Ladakh and Zanskar, return to heaven

Discussion in 'Travelogues from North India' started by Yogesh Sarkar, Apr 15, 2009.

  1. Yogesh Sarkar

    Yogesh Sarkar Administrator

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    It is about time I clear off some of the backlog I have (with respect to travelogues), one of the oldest being my solo motorcycle trip to Ladakh and Zanskar in September 2006. So without much further delay, ladies and gentlemen, here is the travelogue of my journey back to the heaven on earth, Ladakh.

    Day 1 (4th September 2006): Delhi - Manali

    Last minute motorcycle and weather problems had forced me to delay my departure by one day and I was about to leave on the very same day (date wise) as I did in 2005.

    At 4:30AM, I was standing outside my home, ready for the solo journey ahead. Well time for the customary departure photograph.

    [​IMG]

    Thanks to recent rains, roads throughout the journey were in bad shape, particularly around Delhi bypass and between Ropar and Kiratpur. However once the ascent to Manali started, roads improved drastically.

    [​IMG]

    At around 6:30PM, I managed to reach Manali and straightaway headed for Hotel Shingar, where Shamik and I had stayed at in September 2005, en route to our first Ladakh ride.

    Day 2 (5th September 2006): Manali - Sarchu

    Even though I woke-up early in the morning, it took me time to repack all the luggage and then call back home, knowing that I might not get a chance to do that for next couple of days.

    By 7 o’clock I was ready to start my journey towards the first pass of this trip, Rohtang Jot. I barely rode for a few kms, when I came across this wonderful sight and had to stop and capture it through my lens.

    [​IMG]

    When I reached Marhi, I didn’t felt like stopping for breakfast and continued on, finally after reaching Rohtang parking, I had to listen to my grumbling stomach and stop at one of the dhabas there for maggi, omlate and tea. Surprisingly, my mobile phone was getting network even there and I decided to call back home while the sleepy dhaba owner prepared my breakfast.

    After a lazy breakfast, I reached the Rohtang Jot signboard and found it swamped by the Army motorcycle expedition.

    [​IMG]

    After waiting for them to leave and capturing photograph of my motorcycle, next to the sign board, I decided to move on as well. As soon as the descent started, road conditioned worsened with plenty of mud and water crossings on the road.

    [​IMG]

    Beyond Kokhsar it was as bad as it was last year, with the exception of this rather large water crossing.

    [​IMG]

    I had covered the stretch between Kokhsar and Keylong under the cover of darkness, last year and I was thanking my stars for bringing me back to this place once again, to see what I had missed last year.

    [​IMG]

    By the time I reached Keylong, my motorcycle wasn’t performing at its level best and was overheating; I decided to get it checked by a local mechanic, who couldn’t find what was wrong with it and tried to adjust the air fuel mixture and tightened the chain, which had become a bit loose. This didn't made any major impact and I decided to continue on.

    By the time I finished my lunch break at Darcha, it was already 4 o’clock and Sarchu was still 84kms away and dark clouds were hovering over the horizon.

    [​IMG]

    Soon enough the rain started, road to Baralacha La was still in as bad a condition as it was last year and the rain and cold was adding to the woes. However the scenery more than made up for it.

    Baralacha La

    [​IMG]

    Road to Bharatpur

    [​IMG]

    It was dark by the time I reached Bharatpur and for a moment I contemplated whether to continue till Sarchu or call it a day here. I finally decided to continue on, thankfully lack of traffic made riding in dark a breeze.

    By 8:15pm, I could see lights of tents at a distance and knew Sarchu wasn’t that far away, took a photograph of me and my motorcycle alone on the road and carried on.

    [​IMG]

    Reached Sarchu check post by 8:40, got myself registered there and assured the police officer that I am planning to stay at the dhaba tents across the bridge and not planning to continue in the dark, with this assurance he let me go and soon I found myself, sitting in cozy dhaba tent (relatively speaking), being run by couple of sisters. After a smallish dinner, it was time to hit sack, hoping that I wouldn’t get hit badly by AMS, in the morning.

    Click here to read Part-2 Sarchu - Leh

    Click here to read part-3, Leh - Thiksey - Leh

    Click here to read part-4, Leh - Pangong Tso


    Click here to read part-5, Pangong Tso - Leh


    Click here to read part-6, Leh - Tso Moriri


    Click here to read part-7, Tso Moriri


    Click here to read part-8, Tso Moriri - Leh


    Click here to read part-9, Leh - Lamayuru - Kargil


    Click here to read part-10, Kargil - Sanko - Rangdum (Suru Valley)


    Click here to read part-11, Rangdum - Pensi La - Padum (Zanskar Valley)


    Click here to read part-12, Padum (Zanskar Valley)


    Click here to read part-13, Padum (Zanskar Valley) - Rangdum (Suru Valley)


    Click here to read part-14, Rangdum (Suru Valley) - Kargil - Drass


    Click here to read part-15, Drass - Zoji La - Srinagar


    Click here to read part-16, Srinagar - Patnitop - Pathankot


    Click here to read part-17, Pathankot - Hoshiarpur - Ambala - Delhi
     
  2. joie de vivre

    joie de vivre Guru

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    Good, at least after two and half years. Nice pics of bad roads.
     
  3. KurtRules

    KurtRules Come as you are!

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    Great!!! Now we are finally going to have our first Zanskar travelogue!!!!!

    Welcome back to BCMT Yogesh:D:D
     
  4. Yogesh Sarkar

    Yogesh Sarkar Administrator

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    Thanks guys and thanks Vaibhav for welcoming me back to BCMTouring :D
     
  5. pushpinder

    pushpinder Guru

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    great!!

    More!!!!

    rgds

    Ps..lovely pics!
    Yogesh, which cam do you use, btw?
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2009
  6. tsk1979

    tsk1979 Reclaimed and Recycled

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    I am watching this keenly :D
     
  7. Yogesh Sarkar

    Yogesh Sarkar Administrator

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    Thanks Pushpinder, those photos were shot with Kodak CX 7430, 4mp digital cam. Currently using a Canon A720IS (Sach Pass 2008 onwards).

    Tanveer, don't worry you won't be disappointed. Apart from Zanskar, this is also the trip, in which I went to Tso Moriri.
     
  8. Explore_the_world

    Explore_the_world Dream_Pursue_Achieve

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    Good one Yogesh! "Der aaye darust aaye"! Spill all you have got in your can.
     
  9. Yogesh Sarkar

    Yogesh Sarkar Administrator

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    Thanks, next part coming up :)
     
  10. dheeraj

    dheeraj Zzzzz...

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    interesting log with awesome pics...something we don't see daily:grin:

    more more more....:)
     

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