God's allow Blor Betty passage to Zanskar-Solo

Gaurav Chopra

zestbiker-if there is a SPIRIT,I ride it
The city of Srinagar was not fully active when i left at 8.15am and i made good progress to quickly cross the main areas,skirt the Dal lake and onwards to Ganderbal and towards Sonmarg.Zozila was totally dry and was quickly covered and i was in the Ladakh valley.While at the top it is always a pleasure to see the birth streams of the river Sindh flow towards Kashmir and another river (Sindhu AFAIK) birth and flow towards Ladakh-the charms of nature.

The weather was overcast with spells of sunshine in between.The roads were relatively empty i was enjoying having them to myself.I spent a lot of time stopped ,soaking up the nature and beautiful surrounding-but i guess that was the purpose of the trip .
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Caught this chopper high above when it emerged from the clouds i was shooting-it was so high that there was no noise of it over and above that of the cascading river besides me.
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At the Gumri Shiv mandir,paid my respect to the deity while on the move and stopped at the Pandrass checkpost to enter my details.From there to Drass was a speeding whir .Drass was fully filled with festivities with lots of people leaving for their pilgrimage-UMRA-lots of hustle and bustle on the road here,so stopped for lunch here.

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Spent full 2 hours and multiple cups of coffee talking to the local people and taxi drivers at the Drass dhaba -was fascinating to hear their tales of going on the Umra.Then at about 1.30pm noticed the sky was even more overcast and so resumed my journey onwards to Kargil.
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It is always such a pleasure to view this half of Kargil city across the river Sindhu-here while parking my bike on the road shoulder,the side stand sank into the sand and the bike fell on me -had a difficult time extracting myself from under it all by myself.
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Gaurav Chopra

zestbiker-if there is a SPIRIT,I ride it
At Kargil,filled petrol in the tank as well as 5ltr in coke bottles i was carrying.At the pump the attendant was helpful and gave me info about the Suru valley and the villages on the way.I decided i will halt for the night at Panikker JKTDC guest house till where the road was all black top.The Suru valley is bewitchingly beautiful with autumn in full bloom.
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Gaurav Chopra

zestbiker-if there is a SPIRIT,I ride it
At Panniker ,went straight to the JKTDC guest house but the caretaker was not there.While waiting at its gate,the lady from the house just opposite to the guest house offered me stay in her house-Rs500 with dinner and breakfast and i accepted readily.The house belonged to a retired govt teacher and had clean and airy ambience and i was ushered into their best room.I was served salty tea and got cleaned up and sat with the family for an early dinner,had lots of small talk with all the members of the family and finally retired to sleep at 8.30pm.
I had a very sound and refreshing sleep and was woken by the house owner Mr Aslam at 7am with a hot cup of tea by my bedside.Dressed up and went outside.It was
cold and the sun was still to rise from behind the mountains.But this naughty magpie and a little lamb
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kept me company.
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Gaurav Chopra

zestbiker-if there is a SPIRIT,I ride it
Today the journey was to be only till Rangdum-approximately 70kms-so started late and took it nice and slow to absorb the beauty around me,It is after crossing the village of Partikchey and the Partikchey glacier that the real isolation of this region hits-the terrain changes from terraced fields to rolling wetlands within the valley-it also marks the shifting of cultures from predominantly Shia Islam to Buddhist.The beautiful Suru river with its various shades of turquoise blue keeps you constant company.



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