accommodation for night, unwinded there for few minutes, had some food there. Here are some pics of our stay at Hanle.

Here is our Home Stay -
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Nitin Singla

nitin.singla
DAY 9 – Sunday – 21st August - Pangong TSO (Spangmik) - Hanle - 190 Kms
Route – Spangmik – Mann – Merak – Chushul – Tsaga La – Loma – Rangoo – Hanle

Part 2 - Exploring Hanle

After having some food we decided to pay a visit to the Highest Astronomical Observatory of India (2nd Highest of World). But when we reached inside the Hanle Observatory, we got to know that the telescopes were under maintenance but the technicians there were very helpful. They guided us throughout the complex and showed a beautiful presentation which helped us a lot understanding the observatory itself.

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We started to explore the area nearby and again we had the maximum no. of pics. At observatory we met a Punjabi couple from West Bengal. They accompanied us throughout next couple of days and we really had a good time with them.

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We finally reached our Home Stay and directly went to the roof to gaze millions of stars and it took our breath away with the view in from of our eyes. My camera was not so smart to capture the lovely stars.

Courtesy - Navtej Singh Jabbal

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To Be Continued .........
 
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Nitin Singla

nitin.singla
DAY 10 – Monday – 22nd August - Hanle – TSO Moriri (Karzok) 180 Kms
Route –
Hanle – Rangoo – Loma – Nyoma – Mahe – Sumdo – Kyagar Tso – Karzok

I woke up with my friend Jasdeep’s call as he was having severe pain this morning. He was not sure, why out of sudden he was having such a severe pain, but our guesses were for Stone pain as he already had an idea of stones in his kidney. We took some pain killers for quick relief, we even decide to call off the day and take rest, the friends that we made came up with few other pain killers around 9:30 Jasdeep was feeling much better and he suggested to start the journey again. I was bit reluctant but he convinced me. But I put a condition that we will first go to Nyoma Govt hospital as guided by Mr. Sonam Dorjee (Owner of Padma Home Stay). We started for hospital first. Around 11 we reached the hospital got the token and waited for our turn. Dr was very nice lady, she saw us and as tourist she called us earlier and it really helped us a lot. She guided Jasdeep very well, provided the right medicine. Jasdeep was already feeling better, so we were back on trip.

We reached Mahe got our entries done at check post. The person at check post was really helpful, after that we had food at nearby shop. Rested there for few minutes. I saw Jasdeep and felt he was in better position now. More comfortable than he was in the morning. It was a big relief for me, as a friend I was quite worried about him.

Spotted Horses of All Different Colours Near Rangoo:

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Somewhere Near Sumdo:

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We reached Kyagar TSO, rested for some time. Had few pics clicked, enjoyed the beauty around the lake.

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Driving Along TSO Moriri

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We reached Korzok and started for search of our accommodation tonight. We found one accommodation to spend night; it looked to be a nice accommodation in starting. The owner provided us the corner most tent in his property. After retiring for some time we went to visit local market area for some refreshments and sight-seeing. After market we went to the most beautiful lake in the world at the same time highest lake in the world. When we reached there, I was shocked standing still with no thoughts in my mind. I was just mesmerized with the beauty that was in front of my eyes. The beauty of the lake cannot be described in words, one has to go there and see it self. Pristine clear water, cold wind gusting on my face. I can’t describe that place; I think the pictures that we clicked describe it.

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We just sat there admired the beauty and we just noted that we are there for a long long time, and I think time stopped at that time. It was getting dark, we decided to go back to our tent and rest for the day.

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We reached tent to find that our tent was flooded with water from nowhere. I was surprised to see how water can be there in our tents. After investigation we found there was leakage from the water supply pipe just behind our tent and made me angry more when I found that all my luggage and clothes drenched in water. We immediately rushed to call the owner and he said it was a mistake of worker who left the pipe open. We’re so angry that we decided to move out of the tent and in meantime he tried to offer different tent in the same property. But we were so dissatisfied; we decided to look for another accommodation. For the meantime we shifted our luggage in a different tent and moved out for dinner (it was a cover for us). The place we had the dinner, we found that the owner has a room available in the guest house and we immediately decided to take that. This owner was really very helpful, he helped us to get our luggage back by giving us jeep to get our luggage and we went back picked our luggage and shifted to the new room and it was far far better than our previous accommodation.

This is the end of the day.
 
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