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Thread: Ek couple's Ladakhi adventure. Tadka maarke!

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    Rusted Viper1089's Avatar
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    Cool Ek couple's Ladakhi adventure. Tadka maarke!

    Prologue:
    It’s always tricky to start a travelogue. I mean where do we start right? I think this enormous confusion is mainly due to the fact that behind every long trip or a bike ride there’s a series of events that act as a catalyst to make that ride happen. And unless you understand those events you don’t understand why you would do something as stupid and idiotic as going on a 6500 kms bike ride with just you, your wife and your bike to keep company.

    All those who have tried and done such trips successfully must be thinking “What’s the big deal”. We did it, you did it and a lot of people have done it. But can you remember the time before you left on such a ride and the thousands of things going on in your mind from good things to things that could go wrong?
    Anyway….So let’s meet the catalysts to these events.
    First and foremost: “ME” :P Can’t do without you being rightly “motovated” to do something like this.

    Second catalyst: “My Wife Sayali” Responsible for persistent threats to my life if I ever did a Ladakh trip/ bike ride without her again. J Especially after seeing the photos of my previous ride. I am relieved to say that I am safe now and out of danger. :P

    Third and not the least: The Triumph Bonneville who I so fondly call “Stealth” for its ability to not let bystanders have a clue that it’s a nearly 900 cc monster on wheels. Well more on that later….

    Fourth and very important: My parents and all other friends who got to know of my plans fairly late. I am not to blame for that. We did plan it late with confirmation coming from my side almost just a week before we actually left.


    There were no plans to ride to Leh this year. A few friends were supposed to go, a few jokingly asked if I wanted to come along and I respectfully denied saying it’s not on the cards for this year.
    But what we did try a while back was to do a conventional Leh trip through a travel agency. We literally searched through the various travel options/agencies but were utterly disappointed at the amount of cost that was involved in a 6 night’s trip. A 6 nights trip with no stay at Pangong Tso or Nubra valley would go to about 60-70k INR “per person”. If you try to lower them you compromise on the time spent at some of the most awesome places on this planet. We tried all permutations and combinations like reaching Leh on our own, staying at “not a three star hotel” etc. but that did not make a considerable difference.
    So coming back…. Me and Sayali had just done a 600 kms ride to Karwar and back which made us pretty confident that we could do 600 kms at least in a day. So this crazy idea floated one morning in my head. “ What if we go to Leh on the Bonneville?” I asked Sayali jokingly and she said that’s a great idea and laughed all the same. But that was enough for me to start thinking seriously…
    I started to think about the bike.. Again.. 1000 things and ideas and concerns come into mind.. Heart says its possible mind says it’s risky…
    First things first.. Asked Ashwin from Triumph if he thought that the Bonnie could handle a Leh trip.. He did not have to think twice to say “easily any given day”. After all he had done the same trip on a Jawa. Bonneville was even better…
    On a level of 10 my enthusiasm and commitment to this ride had just been shot to 5 from Null.
    Then comes the big question.. “Leaves” I had quite a lot in the kitty left and could avail them if my boss would approve. I floated this idea the next very day judging the overall mood in the department and surprisingly my boss agreed to it almost instantly. Only condition I had is to take care of all pending tasks and train others to do them in my absence. “Challenge Accepted”
    Ashwin and another triumph owner were also interested in the ride and I was relieved that we had some company on such a huge ride. Unfortunately they were unable to join due to official engagement/health reasons..

    So it was just me and Sayali and the Bonneville.. Initial notion was to fly Sayali till Delhi from where she would join me on my bike till Leh and do the same on the way back. I had no intention of transporting my bike after my last experience wherein there was a huge dent on the fuel tank of Pulsar, all thanks to the railway guys. Sorry but the Bonneville was far too precious to even think about that…

    The days were decided, route fixed, destinations known and then Sayali drops a bomb on me saying she does not feel right to let me go all alone to Delhi and that she would come with me on bike right from Pune itself. Having mixed thoughts I said that’s ok and we started planning in that direction. The routes and stops changed. We decided we would do 600-700 kms daily/6-8 hrs of ride daily with no rides in the dark. By this time the commitment to the ride was 10/10.

    The ride:
    The day: 19th July
    Time: 4.15 am.
    Today’s destination: Hotel Sarvottam, Baska-Halol Highway, Gujarat, 591 kms.



    Cost of the room: Rs. 1500/- A safe and great parking place. A full-fledged restaurant just a few meters from the Hotel (owned by them). We liked the food from the restaurant more than the hotels in-house food.
    It was me, Sayali and my parents readying up mounting the luggage on the bike checking if we had everything that was needed at around 4.15 am. Within 15 minutes we had all the luggage strapped on and were off…….
    Oh and yes we could ready up so quickly because we had already done a trial run, a day before of mounting all the luggage and sitting on the bike after that. It’s always a good idea to do that because unless you actually get onto the bike you can never figure out what tweaks you need to make to make the ride a comfortable and a safe one.

    And off we go….


    A few pictures en-route:
    My Bike completely painted in the shades of grey and brown with mud.. And we have just reached the outskirts of Mumbai.


    We encountered heavy rain at Lonavala. Very low visibility. My mind was alternating between giving orders to my left hand to wipe off the helmet visor and engaging the clutch… And soon my waterproof gloves were not enough to clear off the visor… But then I noticed something on my gloves which I had bought the day before.. It had a wiper on the thumb.
    Just fold your thumb and slide it across your helmet visor and swoosh…visor is cleared of all the smudge and water.




    With a little patience and a few breaks we were finally into Gujarat. There was no sign of the rain stopping anytime soon and so we just pushed on…
    The rain keeps you and the bike engine cool and in reality makes it a much comfortable ride than riding on a hot sunny day. (This of course we realized after we had ridden through the sunny towns of Rajasthan)


    First day being the start is always a bit tiring. You are getting accustomed to the ride, so is the pillion and the bike..
    Though my Bonneville inherits the capability to do 180-190kmph I made it a point to cruise at 120-130kmph and not stress myself as well as the engine too much. But sometimes the road gets too monotonous and boring and the only way to wake up the almost asleep mind is to do a quick speed run for a few kms and then get back to the easy going cruise mode. Always works like a charm.
    A bit about the bike’s performance.

    1. The tyres held on nicely through wet and dry surfaces alike. I love the Metzelers. Instils confidence and that’s half the battle won.

    2. The luggage adjustment worked for the most part. But the backpack on Sayali’s back was proving to be a little trouble. She had to alternate between carrying it on her back and keeping it in her lap every now and then. We knew we had quite a bit of luggage and that wasn’t going to get any easier. We decided we would keep going and find a way to ease that out when we reach the Hotel.



    And my bike had crossed 5000 kms on the ODO in the third month of its running. Yay!


    We reached the Hotel Sarvottan at Halol-Baska Highway, Gujarat at around 3.30 pm doing 591 kms. Being tired we ate and straight away went to sleep.

    Part 2: http://www.xbhp.com/talkies/tourer/3...ml#post1093757
    Part 3: http://www.xbhp.com/talkies/tourer/3...ml#post1093843
    Part 4: http://www.xbhp.com/talkies/tourer/3...ml#post1094170
    Part 5: http://www.xbhp.com/talkies/tourer/3...ml#post1094369
    Part 6: http://www.xbhp.com/talkies/tourer/30017-ek-couples-ladakhi-adventure-tadka-maarke-5.html#post1094699
    Part 7: http://www.xbhp.com/talkies/tourer/3...ml#post1097440
    Last edited by Viper1089; 10-07-2014 at 08:56 AM.
    Very True- "Motorcycling is not, of itself, inherently dangerous. It is, however, extremely unforgiving of inattention, ignorance, incompetence, or stupidity."

    I like- "Bikes are not supposed to be a rational decision. If you can park it and walk away without looking back to admire it, you got the wrong one."

    Couple's Leh adventure: Pune-Leh-Pune 6500 kms on Triumph Bonneville

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    Moderator The Monk's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ek couple's Ladakhi adventure. Tadka maarke!

    Travelogue Approved

    Nice bike you have got there
    Viper1089 and VIJAY BHUYAN88 like this.
    Biking is not about what you have between your legs, its all about how well you use it!!!!!!!

    Give your details here if you want to help your fellow xBhpian stranded in your city

    Touring Blog: Cycling in Mongolia!

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    Default Re: Ek couple's Ladakhi adventure. Tadka maarke!

    Great start. Waiting for the rest!

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    Rusted princesirohi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ek couple's Ladakhi adventure. Tadka maarke!

    a couple ride, to leh, and that too on a brand new bonni...good going viper..

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    Default Re: Ek couple's Ladakhi adventure. Tadka maarke!

    Good one sirji...waiting eagerly for rest of the travelouge. I am also dreaming a ride to LEH-D once I get my "wife"....

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    Default Re: Ek couple's Ladakhi adventure. Tadka maarke!

    The popcorn is hot and the drinks are just cold, wont remain like that for long so please finish your loog soon

    On a serious note please go on ...
    Viper1089 likes this.

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    Rusted Viper1089's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ek couple's Ladakhi adventure. Tadka maarke!

    Quote Originally Posted by krishna77 View Post
    Great start. Waiting for the rest!
    Quote Originally Posted by princesirohi View Post
    a couple ride, to leh, and that too on a brand new bonni...good going viper..
    Quote Originally Posted by ishan2290 View Post
    Good one sirji...waiting eagerly for rest of the travelouge. I am also dreaming a ride to LEH-D once I get my "wife"....
    Quote Originally Posted by nelson_sanjoy View Post
    The popcorn is hot and the drinks are just cold, wont remain like that for long so please finish your loog soon

    On a serious note please go on ...

    Quote Originally Posted by The Monk View Post
    Travelogue Approved

    Nice bike you have got there
    Thanks everyone. Will be updating it daily.
    Very True- "Motorcycling is not, of itself, inherently dangerous. It is, however, extremely unforgiving of inattention, ignorance, incompetence, or stupidity."

    I like- "Bikes are not supposed to be a rational decision. If you can park it and walk away without looking back to admire it, you got the wrong one."

    Couple's Leh adventure: Pune-Leh-Pune 6500 kms on Triumph Bonneville

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    Addicted pranav.k's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ek couple's Ladakhi adventure. Tadka maarke!

    Great start man.. Keep going..
    Loved the first pic.. Nothing looks better than a fully loaded bike all set for a road trip..
    Viper1089 likes this.

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    Rusted Viper1089's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ek couple's Ladakhi adventure. Tadka maarke!

    Day 2:
    Todays destination: Hotel Highway King, Jaipur via Chittorgarh-Bhilwara
    700 kms approx.
    Cost of the Hotel: Rs. 1800/- Came with free advice from the manager on the route towards Ambala which later did not turn out to be good. :P


    Today was perhaps the most tiring day of all the journey. The cloud cover had gone and it had started to become sunny and hot.
    The roads are awesome on this route except for a very narrow stretch just after Udaipur till you take a right turn for Bhilwara. All in all a pleasure to ride and do some speedy runs. But BEWARE! The locals on this route are quite fascinating.
    I had quite a few street hawks appearing on the road out of nowhere on their dose of 100ccs of testosterone trying to race with me. And when they finally realize its not going to happen they usually shout something at you in local language while you are passing them.
    Finally a break in the evening just a few kms from Jaipur. We stopped about 20 kms before Jaipur at Hotel Highway King.



    Not many pictures taken on these routes as we had very few stops and usually used to just have a sip of water, stretch a bit and proceed with the journey.

    Day 3: Todays destination:
    Hotel Mirchi, Ambala. This is right next to Country Woods resort just before Ambala city right on the highway.
    Cost Hotel:Rs. 1900/-
    The initial plan was to reach Ludhiana via Rohtak-Jind-Sangrur. But it didnt turn the way we wanted and we ended up taking the below route and had to stop at Ambala for the day.

    As usual we started off early at around 5.30 am. We had enquired about the route towards Ambala to the hotel manager and he had given us the route via Rewari-Rohtak-Jind-narwana-Sangrur and Ludhiana.


    We took the route and were extremely happy for the first 200 kms. The road was mind blowing. Take a look below at the awesome road. 4 lane super smooth with service roads and hardly any traffic.




    We continued on the same route and reached Rohtak. Rohtak city is extremely crowded. There is a bytpass road that takes you from out of the city. We missed it and ended up in the city and the traffic jam. Luckily there was enough space to take a U-turn and head back to search for the bypass road. After a little searching and asking around we were back on the highway.

    We were somewhere near Jind when the road started to get extremely bad. First the 4 lane became a 2 lane highway and then it became one lane. Yes ONE LANE! The other lane was there but was completely dug up and full of heaps of mud and construction material. This continued till we reached a junction. At this junction the left turn took us to Narwana and the right took us to Panipat back to NH1.

    We took a look at the road towards Narwana and it looked horrible. Same one lane working and the other lane dug up. The decision was easy. Had to go to Panipat and join NH1. By this time it was already 1 pm. We had only had breakfast at 8 am in the morning and had not come across any decent eating joint/hotel on this route and hence did not have lunch. We decided its better to reach the Highway first than stopping on the inner route through some villages.

    The bad roads after Rohtak had taken a toll on my wife. Her back had started to pain a little and the hot-sunny weather was making it tough. Had to make frequent stops on the way to let her rest a little during the ride. The road from Jind towards Panipat was ok. Was single lane, was crowded with devotees of Amarnath yatra/going towards pahalgam ( not really sure). There were camps built at intervals of a few kms for them. We rode through without having any major stops/problems. Also came across the huge Thermal power plants on the way somewhere near Panipat. Should have taken a picture but we did not stop there keen on reaching the highway.
    Once we reached the highway it was already 3pm. We took a left towards Ambala and stopped at the first good hotel we could find.
    We were so hungry that the hotel manager was amazed at the amount of food we ordered. A total of 5 glasses of watermelon juice, 3 onion Uttappas and one Veg sandwich! Phew..
    Once fullwe took a moment to think about where we could reach before it gets dark. Had a discussion with Gaurav aka GT and decided it would be possible to reach Ambala.

    We searched for hotels online and found two. One was a country woods resort and the other a Hotel Mirchi right next to it.

    We decided to check them out. We rode on and reached the hotels at around 6 pm. We enquired at Country woods and the charges there were 2900 per room per day. Too costly for 12 hours of stay We decided to check out Hotel Mirchi next to it. It turned out to be good. Clean rooms, Rs.1900 per day and a safe parking. The watchman was very courteous and assured me that he would watch the bike all night and that I should park it next to his cabin. Did so and checked in. Food was ok. And we went off to sleep.



    Day 4: Todays route planned and achieved: Ambala-Jalandhar-Pathankot-Jammu-Udhampur-Patni Top
    Hotel Patni Top, Patnitop.
    Cost: Hotel: Room 1800/ + 300 food =2100/- total.


    We knew that we wanted to make it to Patni top as early as possible and avoid any riding during the night along this route. So we woke up at 4 am and started at 5 am sharp. This route was a great change of climate and scenery. The roads were awesome. We could maintain a speed of 120 kmph easily.
    A caution here though! There are a lot of diversions till Jalandhar along the NH1. We had somehow missed the right turn towards Pathankot from Jalandhar and realized it when we were lost some 10 kms ahead on a road towards Amritsar. We stopped for breakfast and the hotel manager was nice enough to tell us exactly how to go to Pathankot. Go over 3 flyovers and before the fourth one go from left underneath it and take right once under the flyover.
    We did exactly that and were right on track.

    The road is super awesome and a pleasure to ride. No shortage of petrol pumps on this route. At around 11.30 we had already reached Pathankot. We continued towards our destination with a few short water breaks. A few pics of the route, roads and scenery on the way.





    The initial road from Jammu to Srinagar has been built to perfection. Though not all the way but its still under progress. A proper 4 lane highway with smooth roads. A joy to ride on these roads.

    Patnitop is just awesome. We had dinner sitting outside wrapped in clouds. A few pics of Patnitop.






    The following morning it was raining and was completely foggy. We had to wait for 30 minutes for the fog to clear up a bit in order to see the roads.




    Very True- "Motorcycling is not, of itself, inherently dangerous. It is, however, extremely unforgiving of inattention, ignorance, incompetence, or stupidity."

    I like- "Bikes are not supposed to be a rational decision. If you can park it and walk away without looking back to admire it, you got the wrong one."

    Couple's Leh adventure: Pune-Leh-Pune 6500 kms on Triumph Bonneville

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    Rusted krishna77's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ek couple's Ladakhi adventure. Tadka maarke!

    Great log so far. Having dinner among the clouds ... awesome!

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