My obsession with mountains!
Well, let me be specific, my Obsession with the Himalayas is well known to my family and friends.
2003 Entire Sikkim by Hired Taxi, 2004 Dharmshala – Maclodganj by Self-driven Hatchback, 2009 Leh by Hired Sumo, 2011 Ladakh by Royal Enfield, 2013 Lahual and Spiti by hired Sumo and many one day or two-days trips to Manali and Shimla but nothing after 2013. This situation was making me restless, moreover, all the blogs, Travelogues, The Himalayan club page at FB was making me jealous. But the Himalayas never leave you, they call you back, in fact, it was calling me all those years but I was busy and wasn’t taking the call. After all of this Himalayas tried another way to get in touch with me.
A London based friend texted me on what’s app, asking me to help him to plan a self-driven trip to Ladakh by a one-month-old Duster AWD. It’s always fun to plan travel & we started discussing when, how, where, why for “his “trip. Out of the Blue, he asked me why don’t you join us. Yeah same question I asked myself.
They were two guys with a Brand new(one month old without even RC book) Duster AWD. Me, Myself already been to Ladakh thrice, roamed half of the India by self-driven Vehicle, in love with mountains and crazy for Road Travels, was a perfect companion for them.
Yes!! Chalo!! I am coming.
And then!!! One guy At London, another at Ahmadabad and me at Anand. It was never possible for us to meet and plan our travel. Not to worry!! We have what’s app…A group named “Chalo Ladakh” (we are not that poetic guys who can name their travels)created in WA.
We inquired around, every expert said no for Ladakh in October, there are always chances of roadblocks due to early snowfall. I personally had a chance to talk to the great hvkumar. I was so much irritated by everyone’s negative advice. I asked HVK that “Is going to Ladakh during October is taboo? He answered calmly “ Yes indeed it’s a taboo, but not impossible”
Why No to Ladakh in October:
· By end of September winter starts in this area, in case of early snowfall all the high passes on Manali – Leh and Leh Srinagar Highways block.
· Hotels, camps, dhabas start closing business from September end on Manali – Leh HW.
· Every year the first week of October Raid De Himalaya happens on this route. It happens in the collaboration of HP government, so Officials of this Rally blocks the road for free passage of participant vehicles. (Our date and time for starting from Manali was same as Raid’s plan).
· Temperature of this region drops to subzero after September, which makes it more difficult.
· No rescue operation after September by Indian Army.
We built our travel on the base of HVK’s answer’s later part… “Not Impossible”
Dates : 06-10-2016 to 16-10-2016
Day 1 : Ahmedabad to Jaipur
Day 2 : Jaipur to Delhi.
Other two guys were going to land at Delhi Airport, I had to pick them up from Delhi Airport and start our journey towards Manali/Mandi
Day 3 : Delhi to Mandi
Day 4 : Mandi to Manali-Palchan
Day 5 : Palchan to Jispa
Day 6 : Jispa to Leh
Day 7 : Local site Seeing
Day 8 : Leh to Nubra
Day 9 : Nubra to Pangong to Leh
Day 10: Leh to Kargil or Drass
Day 11: Kargil to Banihal
Day 12 : Banihal to Ludhiana
Day 13 : Ludhiana to KishanGarh
Day 14 : KishanGarh to Ahmedabad