Best of Leh

Highlights

Day 0

  • Riders arrive at Delhi; bikes still in transit.
  • Ripped off at a hotel. 2,500 bucks for staying for 7 hours. Desi cola sold for 200 bucks.

Day 1

  • Bikes arrive in Delhi.
  • Pulsar 220 has major issue. Takes whole day to rectify.

Day 2

  • Start from Delhi. Sleepless whole night. Halt at dhabha for 2 hours to get some sleep.
  • Meet new rider, Pankaj.
  • Kiran’s bike fumes under the fuel tank. We strip the bike to fix the issue ourselves. Pankaj parts and proceeds.
  • Halt at Mandi for the night.
  • Delhi to Mandi – 500 kms – 3 AM to 8:30 PM

Day 3

  • Start from Mandi. Allen takes ‘power nap’ in the middle of the road for 15 minutes. Reach Manali in 2 hours.
  • Buy 4 two liter Pepsi bottles, and pour out the Pepsi to carry fuel.
  • ATMs not working until 11 AM. Cash in high demand.
  • Allen falls sick inhaling petrol fumes. Rest at Manali for the day.
  • Mandi to Manali – 100 kms – 3:30 AM to 6:45 AM

Day 4

  • Start from Manali and cross Rohtang Pass. First experience of ice and stream crossing.
  • Meet new riders, Ashish and Komal.
  • Cross Tandi, last fuel station. Next one 365 kms ahead.
  • Cross Baralachala. Cross the toughest and deepest stream with bare feet.
  • Halt at Bharathpur; the highest camping location in Ladakh. Approx. 16,000 ft. above sea level.
  • Manali to Bharathpur – 198 kms – 4 AM to 7 PM

Day 5

  • Freezing early in the morning. Hard time getting ready. Ashish is sick. Komal stays back with him.
  • Cross the 21 Gata Loops.
  • Allen’s bike breaks down. In the middle of nowhere. 8 hours of travel away from cell phone signal or any spares.
  • After 3 hour wait, some bulleteers offer help and manage to move on.
  • Halt at the next immdiate camping location, Pang. Visit Army camp for some medical attention.
  • Bharathpur to Pang – 100 kms – 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM

Day 6

  • Head out of Pang. Cross Moore Plains, a cold desert at 16,000 ft.
  • Cross Taglang La, the World’s second highest motorable road.
  • Vegetation from Rumtse. Finally at Leh!
  • Pang to Leh – 180 kms – 8:30 AM to 4 PM

Day 7

  • In and around Leh.
  • Visit Leh Palace, fort and some shopping.
  • Procure permits to visit other places around Leh.

Day 8

  • Apar’s bike punctured. Rides pillion on the 220.
  • Head to Pangong Tso Lake.
  • Cross Chang La, the World’s third highest motorable road. Free tea at the top, provided by the Army.
  • Allen’s bike breaks down again. Manage to temporarily fix and move on. Reach Lake in the afternoon.
  • On the way back, Allen’s bike gives up at the top of Chang La. Bike pushed back 60 kms to Leh.
  • Leh to Pangong Tso and back – 300 kms – 6:30 AM to 8 PM

Day 9

  • Start late to Khardung La.
  • Reach the top of the Pass pretty easily. Finally, traveled the World’s highest motorable road.
  • GPS shows 800 ft. lesser than the altitude marked at the top Khardung La.
  • 220 clutch cable snaps while tightening. Replace spare
  • Leh to Khardung La and back – 150 kms – 12:30 PM to 6 PM

Day 10

  • Start the day with drizzles. Prepare for rain ride.
  • Pass through the Magnetic Hill.
  • Some exoctic snow capped moutains seen on the way. Snow appears silver and clean due to the rain the previous night.
  • Halt at Kargil for the day.
  • Leh to Kargil – 220 kms – 9 AM to 6 PM

Day 11

  • Head towards Srinagar.
  • Caution message at a place: CAUTION! You are under enemy observation.
  • Visit the Drass War Memorial. Drass; the coldest inhabited place (-60 deg.) in 1995.
  • Pass through some of the most exotic valleys of Kashmir.
  • Reach Srinagar in the evening.. Chikkara boat ride in the Dal Lake.
  • Kargil to Srinagar – 200 kms – 7 AM to 4 PM

Day 12

  • Foggy roads in the morning.
  • Allen and Kiran overshoot 50 kms without realizing. Have tea and get back on track.
  • Meet at few Tamil army men.
  • Kiran drops bike due to weight. Front brake level replaced.
  • Srinagar to Jammu – 300 kms – 4:30 AM to 5:30 PM

Day 13

  • Highway ride back to Delhi. Sync up every 100 kms.
  • Jammu to Delhi – 600 kms – 7:30 AM to 8 PM

Day 14

  • Spend at Delhi. Inquire packers and movers and fix up deal.
  • Visit India Gate. Pick up some stuff from Imran’s place.

Day 15

  • Head back to base.
4 guys, 15 days, 2900 kms, 18380 ft. above sea level.
BEEN THERE DONE THAT!

Check out the day by day detailed blog.
This entry was posted in Bajaj Pulsar 220, Himalayas, Jammu & Kashmir, Ladakh and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Best of Leh

  1. chaithra says:

    when was this trip done ? planning to go in august'10 but the pics and experience mentioned in ur blog are just perfect for what i am looking forward to.

  2. @chaithra: This was done mid July '09. This is normally the summer time. Waiting further will have more snow, but weather is harder to handle.

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