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Thread: Ladakh: A Journey that Dreams are made of...

  1. #131
    Rusted velociraptor13's Avatar
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    Prafulsir rest kaha hai?Audience waiting

    Socha Toh Locha.

  2. #132
    Rusted Praful's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tourer_kashif View Post
    very nice trip bro
    Will read the logs after you post all of them.
    Do I need to mention that the pics are fabulous ???I guess you know it
    Thank you so much for the appreciation buddy!

    Quote Originally Posted by steveburnside2001 View Post
    Amazing write up and pics.waiting for the next part.
    Thanks Steve!

    Quote Originally Posted by velociraptor13 View Post
    Prafulsir rest kaha hai?Audience waiting

    Aaahum!! Aaahum!! Mic testing 1,2, ,4...

    Mic mein leak hai... :P

    Next set of logs coming right up...just sitting down to write em....
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  3. #133
    Roasting all the way tanay's Avatar
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    ...and then ?

    On a side note, this trip of yours is really nice. I plan on doing this sometime.

  4. #134
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    Thursday, 24th September: First day we actually had to face a some amount of cold. At 6.30AM is was quite chilly outside the warmth of our blankets, but since I had gotten up well in time I quickly got dressed and left the room with my camera in hand with the hopes of catching the first rays of the sun. But I was too late the sun was already above the mountains. Pranay woken up by the noise joined me in taking a few pics. Since we still had time at hand we decided to do a little exploring of our own. We stopped at the board for Tiger Hill where we could not stop the previous day. We saw a small broken path that went up a small hill, we decided to explore that. After a little off-roading we were at an elevation high enough to get a view of the entire village of Drass. After this we went a little further until we almost reached Mushkoh village which bore the brunt Kargil war.

    From the J&K Tourism Bungalow








    The point from where Tiger hill was in the background and Drass village was visible





    I had a cold water bath here, and I can only say that any longer and my blood would have frozen inside. As I turned my face into the shower, my eyes started to pain like they have never pained before. A chilly but refreshing experience, not recommended for the weak hearted . We had a nice breakfast of bread and omlette and tea, I tried out salty tea which wasn't really as bad as Pranay and Veda made their faces while tasting it, but at the same time it din't taste great either. We din't exactly start late but we could have started earlier, especially considering that we had close to 280kms to cover before it gets dark. We were improving at this getting late business, it was close to 10AM when we left Drass, but not without a customary shot of the famous board of Drass.




    Just as soon as we had started we unexpectedly reached the Kargil war memorial, which I had expected to find around Kargil and not Drass. All the same we stopped here, this was one of the places I did not want to miss in this trip. The Kargil War memorial is a tribute to the martyrs of Operation Vijay, 1999. We spent a good one hour over here, getting late be damned! There's a small room made with newspaper cutout, topographical maps, photographs and all sort of memorabilia. There was something about this place just struck a chord with me, the War Memorial with the Tololing range in the backdrop just added to the feel of the place. Inside the room next to memorial as I read the news paper cutting and read about the photo's stuck over the wall nearly brought me to tear. Why is war so necessary? Today, ten years down the line how different is situation, I am not sure, I am not even sure if history will repeat itself. I for one hope that it doesn't, coz the loss of lives is an irreplaceable loss.

    The Kargil War Memorial, mighty Tololing Range in the background. 1999-2009, 10 years since Operation Vijay.





    The roads were quite bumpy from Drass till this place and the roads ahead din't look quite promising either so we just trundled along at a slow pace until we saw these two firangs pass us in the oppsite direction doing almost break neck speed on bullets, I was like what the heck and from thereon even our speeds increased. We did not stop much for pictures along the route as we were running late and wanted to make up as much time as possible. We just stopped once between the Kargil War Memorial and Kargil town.





    Soon enough we arrived in Kargil, we had an early lunch over here at 12.30PM. It was the first time I tried a "Thupka" which was very wholesome and extremely filling. Made a quick call home from a STD booth before we left the chaos of Kargil, we were quite relieved that we managed to reach only Drass the day before, as we did not like amount of traffic and rush in Kargil. We filled up fuel in Kargil this was the "proper" fuel bunk until we reached Leh. The route from Kargil town till the bunk was confusing, would make you feel that you are on the wrong route till you actually reached the bunk. Roads were pretty bad and the dust was turning out to be a huge pain in the you know where, so our riding gaps increased to avoid dust. Roads beyond Kargil were quite bad for most of the part, it was nearly 2PM when had passed through Kargil. The ride from hereon was quite uneventful, just the occasional good black top road would make us happy and give us some hope. We really did not expect the roads to be this bad an hence our progress was greatly slowed down. It was nearly 45mins from the exit of Kargil before we reached the dusty but beautiful town of Mulbekh. We stopped here to rehydrate and take photos. Just a few kilometers out of Mulbekh starts the climb for Namik La. The climb started with a really bad stretch of road, but then out of no where a freshly laid black top appeared, I heaved a sigh of relief and gunned to throttle to celebrate the turn of events. My happiness was shortlived and black top again vanished into nothingness. Time was of prime importance, and hence our breaks were short and quick to save as much time as possible. Namik La was a small pass at a not so high altitude, but I did get some tingling sensation in my head, which I thought was AMS hitting me. But thats all I felt, I did not have any of the other symptoms of AMS. So I guess that was just my body getting used to the lack of oxygen in the air. Beyond Namik La the roads were shade better, but still enough to break one's back if they are not careful. From Namik La, the next pass Fotu La took us about and hour to reach. Fotu La also happens to be the highest point on the Srinagar-Leh highway.

    Beyond Kargil in the direction of Leh






    Mulbekh Village






    Climbing Namik La and Fotu La






    It was close to 5.30PM when we were atop Fotu La, the wind suddenly picked up speed over here. At one point of time it was strong that I had to hide behind the FotuLa top board to put my gloves and wind bought with a chill factor unknown to us. We left at differential times from here, with me leaving last. The roads from Fotu La till Lamayuru are peg scraper's dream, the curvalicious twisties are accompanied by one of the best tarmac we saw on the trip.



    I left quite behind Veda and Pranay and was in no position to catch up with either of them all througout the loops. Lamayuru was beautiful, but with daylight fading fast I did not want to stop anywhere till I caught up with the guys. Just as I left Lamayuru the road suddenly from black top to nothing, and was scary as hell. It looked exactly like one of pictures from a highways of Peru where there 1000feet drop on one side and road is barely wide enough for one vehicle to pass through. While riding down this road I was constantly plagued by thoughts that I was on the wrong route and I won't be able to catch up with the rest, but then I din't turn back either coz I did not remember seeing any other route to exit apart from this highway from hell. It was a painful 15-20 minutes reaching and finally I breathed a sigh of relief when I saw Pranay and Veda waiting at the bottom where the roads were roads had just started to improve. Even they had come down the same scary road, only later did we realize that we had actually taken a "shortcut" and there was an alternative better route to descend from Lamayuru into the Valley. We stopped a little further ahead for a break, it was close to 6.30PM and getting quite dark. I replaced my tinted visor with a clear one for easier night riding. We soon passed a board that read out Leh 97 kms. So, we had to cover the next 100 kms in dusk and the night. With the group back to it orignal riding formation with me in the lead and Pranay sweeping, we rode fast a group. Just as it became darker Veda took a little while getting used to the dark and I was suddenly able to ride faster so we kept going until the gap between us increased finally, after almost about 15kms Pranay caught up with me to slow me down. The next 3 hours or so will be one of the memorable sections of the trip where we rode in darkness from the base of Lamayuru to Leh. We stopped once before Nimmu and once before we reached Leh. Riding in the dark has its thrill and despite the fact that we missed out on most of the scenery the ride was just awesome and thanks to the P220's awesome headlights we could maintain almost the same speeds as we maintained during the day time. Beyond Nimmu there are certain straight sections where we were even doing speeds in excess of 110.




    Finally at about 9PM we rolled into Leh town which had mostly slept off. It took us a bit of asking around and arguing before we could find a place that suited our needs. Finally found a place with fairly decent rooms for 550 bucks a night and very safe parking. We quickly dumped our stuff and found our way to only the only open hotel at that hour.

    Dusted, tired bodies, chilled to the spine but all this din't bother us we finaly got Leh'd.....

    But wait this was not all that we came here for.....the best was yet to come....



    Last edited by Praful; 05-12-2010 at 11:26 AM.
    shiv4747 likes this.
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  5. #135
    Rusted velociraptor13's Avatar
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    Ah at last you got leh'd.Great stuff praful.Enjoyed each and every pic and log.
    Socha Toh Locha.

  6. #136
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    @Praful ":Kudos to ur achievments ! waiting for August 2010
    Last edited by chilled_fire; 10-27-2009 at 09:50 AM.
    Aprilia RS 125 or Honda CB400 Vtec ..... which one will it be ??? I think its gonna be NINJA ZX 6R :-)

  7. #137
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    Quote Originally Posted by tanay View Post
    ...and then ?

    On a side note, this trip of yours is really nice. I plan on doing this sometime.
    Thanks man!

    Don't plan...just do it!

    Quote Originally Posted by velociraptor13 View Post
    Ah at last you got leh'd.Great stuff praful.Enjoyed each and every pic and log.
    Whoa that was fast Looks like you are our thread greatest reader!

    Quote Originally Posted by chilled_fire View Post
    @Praful ":Kudoa to ur achievments ! waiting for August 2010
    Thanks buddy and Im waiting for that too
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  8. #138
    Adventurer Shivanshu's Avatar
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    wow that was some log man.....great great Praful...the pics and the words are beautiful scripted....and a big congrats for your whole team for getting Leh'd

    Cheers

    Save the Earth - We are the one who are running out of time, as Earth will take it own time to heal but that time may not be enough for us.


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  9. #139
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shivanshu View Post
    wow that was some log man.....great great Praful...the pics and the words are beautiful scripted....and a big congrats for your whole team for getting Leh'd

    Cheers
    Thank you for the awesome comments buddy!

    Getting Leh'd was just a small part, the best is yet to come!
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  10. #140
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    @Praful: The pictures speak for themselves. Wonderfully blue sky, coupled with some amazing foreground/ background elemements. Thanks for sharing it all with us; I am in the process of leading this latest log of yours.

    Bravo!
    ...in search of that perfect world - My Travel Blog :)

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